Thursday, February 9, 2012
The Underside of Joy by Sere' Prince Halverson
The story of Ella Beene and her seemingly perfect life tipped upside down by tragedy, it is the type of book that raises questions, plants options in your mind and well and truly gets you thinking about what ifs and buts.
One day the Stepmother to two children whose father had been deserted by his wife and left to cope, the next a widow holding a funeral to which an unexpected guest arrives. What happens to a family confronted with a multitude of issues, what side should they take,should contact with the children be their sole motivation? What is loyalty and how do you enact it, do we really ever know the truth about someone we love, does everything have a price and is their always a winner and a loser or can resolution take place and can the best interests of the most vulnerable be put first.
There are a number of themes introduced by the author and the each dovetail into the story in a way that develops the characters and their backgrounds and adds in the necessary strokes of colour that keep this book humming along.
I also think that they author did a really good job of introducing the idea of permanency in life, what is there one day may not be there the next, her characters were defined with a warmth and a realism and I particularly liked her use of guilt and anger/ fairness and unfairness, I thought she did a very realistic job especially in situations where the characters snap as a result of finding themselves in a position they don`t like, most of us would react the exact same way. The book never lost its humour,it was a very satisfying read.
This book is released in Trade Paper back in New Zealand this month and it is also available via the library.