Book Review: The Art of Hiding by Amanda Prowse

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4 out of 5 stars to The Art of Hiding, a family drama novel published in July 2017 and written by Amanda Prowse. I adored this book and am so glad I read it; let’s get right into the review.

hiding

Why This Book
A few months ago, I’d finished reading ‘The Idea of You,’ by this author. I really enjoyed the book, and when ‘The Art of Hiding’ showed up on my NetGalley feed, I had to request it. I forgot that they approved my request until last week, when I went to select whatever was next to be published as my next book to start reading. I’d been so busy writing my own novel, I missed the publish date for this one. So I quickly read it in 2+ days to get caught up.

Plot, Characters & Setting
Nina McCarrick, a mid-30s mother of two boys, 10 and 14, lives a wonderful life on a beautiful Southampton, England estate. That is, until her husband unexpectedly dies and she learns all was not what he’d been telling her. Suddenly losing her life high up on the hill, she’s forced to turn to all her friends and family for assistance. One person takes her in, helping re-build a life for both Nina and the boys. Nina begins to learn the difference between losing your own identity and being part of a married couple. Sometimes, it isn’t a good idea to give up control of all aspects of your life, as when it comes crashing down, you’ll have no idea what to expect.

Approach & Style
I read this novel through Kindle Reader on my iPad over the course of two and a half days. It is about 300 pages long, divided into 15 chapters, all told from Nina’s perpsective in third person point of view. The language is simple but meaningful; it reads itself as you feel immersed in the world Prowse has created for her readers. You could probably read this all in one day over 4 to 5 hours if you kept focused, and it would definitely be an enjoyable read.

Strengths
Prowse tells intricate family stories full of complexity and drama; not so much with everyone around the main characters, but within their small family unit. I felt the same way about one of her other books, and I’ve now come to realize this is her style; this is who the author is and what she excels at.

Nina is easy to relate with, given she is a new widow and has young boys to care for. She has no job, her skills are mostly outdated according to anyone she runs into. You immediately feel a strong connection with the woman, wanting to see her succeed. She’s a wonderful mother. She doesn’t sugarcoat the truth either. She dances around it a bit, hoping not to devastate her children, but she also knows hiding their situation will do more harm than good.

It’s not a suspense story, yet I only put it down because it was midnight and had to wake up early the next morning. You feel as though the events unfold right in your own living room as you are reading, and simply do not want to miss a moment of the beauty and pain inside this family.

Concerns
Very little with this book. It wasn’t a huge and amazing story that captures a tremendous amount of ground. It’s simple and thought-provoking. I felt it could have used a little more clarity around the death of the father and the days leading up to it. At the same time, it all came as a shock to Nina, so why shouldn’t it come as a shock to readers, too. But in the end, I would have connected a bit more strongly if I had some current history. Just a smidge.

On occasion, the relationship Nina had with others felt a bit fake. I thought it was necessary to the plot in some places, but it was a little too much in other places. Sometimes the balance between her being a lonely and hidden wife versus a lonely and hidden widow losing everything wasn’t as clear as I’d have liked it to be. A few extra paragraphs explaining how she interacted with her ‘friends’ before she became a widow might have helped give it more substance and a range between the two people she needed to be during the course of the book. I also think her ‘lows’ weren’t low enough, meaning she needed to struggle more in finding a job, not being able to pay bills. There was some of this impact, but a few things were a little too hunky dory for my taste.

Final Thoughts
Amanda Prowse is quickly becoming 1 of my top 10 favorite authors. I actually marked five more of her books as ‘to-read’ today since I’ve read two and given then both 4’s. I’m going to search NetGalley after I post this review to see if I can get my greedy little hands on more. This woman can really write stories that straddle that line between heartbreak and the promise of a better day.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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27 thoughts on “Book Review: The Art of Hiding by Amanda Prowse

    theorangutanlibrarian said:
    August 29, 2017 at 3:07 PM

    Sounds good- I’ve been really curious about this one cos it’s everywhere at the minute! Glad you liked it- great review!

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      August 29, 2017 at 3:08 PM

      If you like her other books, you’ll like this one. It’s very even, pretty and good focus on the main character. Easy read, full of depth. Just lacked a tiny bit of believe-ability.

      Liked by 1 person

    foodinbooks said:
    August 29, 2017 at 3:23 PM

    You read such interesting books! It’s like a treasure hunt because you send us on a search and we find awesome treats in the books you recommend!

    Liked by 1 person

    authorsinspirations said:
    August 29, 2017 at 3:33 PM

    sounds a bit like a book i recently read.

    Liked by 1 person

    BrizzleLass said:
    August 29, 2017 at 3:50 PM

    I love Amanda’s books, I have a signed copy of one of them and I’m still angling to bump into her at a coffee shop! 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    Mischenko said:
    August 29, 2017 at 4:22 PM

    Great review, James. I was offered this on Netgalley and turned it down because I have too many on my shelf. 😦 Maybe later! 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      August 29, 2017 at 4:49 PM

      It’s a solid book, but nothing extraordinary. If you want something quite different / unusual, look elsewhere. But if you need a good reliable read, go with it. Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

    […] knocked the third novel off the list:  The Art of Hiding by Amanda Prowse. You can see the review here. In it’s place, I’ve added Carnegie’s Maid by Marie Benedict to round out the 12 […]

    Liked by 1 person

    eatallofthis said:
    August 30, 2017 at 12:10 AM

    Awesome review 😃 Sounds really good. I need to read this

    Liked by 1 person

    carhicks said:
    August 30, 2017 at 9:54 AM

    Wonderful review. I have this on to read and need to get to it. You have definitely pushed me to move it up my September TBR list.

    Liked by 1 person

    Cozynookbks said:
    August 30, 2017 at 2:55 PM

    Nice review. I saw this book on netgalley but hadn’t read any books by this author. Now I think I’ll have to keep a look out for her books.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      August 30, 2017 at 2:58 PM

      She’s prolific. And a very easy to read style. Definitely heck on Goodreads. This one is on NetGalley for free, you could try to win it.

      Liked by 1 person

    Touch My Spine Book Reviews said:
    September 17, 2017 at 9:50 AM

    Great Review TBR

    Liked by 1 person

    Alecia said:
    September 26, 2017 at 2:32 PM

    Sounds like an interesting book

    Liked by 1 person

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