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- The Underside of Joy By Sere Prince Halverson
Tuesday, 4 December 2012
Ella Beene found a family. A readymade one! She has an idyllic life with her husband and two step children who she loves as though they were her own. However, her world is shattered when her husband is killed and Ella has to fight to keep the step children she has cared for and been a mother to, for 3 years. And the battle is with Paige, their natural mother.
This is a story of love, loss, survival and family. Halverson explores the dynamics between a step mother and a birth mother and tackles issues such as grief, post-natal depression and psychosis.
The reader can almost feel Ella’s heart breaking with the huge burden she now carries. The love that Ella feels for her step children is almost tangible and she is an immensely likeable central character However, Paige is intriguing and the reader guiltily cares about her too.
Halverson has a writing style that draws the reader in and makes them care passionately about all the characters, including Paige. Ella and Paige are very strong women who are prepared to fight for the children they both desperately love. They are battle weary and have their own issues to overcome. Issues they are forced to explore during their fight for ‘their’ children.
Each woman claims she is the only one the children need. This is an excellent read set against a stunning backdrop and beautifully written. Highly recommended.
*This review was written for www.lovereading.co.uk and I received a free advanced reading copy of the book.