A huge Happy Publication Day to Anna McPartlin for Somewhere Inside of Happy! I was thrilled to get a chance to read this book and review it as part of the blog tour.
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.
I enjoy saying I am a reader who reads everything but this isn’t true. There are some genres I always gravitate towards and some I don’t. This would be a book I usually wouldn’t pick up – there isn’t a gruesome murder or a tortured detective in the first three pages (books without massive murder-based introspection exist? What?) but when I saw that there was a blog tour I put my name forward. I love blog tours and this one I will always love because it introduced me to Anna McPartlin and Somewhere Inside of Happy, a book I wouldn’t normally read and one which blew me away.
The blurb tells you what this novel is about: when Masie’s sixteen-year-old son Jeremy goes missing, she and her family find themselves under all kinds of scrutiny – the media and nation are gripped – and Masie finds herself fighting to keep all that she loves as the story moves towards an inevitable and heart-breaking conclusion. I started reading this book last week and took it with me to Paris. It was the last thing I read before the marathon and one of the things which urged me to run faster – I hadn’t finished the book when the race started but I was gripped. I found it so hard to put the book down the night before and actually sleep.
Somewhere Inside of Happy is about the intimate and wonderful life of a chaotic family, something I can relate to. The characters made me fall in love with them – Anna wrote such vivid, colourful characters and I didn’t exactly expect this after reading the prologue which takes place in the present. The story then properly begins with what happened and that’s when Masie started to worm her way into my heart. With a list of terrible relationships behind her, two children, and a mother suffering from dementia, she could have been a truly depressing character. Instead she was funny, so so funny, and I was invested in her and her happiness throughout.
And even though I would have been stupid for not picking this book up myself because of the lack of detectives, this is also crime novel amongst everything else it is. Jeremy’s disappearance and the detective work around this sits with more light-hearted themes of family life, friendship, and relationships (can I really call any of these light-hearted though?) What happens to Jeremy is revealed in the prologue so I knew that’s what the ending of his story would be. This doesn’t mean that I wasn’t wishing desperately for a different outcome. I was longing for the ending to be something – anything – else than what it was.
I loved this book. I recommend it to you all – please do read it.
To find out more about Anna pop over to her website here. Somewhere Inside of Happy is out today (!!) and is available from all good and evil book retailers as well as your local library. Make sure you all check out the rest of Anna’s blog tour…there are some really fantastic bloggers on the list!
I was given this book for free as part of the blog tour. My review is definitely my own and neither it nor my opinions haven’t been swayed by the free book swag.