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.
“Her happiness was never going to be found in things; it was waiting for her, right here, in people.”
What I enjoy most about Amanda Prowse’s novels is that her storylines that could easily happen in real life. Her stories are about ordinary people who face tragic and life-changing circumstances, circumstances that could happen to anyone. In ‘The Art of Hiding’ we met Nina, who has been blissfully unaware of her husband’s business problems, then the worst happens, he dies suddenly and Nina’s world of security and luxury are whipped away from her.
At first I must admit, Nina aggravated me. Her naivety and blindness towards her family’s precarious financial situation did anger me a little. However, as the story moves along I quickly forgave her, she was manipulated into believing that her husband should ‘be in charge’ and as I got to know her, my heart went out to her. She does everything she can to keep her boys fed, clothed and sheltered. At the start of her tale, Nina is down trodden, struggling to leave her luxury life behind but by the time we reach the end of ‘The Art of Hiding’ she has become strong, empowered, independent and realises that it’s people, not things that make for a happy life.
I really enjoyed this read. It’s inspiring, emotional and full of love. I am not ashamed to say I blubbed at the end when Nina’s son makes a speech! It can sometimes take just a second for our lives to change for the worst but with strength, determination and support, like with Nina’s story, tragedy can be overcome and happiness found again. Thank you Amanda Prowse for another beautiful tale of life and family.
BOOKISH CORNER RATING – 5/5 stars
Amanda Prowse likens her own life story to those she writes about in her books. After self-publishing her debut novel, Poppy Day, in 2011, she has gone on to author sixteen novels and six novellas. Her books have been translated into a dozen languages and she regularly tops bestseller charts all over the world.
Remaining true to her ethos, Amanda writes stories of ordinary women and their families who find their strength, courage and love tested in ways they never imagined. The most prolific female contemporary fiction writer in the UK, with a legion of loyal readers, she goes from strength to strength. Being crowned ‘queen of domestic drama’ by the Daily Mail was one of her finest moments.
Amanda is a regular contributor on TV and radio but her first love is and will always be writing.
‘The Art of Hiding’ is published in paperback today by Lake Union Publishing. With thanks to the author for my (surprise!) review copy.
If you get swept away with Nina’s tale, then you should try these:
‘The Idea of You’ by Amanda Prowse
‘My Husband’s Wife’ by Amanda Prowse….
‘The Accidental Husband’ by Jane Green
‘Night Music’ by Jojo Moyes