Blog Tour: Book Review - Somewhere Inside of Happy by Anna McPartlin

Today on Becca's Books, I'm thrilled to be sharing my review of Anna McPartlin's Somewhere Inside of Happy as part of the blog tour. 

Available on Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US

Title - Somewhere Inside of Happy
Author - Anna McPartlin
Publication Date - April 7th 2016 (Paperback)
Publisher - Black Swan
Format - Kindle Edition (Provided by publisher via NetGalley)
Pages - 432

'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.

Wow. Right now, that's all I can think to say. Wow. This was absolutely stunning.

I was blown away by Anna McPartlin's The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes. I'm talking huge, gulping sobs that lasted for what seemed like an eternity. So, when I was offered the chance to read an eBook of her latest novel, Somewhere Inside of Happy, I couldn't say yes quick enough. The blurb reeled me in right away and I just adored the sound of this story. I have to admit, it's not what I was expecting, what with Maisie's sixteen-year-old son Jeremy going missing, but let me tell you something, it made for one hell of a heartbreaking, yet uplifting and powerful story. One that will stay with me, I'm sure, for a very long time to come. It touched me deeply on so many levels, and it's a story I must recommend to each and every one of you.

The blurb above pretty much gives you a vague idea of what this novel is about. Focusing beautifully on the ins-and-outs of the Bean family, I felt at home and comfortable within these surroundings all at once. Anna depicted a chaotic but cosy family life, something I'm more than familiar with, with an absolutely brilliant collection of colourful, joyful characters, who bought this story into glorious, technicolour life. Before we're introduced properly to the Bean family though, the story opens with a sad, sad prologue, which leads the reader beautifully into the tale of Maisie Bean's life and the disappearance of her son Jeremy.

I'm sure I read the majority of Somewhere Inside of Happy with a lump in my throat, and the handful of times where that wasn't the case, I was giggling away at Anna McPartlin's gorgeous style and turn-of-phrase. Despite a heavy cloud of foreboding hanging over me as I waited for the inevitable, steeling myself for whatever was going to come my way, it was joyful, funny and utterly heart-warming. Maisie Bean was wonderful in terms of this story's leading lady. I don't think I could have loved her more if I'd tried. Mother to Valerie and Jeremy, with a horrid past in terms of relationships behind her, I had so much respect for this woman. What I felt most, though, was that she deserved to be happy, and so when we're taken back in time to when the story truly begins, I sincerely hoped that despite the tragic circumstances which the story began with, there would be at least a small portion of happiness involved in there somewhere. Thankfully, there was...

There was so many themes intertwined within Somewhere Inside of Happy by Anna McPartlin. If it wasn't the dissection of family life, troubled teens, friendship or blossoming relationships, then it was detective/crime work, Jeremy's disappearance and Maisie Bean's mother Bridie, who completely stole my heart away. I found this novel to be a constant back-and-forth between light-heartedness and sadness, which in turn left me feeling strangely happy but trying to blink back the tears as I turned the final few pages sucking in my breath.

To say I was completely dedicated to this story would be an understatement. I couldn't bear to turn away from it. I was desperate to see the days leading up to Jeremy's disappearance be revealed to me, and even more desperate to reach the special chapters of after he'd gone, too. Right the way through, my mind was repeatedly jumping ahead of itself, trying to put the pieces of this puzzle together. I was fervently hoping for a different outcome, despite being completely aware of how it would end, but it was as if I couldn't help myself from doing so. I adored the Bean family. Each member held something unique and special in my eyes, so beautifully constructed were they by the author. From beginning to end, I was captivated. Anna McPartlin is a magnificent storyteller, and Somewhere Inside of Happy only goes to prove that. Stunning, heartbreaking and ultimately, a novel of acceptance, love and friendship, this was yet another book that stole my heart away, and will keep it for a long time to come yet. I'm still thinking of these characters now. Of Maisie Bean and her strength and determination. Of Jeremy and his friends... It's just so, so special.

Becca's Books is awarding Somewhere Inside of Happy by Anna McPartlin with five of my bookish stars. I adore this author, I adore this story, and I really must recommend it to everyone, because it is simply beautiful. It will, quite possibly, change the way you think about certain aspects of life, and when you come across a book like that, you know it's a keeper.
About the author

Anna’s debut novel Pack Up The Moon was published in January 2006, it went on to be a best seller both here and abroad.
Since then Anna’s written five more best selling novels, The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes being her latest work.
In the early nineties, Anna ran an alternative cabaret called Tales of the City in a run down bar on Capel Street. The show comprised of a Dutch torch singer, a folk rock band, an ancient alcoholic queen of monologues, and a waitress in drag … not to mention comedy. Anna was a stand up comedienne for four years and it is her experience writing sketches that ignited her passion for storytelling.
Friends and family are Anna’s inspiration. Given the amount of upheaval and tragedy Anna has experienced in her life from a very young age, it is no wonder friends and family are what she cherishes most and evidence of this is in all of her work. It tickles your funny bone, tugs at your heartstrings, and reminds you to never give up on love.
Anna’s lived many kinds of lives in her short lifetime. Surviving much loss has inspired Anna to write about the darker side of life but because she has been lucky enough to be surrounded by joyful people, her work and life is brimming with hope and laughter.
Anna is married to Donal and  lives in Wicklow with their four animals. She is currently working on her seventh novel; “Somewhere Inside of Happy” and she also writes for BBC’s Holby City.
You can find Anna McPartlin on Twitter |
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1 comment :

  1. What a beautiful article/ blog on an amazing writer - Siobhan NZ