The Art of Hiding by Amanda Prowse published by Lake Union Publishing due out 22nd August 2017.
This is the second book I have read by this author, and I can see why she is a very popular author. The story is basic in some ways, but what Amanda Prowse has created is a very thought provoking, empowering and emotional read. It is based around Nina and her two sons Connor and Declan, they live an affluent lifestyle, provided for by Finn, husband and father. Nothing can prepare Nina when Finn is killed in a car crash, but as if that was hard, then the aftermath that follows is even more heart-breaking. She will be taken back to her roots, but her roots are alien and unknown to her sons.
What unfolds is a comparison of lifestyles between “the have’s” and “the have-nots”, about futures that can be planned ahead for, and those that live day by day and week by week. It shows how Nina has to not only deal with the loss of her husband, but also the loss of everything she took for granted. The way Amanda has used the character of Tiggy, Nina’s older sister, is a very insightful way to give another dimension into the life of Nina. It shows how Nina has developed as a person over the years, from a confident child and teenager, into the meek and mild little woman of the house, then charting the hardship and adversity that is to follow. The trials that she then goes through helps empower Nina as she starts to find her feet as a single mum.
I liked the way Amanda has developed the characters of the two boys, from their lavish lifestyle and upbringing at an expensive private school, with a house and all the mod cons, their social lives and all that goes with it, to then have to deal with a life of complete contrast after the death of their father.
This book is an exploration into family dynamics that has been very well told, with a couple of “lump in my throat” moments. It is very thought-provoking and as I read the story, I couldn’t help thinking of how I would have coped. But then I do not have the lifestyle to lose, like Nina. It is all very well have money, houses and cars, but does this buy you happiness ? I think this is one of the points of the story, money does not by happiness. Also never forget your roots, never forget where you come from.
I would recommend this book to readers of General Fiction, Women’s Fiction and also to book reading groups for discussion. I think there are many topics raised in this book that would make some really interesting talking points.
I would like to thank Netgalley, Lake Union Publishing and Amanda Prowse for my copy of this book. My thoughts are my own, honest and unbiased.
Nina McCarrick has it all: a loving husband, two beautiful boys, a well-appointed home and more time than she knows what to do with. Life is perfect. Until her husband, Finn, is killed in a car accident and everything Nina thought she could rely on unravels.
Alone, bereft and faced with a mountain of debt, Nina’s life of luxury quickly disappears and she begins to question whether she ever really knew the man she married. Forced to move out of her family home, Nina returns to the rundown Southampton council estate—and the sister—she thought she had left far behind.
But Nina can’t let herself be overwhelmed—her boys need her. To save them, and herself, she will have to do what her husband discouraged for so long: pursue a career of her own. Torn between the life she thought she knew and the reality she now faces, Nina finally must learn what it means to take control of her life.
Stirring and empowering, this novel from bestselling author Amanda Prowse once again plumbs the depths of human experience in this tale of one woman’s loss and love.
- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (22 Aug. 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1611099552
- ISBN-13: 978-1611099553
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