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.
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.
My Review of The Art of Hiding
The Art of Hiding by Amanda Prowse is the powerful and bittersweet story of love, loss and the power of resilience. Nina McCarrick has everything a woman could want. A loving husband, two beautiful sons, a grand home and an affluent lifestyle that anyone would envy. But unbeknown to Nina she is living in a glass castle that is about to be shattered. The sudden and tragic death of her husband has left her world splintered in more ways than one. Not only has the car accident that took her husband away and left Nina and her boys in pieces, but the life they have lived until now appears to be a lie. Upon the death of her husband, Finn’s lawyer and financial manager tell Nina that her husband’s construction company was in debt for more than 8 million pounds. To make matters worse, she is informed that the prestigious King’s Norton College, a private school her sons have been attending, has removed them from the roster for the following term due to lack of payment. If this is not nightmare enough, all her accounts are now frozen and a collection agency has shown up to confiscate all their assets. With no car, very little money, a few items that were hidden or missed Nina and her young sons turn to the only ally they have, her sister Tiggy.
Tiggy is more than willing to help Nina get her feet on the ground, but it means returning to a small dilapidated flat in Portswood where Nina has vowed never to return. When she married Finn McCarrick she left that area and what she thought was the stench of poverty and struggling behind her. But beggars can’t be choosers and Nina’s lack of skills, a job and money has left her with little choice. Her fifteen and ten year old sons are angry and struggling not only with the loss of their father, but also their lifestyle. Used to posh surroundings and the fear of the unknown has left them on edge. However, Connor and Declan are not the only ones struggling with their new life. Nina is constantly questioning the validity of her marriage. How could someone she thought she knew keep her in the dark. This also leads her to question the car accident that took his life. Was it an accident or was it an easy way out. But Nina has no time or money for self-pity and discovers she has more strength that she gives herself credit. Relying on the girl she used to be, Nina decides to carve out a life for her little family. Finding a job and doing the best she can with what little she has makes her determined she won’t be beaten. With the love of her sons and her sister Tiggy, Nina decides to make their flat a home as they all discover it’s not your possessions that make you happy, but the amount of courage and love in your heart.
I really enjoyed The Art of Hiding. I particularly appreciated the way the characters evolved. Nina had to discover who she really was and what she was made of again with the help from her tough love sister. With the assistance of Tiggy, Nina realized she had lost her grit and determination and had been living in the shadow of her husband by the life he wanted her to live. For the first time since she was eighteen, Nina could live her life on her terms and show her sons how to do the same. I also appreciated that her sons Connor and Declan came to finally respect all that Nina was willing to put herself through to secure their future and come out on the other side strong, happy and independent. The Art of Hiding left me feeling content and confident that despite the tragic circumstances of their lives, joy and happiness could be found in themselves and in each other.
The Art of Hiding by Amanda Prowse is a book with strong characters and a storyline that will haunt you and tug at your heart. It’s about courage and strength of character in the worst of circumstances. It’s about facing change head on and staring it down. It’s about family, resilience and the power of love.
I want to thank Lake Union Publishing via NetGalley for an advanced copy of The Art of Hiding by Amanda Prowse for a fair and honest review.
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