Thursday, August 07, 2008

BOOK REVIEW: Upside Down Inside Out by Monica McInerney

Eva Kennedy started working in her uncle’s Dublin delicatessen to help out her family, but what began as a helpful gesture led to the abandonment of her artistic aspirations. Now her uncle is looking to retire and has offered her the opportunity to take over the shop. Eva’s in a panic- can she handle the responsibility and, if she accepts, does that mean she’s given up her dreams of being an artist forever?

When she finds out that her boyfriend Dermot was only taking her out in an effort to buy her uncle’s shop, Eva makes a snap decision which takes her to Melbourne, Australia to visit her old friend Lainey. While there she meets Joseph Wheeler and the sparks immediately fly. Unfortunately Lainey introduced Eva at a party as Niamh, a famous Irish singer and artist, and Joseph, who in reality is a famous London designer, is incognito as a British backpacker. With so much confusion can they trust the feeling that they are falling for each other and can they turn a holiday romance turn into something real?

It must be stated at the outset that the plot of Upside Down Inside Out is thoroughly implausible. Once readers accept that this novel falls into the category of “summer read” (fun, light reading), belief can be suspended and the novel enjoyed for the charming story it is, rather than beating it up for its weaknesses. Monica McInerney has created memorable characters in Eva and Joseph and set them within a wonderfully paced story. These flawed yet lovable characters will quickly capture the heart of readers.

Upside Down Inside Out bears many of the characteristics of an author’s early novel; underdeveloped, stereotypical secondary characters, subplots handled with a heavy hand, and uneven pacing near the novel’s end as McInerney tries to tie up plot points too quickly. Despite these flaws, McInerney’s talent with words is evident and she crafts some delightful scenes.

ISBN10: 0345506243
ISBN13: 9780345506245

Trade Paperback
362 Pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: June 24, 2008
Author website:


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