Saturday, 9 April 2016

Book Review - Somewhere Inside of Happy by Anna McPartlin

Amazon UK
Title: Somewhere Inside of Happy
Author: Anna McPartlin
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Black Swan
Publication Date: 7th April 2016
Rating: 5 Stars

'And just like that my boy was gone.'

Maisie Bean is a fighter. A survivor. Seventeen years ago, she went on a first date that went so badly it was enough to put the girl off chips. The marriage that followed was hell but it gave her two children: funny, caring Jeremy and bullish but brilliant Valerie.

Just as it seems everything might finally start going right, sixteen-year-old Jeremy goes missing. The police descend and a media storm swirls, over five days of searching that hurtle towards an inevitable, terrible conclusion.

Maisie is facing another fight, and this time it’s the fight of her life. But she’s a survivor. Whatever the odds, she’ll never give in.

Somewhere Inside of Happy had me hooked right from the start, as it takes you on a powerful journey, that I could barely put down, and was feeling incredibly emotional at by the end. However due to the nature of the story, it is a very tricky one to review, as I don't want to spoil anyones experience of it, by saying the wrong thing. 

The story is told from a variety of perspectives, and is about a five day period in January 1995, in a small village in Ireland. You know from the start that there is a drama about to unfold and that it may not have a particularly happy ending. It is the story of best friends Jeremy and Rave and the last night that they were seen. 

Maisie has had a tricky life, and when she realises her son Jeremy has gone missing, just as she was starting to trust a new man in her life, it doesn't get any easier for her. Jeremy has a younger sister Valerie who is a sassy pre-teen, but seems to have a soft spot under her mouthy exterior. There is also Jeremy's beloved granny, Bridie, who is suffering from Alzheimer's. When the perspective shifts to Bridie, you are treated to a fascinating insight to what the though process of someone living with the condition must be like. 

There are flashbacks to incidents in Maisie's past that really paint a picture of what her life as an adult has been like, but she really is a fighter, and I found myself really inspired by her strength of character throughout this whole ordeal. 

As the story progresses I found myself understanding that there is a real message in the book, and even in 2016 its a story that certain parts of the population could do with learning. There is a very tender story in parts, and it makes me sad that due to society at the time of the book being set, that characters were made to feel that way. This really does give an accurate insight into what small town life was like in Ireland in the mid 90s. 

The writing has a fantastic maturity to it, and its clear the book is well researched. Somewhere Inside of Happy is an emotional tale which is well told and will get under your skin. I feel its one of my top reads already of 2016, and will be hard to topple from that spot, and is definitely my favourite book by Anna McPartlin. 

Thanks to Netgalley and Transworld for this review copy. This was my honest opinion.  

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