There were two strong contenders for this week’s BotW crown – the latest Daisy Dalrymple mystery (which I’ve only just got around to) and Somewhere Inside of Happy, but as Anna McPartlin’s latest was released last week (I was lucky enough to be sent an copy in advance) and I really did love it, the funky yellow book takes home the prize.
Somewhere Inside of Happy starts with Maisie Brennan standing on a podium, about to address an audience on the twentieth anniversary of her son. Then we go back in time to find out what happened to her beloved Jeremy, as well as what her life was like before he disappeared.
You may remember that The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes reduced me to tears on a train, so this time I took precautions while reading this – no public transport. However it did leave me in tears (subtly I hope) in my youth hostel dorm room as I finished it. This is a tear-jerker in the very best sense. You go into this knowing that Jeremy is dead – it’s on the back cover – but you desperately don’t want it to be true. Watching how the story unfolds is a total rollercoaster as you get to know the characters and their backstory and their close family unit. I was alternately desperate to know what had happened to Jeremy and desperate not to know because once you know then he is definitely dead and the family will never be the same again.
But don’t go thinking that this book is a downer. It’s not. It is funny and warm and life affirming. It shows the power of love and what people can achieve even in the face of great adversity. It shows the importance of family – whether it’s the one you’re born with or one you find and make for yourself. I may have an aversion to sad books and be devastated that Jeremy died, but I’m so glad I read it and I know I’m going to be recommending it to so many people. It’d make a great holiday read – as long as you have some big sunglasses to hide your tears behind!