I love Amanda Prowse, both as a writer and as a person, so when The Art of Hiding arrived from her in exchange for an honest review I had a qualm or two because I have so loved other of her books as you can see:
My review of Another Love is here.
My review of My Husband’s Wife is here.
My review of The Food of Love is here.
My review of The Idea of You is here.
I have also been privileged to interview Amanda here.
Published by Lake Union, The Art of Hiding is available for purchase here.
The Art of Hiding
What would you do if you learned that the life you lived was a lie?
Nina McCarrick lives the perfect life, 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.
My Review of The Art of Hiding
When Nina finds herself suddenly widowed, she’s about to lose more than her husband.
Oh my goodness. Ordinarily I love an Amanda Prowse book but The Art of Hiding is the author at her very best so that it is a total joy to read.
The Art of Hiding has all the typical Amanda Prowse elements I adore. Firstly there’s the wonderful characterisation so that even the absent Finn is knowable and real. Nina is the lynchpin of the action and she channels the emotion in a totally absorbing way making her a woman anyone can relate to, regardless of gender or circumstance. Both her sons, Connor and Declan, are real triumphs as I’m not usually impressed by the way children are represented in fiction, frequently finding them clichéd. Here, however, they are wonderfully drawn as genuine people.
As always with an Amanda Prowse book, I experienced a wide range of emotions and shed several tears – a sure sign I’ve enjoyed the read! More importantly, I though she handled the overarching theme of the book – that material possessions are not what we need to make us happy – so skilfully. Reading The Art of Hiding made me reassess what is important in my life and delivers a wonderful lesson without preachiness or dogma, but rather through a smashing plot and people I came to care about as I read. Other themes of identity and love, family and friendship all enhance the story faultlessly.
I thought the book’s structure was really interesting as much of the drama in the plot comes in the early part of the book with more focus on relationships in the later sections. I found this structure mirrored the messages behind the writing perfectly so that I had the chance to get to know the characters fully and engage with them completely.
What I find so powerful about reading a book by Amanda Prowse, and what she does do superbly in The Art of Hiding, is that essentially she not only writes about love in its various forms, but she seems to write with love too, making reading her books a very special experience indeed.
About Amanda Prowse
Amanda Prowse is an International Bestselling author who has published sixteen novels in dozens of languages. Her chart topping No.1 titles What Have I Done?, Perfect Daughter and My Husband’s Wife have sold millions of copies around the world.
Other novels by Amanda Prowse include A Mother’s Story which won the coveted Sainsbury’s eBook of the year Award and Perfect Daughter that was selected as a World Book Night title in 2016. Amanda’s book The Food of Love went straight to No.1 in Literary Fiction when it was launched in the USA and she has been described by the Daily Mail as ‘The Queen of Drama’ for her ability to make the reader feel as if they were actually in the story.
Now published by Lake Union, Amanda Prowse is the most prolific writer of contemporary fiction in the UK today; her titles also score the highest online review approval ratings for several genres.
All of Amanda Prowse’s wonderful writing is available here .