Title: The Art of Hiding
Author: Amanda Prowse
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
What would you do if you learned that the life you lived was a lie?
Nina McCarrick lives the perfect life, 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.
The Art of Hiding is a story of family, resilience and finding the inner strength when you’re at your lowest for the sake of your kids. This is what poor Nina finds she has to do when her husband Finn is in a car accident. With no real goodbye or preparation, she is plunged into a completely different world as she discovers the real mess her husband has left them in – intentionally or not. Her and her kids’ lives are completely turned upside down, and the resulting story of how they cope is a well-written, interesting and easy read.
The characters are always a selling point for Amanda Prowse’s novels which I’ve hugely enjoyed in the past. Nina admits she’s not perfect, and as her situation becomes more and more removed from the privileged life she used to lead, she realises just how easy things were. At times I, along with Nina, felt a little disgusted at how easy life must have been for her and her two boys, Connor and Declan, and how snobby Nina used to be at times, but eventually they all pull together and do the best they can.
I liked that this book doesn’t try to make everything in Nina’s life ‘so much better’ in the end. Things aren’t totally resolved but it’s really interesting to read how she improves their situation as best she can. Her and the boys really grow as people and I liked that it wasn’t overly predictable – and I particularly liked that Amanda Prowse didn’t make any character either ‘good’ or ‘bad’. They all had their faults, but that’s real life. Nina also didn’t suddenly get over her dead husband in a matter of months and move onto anyone else, as is the case in other novels like this, and I liked that the way Finn treated her might not have always been best for her, but that doesn’t mean Nina suddenly stops loving him now he’s gone.
I’d recommend this novel to anyone looking for an interesting read which isn’t too predictable, and it features some great characters. Amanda Prowse has a knack for releasing great reads and this is no exception.
Many thanks to Lake Union Publishing and Netgalley for providing a copy of this novel on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.