Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publication Date: July 18, 2017
Story Perspective: Third-Person
Themes: Family, Loss, Grieving, Love, Relationships, Discovering Oneself
This book was given for free, courtesy by NetGalley.
Nina’s whole has been very privileged and special to her. She feels stable and complete with her dear husband and two beautiful boys.
However, tragedy hits when Nina’s husband, Finn, gets into a car accident and doesn’t make it. Now, the protagonist must somehow survive without her husband and give her two children what they need. Unfortunately, it wasn’t just Finn that was taken away from her, but her stability, her livelihood…her home.
Forced to move out of her home, Nina finds herself in a small apartment with an upset teenage boy, Connor, and a confused and heartbroken ten-year-old, Declan. She has to find a way to live and support the two, but how can she when she hasn’t had to work in so long? She must now take control of her life, help her children through this enormous shift in their lives, and find happiness and comfort in their new lifestyle.
I want to start off by saying that I started this book some time last year, and had to stop because I became so disinterested in the storyline. However, since I’m trying to get through all of my NetGalley requests, I decided to pick it back up since I did get over halfway through and figured I could probably finish it fairly quickly.
That being said, there were aspects of the book I enjoyed, and some I didn’t. I found the whole concept very compelling. It’s got to be so earth-shattering when the life you’ve lived has come to a complete stop. Not only did Nina lose her husband, but she lost her livelihood and everything that she once thought to be necessary. Throw in a teenage boy and a younger one, then you got so many layers of stress that must be so hard to deal with.
The love found between Nina and her boys was absolutely charming and I loved the arc they all seem to make by the end. Most of it seemed realistic and very fitting to the storyline.
So what was wrong with the book? There were a number of slow chapters around the middle of the book to start with. Due to this being more character-driven than plot-driven, it makes sense that there will be some lull periods, however, as a reader who likes a balance of both character- and plot-driven storylines, it was extremely hard to continue caring about what was happening. This may sound a bit insensitive since life isn’t always exciting and sometimes can be sad, but there was just something about this big lull in the plot that was off-putting for me.
Another part that could have contributed to my not fully enjoying the story was the interaction Nina had with other people. Not only did I get rather tired of an exhausting yelling back and forth scene that happened toward the end, I also found her interactions with mostly everyone a bit unnatural. This, of course, could be because she has not had proper interactions with other adults too often when she was married. However, it was hard not to be bothered on how fake their conversations felt.
Overall, this was an “okay” read for me. It certainly wasn’t the worst book I’ve read, but it wasn’t the best either.
I would probably recommend The Art of Hiding to those who enjoy character-driven novels about a family whose life got turned upside down.
Was this a book of my choosing or one for review?
11 out of 50 books for review for 2018