Review of The Art of Hiding

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The Art of Hiding

Amanda Prowse

Lake Union Publishing

July 18, 2017


Blurb from Goodreads:

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 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.


SASCHA DARLINGTON’S REVIEW

The Art of Hiding is a very black and white novel in which the main character, Nina, must redefine herself after the death of her husband and the sudden realization that she and her two boys have nowhere to live and no money.

Much of the first half of the novel is extremely melodramatic with Nina being emotionally beaten by all of the extremely mean people in her life. Everyone is a stereotype and/or caricature with weasely laughs or mean smirks or no sympathy and charity for a woman who has lost everything. Why a woman, who had made it such a point to not socialize when invitations were extended and to continually emit an air of anti-social behavior, would turn to these same people when she had difficulties is mystifying. And this is the same woman who behaves badly toward her older sister, Tiggy, really the only attractive character in this novel, and Tiggy is the only one who comes to Nina’s rescue.

The Art of Hiding tested limits of credibility for me. It isn’t logical or smart for a person who had grown up impoverished to turn her fate over to someone else. More accurately, this person would also be squirreling something away because the environment of not knowing what each day would bring never completely leaves a person. But then, Nina doesn’t strike me as the sharpest tool in the shed, but rather someone who has been living in a fantasy world and has never, ever had to stand on her own feet. This just sounds like a character who would have existed pre-1960’s.

I really had no sympathy for Nina. For the majority of the novel she doesn’t show any initiative or backbone. She doesn’t prepare her sons for actions that she knows are about occur. She seems to work entirely by a set of emotions without any logic or reasoning.

The writing is functional. Quite a bit of the dialogue is formal and not really believable.

The level of angst and melodrama and whining in The Art of Hiding is wearying and this continues for much of the novel. I know that there are some readers who love the melodrama so if you like self-absorbed, self-pitying characters and lots of angst, this one is for you. You might even cheer when Nina’s luck incredibly changes.

I was given an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

From AmazonThe Art of Hiding


rating: 2-but

2 butterflies out of 5 butterflies


 

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