Author: Amanda Prowse
Narrated by Amanda Prowse
Published: August 2017 by Brilliance Audio
Category: Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Audiobook Review
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.
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.
Nina McCarrick is hit with two devastating blows at once. Finn, her husband, is killed in a car accident and she learns the life of luxury she’s been living was far from what she believed it to be. Finn, although he was the sole provider for his family and ran an upmarket construction firm, had been living a lie, burying his head in the sand.
Nina and her sons, Connor and Declan, have been left destitute when it becomes apparent almost immediately Finn had been less than truthful about the state of his affairs. Nina is left with a mountain of debt and is forced to watch the bailiffs remove her personal possessions before she’s obliged to move herself and the boys out of the house altogether and face a new reality.
Left with no choice and finding out who her true friends really are, Nina returns to the estate where she grew up and where her sister still lives. Her boys, knowing only the privileged lifestyle they were born into, find it hard to adjust as they move from an elite private school to a very different public one, and to life in a small flat.
It was a reminder of the life she had stepped away from, a life where poverty and reduced horizons meant bluntness was the most expedient way to get things done, a life where there was no time or room for shying away from the topic in hand, no matter how unpleasant.
As she works through the grief, shock and anger, Nina struggles to take control and forge a new life. Her journey of self discovery is just beginning, finding once again the determined, outgoing Nina that seemed to disappear when she married Finn, although it’s not all plain sailing. I love the way Amanda Prowse shows what’s really important in life—love, family, friends, people you can count on in tough times and being true to yourself. Having more doesn’t necessarily make for a better or nicer person as Nina finds out.
The Art of Hiding covers many issues including different aspects of loss and coping with a drastic change in circumstances. The story is beautifully written and thought provoking. Amanda Prowse excels at turning her characters’ lives upside down and in the process making them stronger. Nina is a character who I could empathise with. It’s very difficult to imagine being in that situation but this story does make you thankful and value what and who you have.
“I think happiness lies in being content now – right now! Every day! That’s not to say you can’t plan and work for change, but if you are constantly waiting for happiness to start, waiting for the change that will make it happen, then you just might miss some really good days along the way.”