Sunday, 1 August 2021

Book Review: The Other Side of Beautiful by Kim Lock

The Other Side of Beautiful
Kim Lock
What happens when fate says 'go'?
Publisher: Harlequin Enterprises Australia
Imprint: HQ - Fiction

Publication date: 7th July 2021

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Pages: 368

RRP: $29.99AUD

Format read: Paperback

Source: Courtesy of the publisher

About the book
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 now.

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...
My review
In The Other Side of Beautiful Kim Lock takes the reader on a journey. Not only a vividly described journey by land from Spalding, South Australia to Darwin, Northern Territory (over 3000 kms) but also a journey of self discovery.
The reader takes this eventful ride right along side Mercy and her pet dachshund, Wasabi.
Inspired by the author's own experience with acute anxiety Mercy Blain is a true to life character and her crushing fear felt very real.
The Other Side of Beautiful shows how a series of tragedies, one after another, can trigger anxiety and lead to a breakdown. How easy would it be to just hide in your house! That's exactly what Mercy has been doing for the last two years and the book opens with Mercy's home burning to the ground.
This all sounds a bit depressing but the story isn't at all depressing as Kim Lock has sprinkled the storyline with humour and quite a few scenes had me laughing out loud. We get to cheer Mercy on as she fights her irrational dread and wild imagination and starts a trip, a bit by accident and a bit on purpose, to prove to herself that she is more than her fear.
Along the way she will face quite a few dramas, some mini meltdowns, an old nemesis and make new friends.
The Other Side of Beautiful is rich in humour and vivid imagery of outback  Australian roads, towns and landscapes. This is a sensitive, honest, insightful and heartfelt story, not to be missed.
5 / 5  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
About the author
Credit: Goodreads

Kim Lock is an internationally published author of four novels. Her writing has also appeared in Kill Your Darlings, The Guardian, Daily Life and The Sydney Morning Herald online, among others. She lives in regional South Australia with her family.
 Challenges Entered: Australian Women Writers Challenge AWW2021
                                   Aussie Author Challenge #Aussieauthor21


  1. Oh, I loved this one! Five stars from me too, one of my best reads of the year.

  2. great review! i absolutely adored this book.