The Underside of Joy
The Underside of Joy is a deft, brave and truthful novel of love, loss, family and what it really means to be a mother.
Ella Beene is 35 and for the last three years has been wife to Joe and mother to Annie and Zach. They met when she was newly divorced; alone and adrift and he was a struggling single Dad, it is a perfect fit, until the unthinkable happens and Joe is tragically killed. Now Paige, the children’s birth mother has retuned and she wants her children back. What Paige doesn’t realise is that Ella loves her children as fiercely as if they were own. A heartbreaking custody battle develops but this not a conventional tale of right and wrong rather it is a wonderful exploration of the many ways there are to be a mother.
Halverson’s tight and seamless plot and heart wrenching story will entrance and delight fans of Douglas Kennedy and Anita Shreve but her light touch and warm characters will also appeal to fans of Jodi Picoult and Adriana Trigiani.