Today I have a review of the latest release from Amanda Prowse.
The Art of Hiding is just published by Lake Union Publishing and is a story about one woman and her struggle to keep her family together after a terrible tragedy befalls her.
Described as ‘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.’
Read on for my as ever voluntary and unbiased review…
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.
‘Numb is the best way to describe it. One minute I’m fine, the next I’m a mess. It still feels like he might walk through the door any minute.’
These are the words of Nina McCarrick.
Faced with the traumatic event of her husband Finn’s, very sudden death, Nina is struggling to come to terms with her life. Nina has lived in extremely luxurious surroundings. Having originally come from a Southampton council estate, Nina was perfectly happy to wallow in her comforts, letting Finn look after all their finances. He was the perfect husband, working hard and providing herself and her two boys with all that they could ever wish for.
The boys are schooled in a very elite college, where they have thrived and enjoyed the company of their wealthy friends. Holidays were spent across Europe with the memories of these happier days etched on Nina’s mind.
But life throws another curve ball at Nina. Finn was hiding a secret.
As Nina starts to receive calls from her solicitor and from the school, she soon realises that Finn was in serious financial difficulty. His untimely death leaves Nina without any financial stability and worst of all, Nina finds herself homeless.
With the animosity of her eldest son, Connor, slowly filtering through the family unit, Nina is desperate. At every turn, Nina is faced with a brick wall. The support she thought would be available to her from her ‘so-called’ friends, Finn’s relatives, her neighbours, is all so disappointingly non-existent.
Nina soon finds solace in the most unlikely place, her estranged sister Tiggy.
‘When Nina left Southampton and moved in with Finn, they seemed to lose all they had in common when no longer bound by a common environment’
Tiggy’s character is wonderful. She is so fragile in many ways, although her exterior is toughened by the world she inhabits. It is Tiggy who pulls Nina out of the shadows. It is Tiggy who helps Nina rediscover who she really can be. It is Tiggy who saves her..
The Art of Hiding, like all Amanda Prowse books, is an emotional read.
The story of Nina is a very poignant one, exploring the importance of family and the basic human needs of acceptance and love. Nina had changed over time in her marriage to Finn, quickly choosing to bury her past. However, when faced with a life-changing tragedy, it is to these roots that Nina returns.
Nina’s character grows as the book develops. She makes discoveries about herself when faced with earth-shattering challenges. She rediscovers strengths long buried and with the help of Tiggy, Nina learns to take charge of her life again.
The Art of Hiding will touch a chord with many. It deals with the sensitive subject of grief in many ways, not just the grief of the loss of a loved one but also the grief of losing oneself and all the changes that this brings.
Expect to shed a tear or two but also expect to feel uplifted as you turn the pages.
I’ll leave you with a famous quote from the inspirational Maya Angelou, which is the message, I feel is expressed, in The Art of Hiding.
‘You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. Please remember that your difficulties do not define you. They simply strengthen your ability to overcome.’
Purchase Link ~ The Art of Hiding
Meet the Author:
Amanda has always obsessively crafted short stories and scribbled notes for potential books, but it wasn’t until she was forty that she began writing full time. The result was Poppy Day, the story of an army wife, whose incredible love for her husband gives her the courage to rescue him from hostages in Afghanistan. This was followed by the number 1 bestseller What Have I Done? Amanda now has ten novels and four novellas published.
All of Amanda’s books in the No Greater Love series share common themes in that they are contemporary love stories, the main characters are women, just like you and I, who find themselves in extraordinary situations for love.
Her new series is the No Greater Courage series, tales of women facing the trials that life throws at them and having to dig deep to find the will and strength to succeed. This series includes the A Mother’s Story and Perfect Daughter, which continue to receive brilliant reader and press reviews.
Amanda’s ambition has always been to create stories that keep people from turning the bedside lamp off at night, great characters that ensure you take every step with them and tales that fill your head so you can’t possibly read another book until the memory fades…
Currently, Amanda lives in the West Country with her husband and their 18 & 19 year old boys Josh and Ben. (Courtesy of Author Website)
Website ~ http://amandaprowse.org/
Twitter ~ @MrsAmandaProwse