The Other Side of Beautiful
by Kim Lock
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 07 Jul 2021 | Archive Date 08 Jul 2021
Lost & Found meets The Rosie Project in a stunning break-out novel where a vulnerable misfit is forced to re-engage with the world, despite her best efforts.
Meet Mercy Blain, whose house has just burnt down. Unfortunately for Mercy, this goes beyond the disaster it would be for most people: she hasn't been outside that house for two years now.
Flung out into the world she's been studiously ignoring, Mercy goes to the only place she can. Her not-quite-ex-husband Eugene's house. But it turns out she can't stay there, either.
And so begins Mercy's unwilling journey. After the chance purchase of a cult classic campervan (read tiny, old and smelly), with the company of her sausage dog, Wasabi, and a mysterious box of cremated remains, Mercy heads north from Adelaide to Darwin.
On the road, through badly timed breakdowns, gregarious troupes of grey nomads, and run-ins with a rogue adversary, Mercy's carefully constructed walls start crumbling. But what was Mercy hiding from in her house? And why is Eugene desperate to have her back in the city? They say you can't run forever...
Exquisite, tender and wry, this is a break-out novel about facing anxiety and embracing life from an extraordinary new talent.
A Note From the Publisher
|EDITION||Mass Market Paperback|
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 109 members
What an amazing book. A great adventure story that is full of feeling and emotions people suffer from on a day basis. A travel story that addresses issues such an anxiety , hurt and a need to run.
A beautifully written story that people can relate to and an easy read. It's funny, comical and a true likeness.
A must read and a high five for Australuan authors.
Such a heartwarming, lovely book! I loved following Mercy on her journey from Adelaide to Darwin in a lemon of a van with her sausage dog, Wasabi. Also....I need to know what happened to Andy!
So many of my favourite things in one book; a road trip, and a story that slowly infolds, not giving everything away at the start.
This is one woman's story about how she dealt with something terrible that happened to her.
It’s a great book, looking at trauma,, mental health anxiety and how our brains deal with it.
Mercy, the main character, after her house burns down, buys a weird looking camper van, and drives. She’s not sure where she is going, but she knows she has to move. This story is full of quirky characters and quirky locations, it made me want to take a drive up through the middle of Australia. After so long living inside her own head, Mercy finds that being out in the world again, might be just what she needed to face her trauma, and get back on track.
There are notes in the back, explaining the authors own mental health issues. I always believe that if an author is writing from personal experience and from the heart , it translates into a more powerful book, and I think that’s what the author has done here.
What do you do when your house burns down and not even your ex-husband will have you? If you’re Mercy Blain, you go on a road trip – from Adelaide to Darwin accompanied by Wasabi, the sausage dog. But, how will Mercy cope in the outback with very few supplies as well as her agoraphobia, anxiety and panic attacks?
This is a story of Mercy’s journey in the literal and metaphorical sense. Travelling through the middle of Australia, she comes across a range of people and challenges. The descriptions of life on the road in Australia are well written and all in all it’s just a beautiful story which was easy to read. I felt like I was on the journey with Mercy and was cheering her on all the way.
The novel was inspired by the author’s own challenges with anxiety and panic attacks. This was my first experience reading a Kim Lock book – and if her others are like this, I will go back for more!
Put this one on your TBR list for 2021.
Thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review an advance copy of book.
This book tactfully and engagingly tells the story of Mercy, in the weeks following the burning down of her house.
Mercy has been confined to her house due to a series of undisclosed events that caused her anxiety, panic attacks and to ultimately find she hasn’t left her house in 2 years. As the events preceding this are slowly revealed and Mercy confronts each of the challenges presented by finding herself the owner of an ancient vehicle in an impromptu drive across Australia.
The author creates a realistic experience of the characters anxiety and depression and these struggles are part of the character rather than her defining feature. The authors experience with these shows with the compassionate and authentic way she presents the challenges of being a human in a crisis.
As an Australian who has done the kind of travelling the book portrays I appreciated both the authors capturing of the landscape and environment as well as the culture of friendly and frequent interactions of travelling the same long road.
I greatly enjoyed this book and look forward to seeing more of this authors work.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review of this book.
Mercy is running away, away from the fire, away from her career, and away from her life. The Australian outback, grey nomads and her campervan are her new life. Panic attacks have crippled Mercy but can the freedom if the Australian Outback save her. This book is beautiful, life affirming and bittersweet. A fantastic read.