Title: The Art of Hiding
Author: Amanda Prowse
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Date of publication: August 22nd, 2017
Genre: General Fiction, Women’s Fiction
Number of pages: 290
POV: 3rd person
Book synopsis (from Goodreads):
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.
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.
Trigger Warning: None
I have never thought about the “what ifs” of my relationship. I never thought of “what if my SO died“. I also never thought of “What if he was hiding debt from me“. After reading The Art of Hiding, I did start thinking about the “what ifs” and discussed them with him. Luckily for me, he is not the type to hide anything from me. I am also not the type of person, like Nina, who is not involved in any of the household finances. So, if something did happen, nothing would blindside me like it did Nina.
The plot of The Art of Hiding is Finn dying, Nina finding out about the debt and Nina going back to Southampton. A place she escaped from when she married Finn. But, there is also the plotline where Nina finds herself and that is what made this book so enjoyable for me. Nina had to go through so much to be happy. Her journey to get to that point was both heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time.
While this book is labeled as women’s fiction, it is not chick lit. I can’t stress that enough. In my eyes, women’s fiction is a huge step away from chick lit. In chick lit, the heroine deals with whatever life throws at her in unrealistic ways. In women fiction, the heroine deals with life’s trials as a normal person would. This is what I liked about The Art of Hiding. Nina’s issues are something that could happen to anyone. The situations that she finds herself in has happened to people in real life. It is that connection that made me like this book.
Nina had a lifestyle that most people only dreamed about. She had a beautiful house and expensive cars. Her children went to an exclusive all boys school. She took vacations to exotic locations. I mean, she had a lifestyle that I wished I had. Then Finn died and her world crumbled. She finds out that he was in debt and that everything is being repossessed. Not only the house and cars but everything inside the house. Her boys were kicked out the exclusive school due to nonpayment of tuition. She did what anyone would do in that situation, she reached out to her sister for help. With her sister’s help, she packed up what she could and moved back to Southampton. She moved into the flat (apartment) that her great-aunt had occupied and she tried to get back on her feet.
I could go on and criticize why Nina seemed to falter in the middle of the book. I could but I won’t. If I were in her shoes, I would have gone into shock too. I mean, within days, she was homeless and had no money. She could not wrap her head around what happened. Guess what, she deserved to wallow in her grief and anger for a bit. The only thing that was keeping her going was her sons. She had to be strong for them because, guess what, their world shattered too. They lost their father, all their possessions and their house.
The end of the book was heartbreaking and happy. I had tears in my eyes when Nina reflected on her year and how far she had come.
The Art of Hiding is a story about one woman’s journey after finding out she is destitute after her husband dies. This book is beautifully written with a great plot. I would highly recommend The Art of Hiding to everyone.
Will I reread: Yes
Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes
Age range: Adult
Why: mild language
I would like to thank Amanda Prowse, Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review The Art of Hiding
All opinions expressed in my review of The Art of Hiding are mine and mine alone
**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**