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…
Lost & Found meets The Rosie Project in this stunning break-out novel from South Australian author Kim Lock. The novel follows Mercy Blain who, despite her best efforts, is forced to re-engage with the world. Mercy is a remarkable, yet slightly broken, character who I couldn’t help but fall in love with. Piece by piece, we learn how Mercy came to reach this point in her life where she struggles to undertake even the most mundane of tasks, such as entering a grocery store or stepping outside her front door. Through her portrayal of Mercy, Lock offers readers a poignant and realistic depiction of anxiety and mental illness and the debilitating effects it has on sufferers.
Filled with quirky, lovable characters, and set against the Australian outback, The Other Side of Beautiful blends a rollicking road trip adventure with a touching romance, and an incredible journey of self-discovery and second chances—of opening yourself up to new experiences and things.
If you’ve ever felt down-and-out, broken, or like you just want to hit the road, then this is the perfect book for you. Exquisite, tender and wry, this break-out novel about facing anxiety and embracing life firmly establishes Kim Lock as an extraordinary new talent and an author to keep an eye on.