BOOK REVIEW – Somewhere Inside of Happy by Anna McPartlin

Somewhere inside of happyThank you to NetGalley and Random House UK for my advance copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Anna McPartlin has a unique way of taking an absolutely devastating topic, and writing about it with such unique warmth and vitality that her readers just cannot help smiling through the bittersweet tears that are undoubtedly pouring down their cheeks  as she gently coaxes them through the heartfelt pages of her stories.

Maisie Bean Brennan is about to speak in front of an audience on the twentieth anniversary of the death of her beautiful son Jeremy … and so opens a story so unexpected that it will lead you to a place you never expected to go. I will admit that when I saw that this book was about someone who’d lost a child I was, at first, reluctant to read it. But then I remembered that I had also been reluctant to read about Rabbit Hayes, a young mother dying of cancer, who became one of my all-time favourite characters!

Despite working two jobs, Maisie has created a warm, loving home for her children Jeremy and Valerie, despite having been abused by their now absent father, Danny. And now she also looks after her mother Bridie who suffers from Dementia. It’s not easy, money’s tight, times are tough, but there’s an abundance of love and warmth to be found in their home and they all take care of one another. Jeremy especially goes out of his way to make up for the fact that there’s no adult male role model around and is kind and caring, while trying to deal with a best friend from a family even more dysfunctional than his own.

But then Maisie’s tentative security crumbles when Jeremy goes missing. Her precious boy … gone! She knows he’d never leave his family – the mother he loves, the grandmother he has such a special bond with, and the little sister he’s so fond of. But where is he?

Immerse yourself in another of Anna McPartlin’s remarkable Irish extended families. Where they take care of their own, against all odds and where strength and support come from the most unlikely places when they’re needed most.

5 stars from me.

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