Book review by Sylvia Cooling – The Other Side of Beautiful

The other side of beautiful by Kim Lock

Reserve this book now.

I picked up this novel by Australian author Kim Lock purely to push myself beyond my comfort zone and read something different to what I would normally.

Little did I know I would be relating, on some level, to the personal struggles of the main character.

We meet Mercy Blain just as her house is burning down. For Mercy, whose home has been her sanctuary from the outside world for the past two years, this goes beyond the disaster that it is.

The only place she has left to go is her not-quite ex-husband’s house. Unable to stay here, Mercy makes the sudden decision to buy a tiny old campervan that has Home is wherever you ARE painted on it.

With no supplies and no idea of how to purchase what she needs, Mercy sets off with her sausage dog on an unplanned journey that becomes one of healing.

As she travels from Adelaide to Darwin we learn of the circumstances that have led to Mercy’s anxiety-fuelled fragility.

Interactions with grey nomads and a known adversary ensue, causing Mercy to question her decision to leave Adelaide.

But through the kindness of strangers and facing her greatest fears, Mercy begins to find herself. She learns to be in the present and enjoy each moment for what it truly is.

It is at times touching, amusing and heartfelt. This is a story of love, loss, grief, hope and mental health. It is about breaking and the determination to bring yourself back together.

I give it 5 stars.

Reviewed by Sylvia Cooling – Coordinator Programs and Events

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