The men, women, and even animals in this collection live at the mercy of their hearts. Young and old, on two legs or four, they grope for love and tenderness, knowing that all connection is fraught with danger and all relationship random and evanescent. Yet the heart wants what it wants. The title novella, a wrenching account of the end of love, traces a gentle dog's transformation into a vicious beast as the couple who owns him breaks apart.
In The Happiness Game the tenuous bonds between husband and wife are undermined by black crows and weak hearts, while Matti presents a chorus of voices—doctors, nurses, jilted wife, dying husband—that recounts an old man's passion for his lover, a fifteen-year-old Lolita. Wise and deft, Housebroken navigates the moments of decision, betrayal, longing, and jealousy that torment the souls of wounded lovers.