Yesterday, I was paging through my "To Read" collection on my Kindle and came across a free book I'd downloaded last month. I read a couple pages, then backed out and deleted it. No, it wasn't because the book was horribly written. The beginning featured a man and his pregnant wife, and I knew that she would die. (That's not a spoiler; it's part of the blurb. I may have subconsciously remembered that when I started the book, but I couldn't even remember the title.) I didn't want to experience her death.
We all know that happy characters make for poor fiction; they need to deal with problems to move through the story. I've certainly given my characters their share of troubles. But as a reader, when a story starts with characters in a good situation that I know won't last, I'm reluctant to break that veneer of happiness and plunge into pain. It's easier to start with them already dealing with their problems. I had the same problem with Louise Cooper's Indigo series; it started with the princess happy with her family and her betrothed. I didn't want her to ruin everything, even though there would be no story without her reckless action. I read the first couple of pages, then abandoned the book and the series.
Is this quirk unique to me, or do other people hesitate to "shatter the happiness"? Have you found books where the end justified shattering the happiness at the beginning?