Book Review: Somewhere Inside of Happy by Anna McPartlin

Today's review is for Somewhere Inside of Happy by Anna McPartlin. I had heard great things about The Last Days of Rabbit Heyes, this author's previous novel and I even got myself a copy a few time ago, but I haven't picked it yet. So I started this one without really knowing what to expect. This is what I thought about this book: 

Title: Somewhere Inside of Happy
Author: Anna McPartlin
Published: April 7th 2016 by Transworld

Blurb: 'And just like that my boy was gone.'

Maisie Brennan is standing on a podium on the twentieth anniversary of the death of her son, trying to find the first breath that will help her start talking to a room full of strangers. A daunting task at the best of times, but she's also menopausal and one hot flush away from totally losing it.

But as Maisie begins her story, she soon relaxes and word by word disappears into her past, back to 1st January 1995 – the day when one mistaken action led to a chain of events that changed her life for ever...

*First of all I would like to thank the publishers for sending me a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Review: We start this story already knowing the ending: Maisie's son died in 1995. What we don't know is who he was or why he died. So thanks to multiple points of view, we learn about Maisie and her family back then. She was a single mother with two teenagers and a mother with dementia to take care of. And all I can say is that theirs is a story really worth reading.

Let's go back to 1995: Maisie has not had an easy life. Pregnant too young and married to the wrong man, she has overcome many obstacles and horrible experiences to be where she is now, with a bit chaotic but all in all happy family. Reading about their interactions, I could totally picture them, mother and daughter fighting for the smallest things and big brother trying to make peace. But from the first pages you could tell they loved each other unconditionally and supported each other. The scenes with Maisie's mother really touched me. They all tried to help her, make her feel loved and cared and enjoyed her scarce moment of clarity.

And then, two things happen on January 1st 1995, Maisie has her first date since she left her husband and Jeremy, her son, disappears. From that moment, a beautiful and complex unfolds. Little by little, we learn what Jeremy was up to that night and the consequences it had in his family and friends the following days. With every bit of information, I became more and more hooked. And found myself more than once holding my breath, wishing that Jeremy would safely return home.

Somewhere Inside of Happy handles many brave and insightful topics. And the message that this novel delivers is very important. It's sad to thing that our society still needs to be reminded of how unfair it can be. And Anna McPartlin couldn't have written it better. I'm sure this novel will touch many people.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. It was equally sad and uplifting at the same time and made me feel so many emotions. The writing was exquisite and thanks to the multiple points of views, I felt like I really connected with this story and its characters. As I said, this is a story really worth reading.  

Rating: 4 Stars

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