BlogHer Book Club Present The Underside of Joy

The one word that I would use to describe this book is beautiful. Sere Prince Halverson did such a wonderful job with the writing and the imagery of Elbow that I was ready to buy a home. Within the first pages I was so attached to Ella and her extended family that I wanted to be part of the group. While the story definitely pulls at your heart strings you definitely learn the power of love through the bonds of a family. As a debut novel, I cannot wait to see what else this author has in store!

The many trials that Ella Beene goes through shows us that life never throws us more than we can handle, it just in the way that we look at it. Sere Prince Halverson shows us through many interweaving story lines that every action in life is affected by our previous choices. Sometimes those choices are hard but they are necessary. There were so many details in Ella’s early life that affected how she parented her two step children, Annie and Zach. We are shown clips of Ella’s childhood and the loss of her own father to her first marriage and finally the loss of her second husband. All of these pieces of her life help her to make some very tough and very final choices.

While I love the story of Ella Beene and her great and growing life and business, I am glad that the author left it the way she did, allowing us as the reader to imagine how amazing their life will become. Such an amazing story with a nearly fairy tale ending!

This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own

3 thoughts on “BlogHer Book Club Present The Underside of Joy

  1. There is something in the way Ella Beene wears her heart on her sleeve that it just does the readers’ hearts good. Ella is the red-haired, nature-loving woman, who one day finds herself a family when she makes a stop in the town of Elbow. But three years later and just as unexpectedly, her happy life changes when her husband, Joe, dies in a freak accident, leaving her in charge of his foundering family business and a custody battle for his two young children.”The Underside of Joy” is a book with an emotional punch. Author Seré Prince Halverson’s storytelling is straightforward, crystalline and effective. The story and the characters draw you in and shamelessly tug at your heartstrings–and you won’t mind that at all. You will relish as Ella does the small intimate moments with the kids. You will feel the same lurch Ella feels in her stomach as she wonders what Paige (the biological mother) is up to when she, unannounced, shows up at Joe’s funeral, three years after she had walked out on him and the children.What I have enjoyed the most about “The Underside of Joy”, however, is Ms. Halverson’s empathy for both Ella and Paige. It would have been easy to stereotype the stepmother or the mother but instead, the author reminds readers that love knows no titles and that there are two sides to a story and often, an invisible wall of hurts and wounds (real or imagined) separating both.

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