Sunday 18 June 2017

The Art of Hiding - Amanda Prowse

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 quickly loses her life of luxury 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.

Bestselling author Amanda Prowse once again plumbs the depths of human experience in this stirring and empowering tale of one woman’s loss and love.

What did I think?

Amanda Prowse is fast becoming my go-to author when I'm wondering what to read next as her books are always situated at the top of my reading pile; they really are the crème de la crème and never fail to deliver a real life story that tugs on your heartstrings.

The Art of Hiding was a bit different from Amanda's other books as the sadness hits right at the beginning when Nina's husband dies.  I didn't even have a chance to get to know the characters so, although it was heartbreaking when Nina has to break the news to her sons, I was left dry eyed.  I felt triumphant - I had beaten Amanda Prowse; finally, a book that wouldn't make me cry!  I relaxed and drew myself into Nina's story: the turmoil of losing her house and moving to a pokey flat in Southampton, her boys having to leave their prestigious school, all the while having to cope with their recent bereavement.

Both Nina and the boys struggle to adapt to their new meagre surroundings, none more so than Nina's eldest son, Connor.  Connor was set to be a shining star on his school rugby team and now he must start from scratch at a new school.  It was Connor's love of rugby that ultimately made me cry at the after match party; my earlier triumph at not crying was deflated like a burst balloon, but I didn't care - my heart was bursting at the amazing scene painted by Amanda Prowse's beautiful words.   

The Art of Hiding really makes you think about what makes you happy.  It's not necessarily the treasured possessions that we surround ourselves with, it's the people with whom we share our life and experiences.  Nina was just another of her husband's treasured possessions and she was so busy being a wife and mother that she ended up being a ghost of herself.  It took the tragedy of losing her husband and going back to basics for her to really start living.

Yet again, Amanda Prowse made me cry but most definitely in a good way!  Only Amanda Prowse could turn such a tragic situation into a heartwarming story of survival and reawakening.  It's no surprise that I have awarded 5 stars and I'm sure that there will be many more 5 star ratings to come from other readers.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

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