The other side of beautiful

book review

The other side
of beautiful

written by
kim lock
review by
todd kuchel

The other side of beautiful is an intriguing break-out novel about a woman who must endure the aftermath of losing her home to a fire.

For Mercy Blain, with nothing left but the clothes on her back and a Dachshund named Wasabi, the tragedy is made all the more disastrous by the fact that she had not stepped foot outside her walls for two years!

With no choice but to accept her ex, though not yet divorced, husband, Eugene’s offer to live temporarily at his home, Mercy battles with the challenges that lie ahead amongst murmured complaints from Eugene’s new boyfriend.

Passing her days inside Eugene’s spare bedroom, Mercy recognises an old man placing a ‘For Sale’ sign on a Daihatsu Hijet van across the street.

The escalading living situation worsens, and with the words, “She has to go!” Mercy builds up the courage to enquire about the van.

Convinced by the solitary and inexpensive living arrangements of a vehicle fitted with a gas-ring stove, little cabinets and a foam bed, Mercy purchased the Daihatsu.

With no intention to venture beyond her ruined home, Mercy returned to the charred remains, only to find the aftermath far more distressing than she had imagined.

The next morning, Mercy woke, started the Daihatsu and headed north, embarking on a reluctant journey from Adelaide to Darwin with the Dachshund Wasabi as her only companion.

With each moment, bringing new obstacles, Mercy is forced to persist through panic attacks and breakdowns as she learns to manage her anxiety and embrace life head on. 

As Mercy passes through towns, familiar to us all, we read of her encounters with grey nomads and townsfolk that share such similarities to living individuals that I couldn’t help but laugh out loud.

Although I favour stories of journey and adventure, I was eager to read Kim’s latest work. Her books are always unique and cleverly written.

Kim Lock is an internationally published author of four fantastically unique novels, living right here among us in regional South Australia.

What took me by surprise was that this book is in fact an adventure, and a likely one.

Kim has brilliantly channelled her own experiences with mental health into creating an entertaining adventure of trials and accomplishment that takes us up through the centre of Australia, on a journey she took herself ten years ago.

In a world where anxiety has become an accepted, everyday part of life, this is a brilliant story that ensures us of our ability as human beings.

The perfect read for anyone seeking comfort and adventure.

Available now from Ravens Parlour in Tanunda.

Todd Kuchell

contributor // The barossa mag
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