What happens when fate says 'go'? Lost & Found meets The Rosie Project in a stunning break-out novel where a vulnerable misfit is forced to re-engage with the world, despite her best efforts.
Meet Mercy Blain, whose house has just burnt down. Unfortunately for Mercy, this goes beyond the disaster it would be for most people: she hasn't been outside that house for two years.
Flung out into the world she's been studiously ignoring, Mercy goes to the only place she can: her not-quite-ex-husband Eugene's house. But it turns out she can't stay there either.
And so begins Mercy's unwilling journey. After the chance purchase of a cult classic campervan (read tiny, old and smelly), with the company of her sausage dog, Wasabi, and a mysterious box of cremated remains, Mercy heads north from Adelaide to Darwin.
On the road, through badly timed breakdowns, gregarious troupes of grey nomads, and run-ins with a rogue adversary, Mercy's carefully constructed walls start crumbling. But what was Mercy hiding from in her house? And why is Eugene desperate to have her back in the city? They say you can't run forever...
Exquisite, tender and wry, this is a break-out novel about facing anxiety and embracing life from an extraordinary new talent.
'Tender, funny and quietly profound, The Other Side of Beautiful is a breath of fresh air.' - The Sunday Times
'A colourful, engaging story of escape and road-trip adventure ... also compellingly cinematic and features an endearing narrator-heroine with plenty of meaty real-world troubles.' - Sydney Morning Herald
'An engaging story about second chances and a life changing road trip ... a heart-warming story.' - Canberra Weekly magazine
'Mercy Blain is a character you find yourself cheering on. Kim Lock mixes the transformative journey of Alice Hart with the quirkiness of Eleanor Oliphant in this story about embracing life, even when it threatens to overwhelm you' - Tricia Stringer, bestselling author of The Family Inheritance
'Mercy Blain is an unforgettable character who will capture your heart from the first pages and hold it through until the end. Her madcap journey towards forgiveness - of herself and others - is moving and funny and all other good things that will make you want to keep reading and make you sad when your time with Mercy comes to an end.' - Sophie Green, bestselling author of The Shelly Bay Ladies Swimming Circle
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
A quirky, heartening novel about the painful path to sorting out one’s mental health, The Other Side of Beautiful follows its unforgettable narrator through the centre of Australia. When we first meet Dr Mercy Blain, she is so panic stricken that it’s been two years since she left her house—which has just burnt to the ground. Her ex has moved on, while she’s still nursing trauma from a work-related tragedy. Accompanied by her sausage dog Wasabi, Mercy embarks on an outback road trip of self-discovery. Fans of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine will especially love this sprawling, painfully funny tale.
I loved this book. Refreshingly original.
Thanks Kim, great book, great story, I read it in less than a day. You are very talented.
Best book I have read in a while. Beautiful descriptions of central Australia, grief, anxiety and being lost.