Tuesday 5 April 2016

BLOG TOUR ~ Somewhere Inside of Happy by Anna McPartlin ~ My Life In Books

'And just like that my boy was gone.'
Maisie Bean is a fighter. A survivor. Seventeen years ago, she went on a first date that went so badly it was enough to put the girl off chips. The marriage that followed was hell, but it gave her two children: funny, caring Jeremy and bullish but brilliant Valerie.
Just as it seems everything might finally start going right, sixteen-year-old Jeremy goes missing. The police descend and a media storm swirls, over five days of searching that hurtle towards an inevitable, terrible conclusion.
Maisie is facing another fight, and this time it's the fight of her life. But she's a survivor. Whatever the odds, she'll never give in. 

Welcome to the BLOG TOUR for Somewhere Inside of Happy by Anna McPartlin, published by Transworld on 7 April 2016.

I'm so thrilled to welcome Anna McPartlin to Random Things today.

Every year I do a round up of my top reads of the previous twelve months.

In 2015 Anna McPartlin's books featured twice on that list. I read and reviewed The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes at the beginning of the year, and her latest book, Somewhere Inside of Happy at the very end of 2015.

I adored both of those books, here's a link to my review of Somewhere Inside of Happy

"Somewhere Inside of Happy is warm, often funny, emotionally draining and quite heartbreaking.

My Life in Books is an occasional feature on Random Things Through My Letterbox
I've invited authors to share with us a list of books that are special to them and have made a lasting impression on their life.

My Life in Books ~ Anna McPartlin

The Famous Five by Enid Blyton   All 21 of them!  Julian, Dick, Anne, George and Timmy The Dog felt like extended family. I started reading the books when I was seven. Every Saturday my mom would take me to McDonalds for my lunch and buy me a book. I'd disappear into my room and emerge bleary-eyed on Monday morning. I'd spend my time willing the week to pass quickly so that I could get my furry little paws on the next one.

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 3/4 by Sue Townsend   It was probably the first comedic fiction I'd read and I just fell in love with it. Adrian's great love of Pandora and his agonizing over his age, spots and the demise of his parent's marriage all ring so incredibly real and true. The poems he submitted to the BBC and his descriptions of puberty made me laugh out loud but it also gave me an insight into my own psyche and that of all the stroppy teens around me. I was hooked.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S Thompson  I was 17 when I read it and it blew my mind. My mood and emotion would change from moment to moment and chapter to chapter. Fear turned into laughter turned to disgust turned to abject horror and around and around it went until I was exhausted and a little terrified of life. When I'd finished I felt grown up, like I'd been given a glimpse behind the curtain separating kids from adults. I cherish it for that reason but I've never read it again and I've never watched the film. I think that book was the right book at the right time and that is where I'll leave it.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte  I fell for Jane's strength and admired her courage and convictions. She was a woman before her time and someone to be reckoned with. I will admit I am possibly one of the few that really lamented her marrying that Rochester man. I never liked him. I thought she deserved better. I really was hoping she'd run off to India under the guise of St. John's sister. I wanted adventure for her and not some ordinary marriage but it didn't stop me from loving her.

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens  Was the first book I read for school that I just couldn't put down. We were supposed to read two chapters a night for a number of weeks. I read it in two days. Pip's relationships with Miss Haversham, Stella and the convict were so raw, complicated and brilliant.

The Color Purple by Alice Walker  I can honestly say I loved and hated it in equal parts. I cried with temper for Celie and was absolutely heartbroken for Sofia. The sexism and racism haunted me. I had nightmares reading this book and it took a long time to complete it. The injustice burned a hole in me. It still does. I can still feel my temper flare when I think of what those cherished characters endured. I can honestly say it fundamentally changed how I viewed the world. It made me an unapologetic feminist and torch-bearer for equal rights.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes  My mother was wheelchair bound. Jojo's description of Will's frustration, his pain and suffering hit me hard and yet I laughed my ass off. It's unforgettable and the last book I read before I wrote The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes so it has a special little place in my heart.

The Barrytown Trilogy by Roddy Doyle  I read it whilst in hospital following a car accident. I laughed so hard the nurses used to come in to ask me what was going on. I'd read passages out to them and we'd enjoy it together. These were the characters and stories that made me think for the first time that maybe I could write. They felt so familiar, like I could pick up a pen and keep writing them long after he was done with them.

The Woman Who Stole My Life by Marian Keyes  I read this on holiday last December and three months later I'm still laughing. Marian's the kind of writer you can quote. She's just has the best one-liners. She's so witty and her characters are warm and relatable. I want to be Stella Sweeney's friend. If I could pick five top characters of all time to have dinner with Stella would be one of them. I'm grinning now as I remember it.

I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron  I'm a Nora Ephron fan. She was a trailblazer and so dry and so funny. She had me at When Harry Met Sally it was such a brilliant movie and so iconic. In her book she writes about women aging and nothing is off limits. She's so candid, engaging and hilarious. She makes me laugh, she moves me but she also makes me feel more confident and leaves me with the feeling that no matter what, us ladies will be OK.

Anna McPartlin - April 2016

Anna McPartlin is a novelist and scriptwriter. Her previous incarnation as a stand up comedian left an indelible mark. She describes herself as a slave to the joke and finds humour and humanity in even the darkest situations.
Anna lives in Wicklow with her husband and animals.
The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes was a Richard and Judy selected title and a top ten bestseller in the UK and Ireland.

More information about Anna McPartlin can be found at her website www.annamcpartlin.com
Follow her on Twitter @annamcpartlin


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