Eva and Joseph, both off to Australia for seemingly different reasons, are destined to meet, but will the strong chemistry be enough to withstand the secrets they both hold? Monica McInerney takes us on a delightful journey with two people away from home and the realities of everyday living who find themselves drawn to each other and liking how things are going - until they are forced to face reality.
Eva Kennedy takes a vacation from her job in Dublin, and goes off for a holiday in Melbourne, Australia. She leaves following the end of a second-rate relationship and a proposition to mull over from her uncle. Uncle Ambrose owns the delicatessen where Eva works and wants her to think about taking over as he retires. She is going to stay with longtime friend Lainey, who has transplanted her Irish self in Melbourne. Once there, Lainey talks Eva into literally letting her hair down from her daily business-like plait and taking on the personality of “Niamh”—from her Celtic roots, pronounced “Nee-av”. “Niamh” is a sculptress and singer who has connections with celebrities the likes of Bono and Enya, in the two friends’ imagination. Unfortunately, someone isn’t careful what they wish for. Before we know it, Eva can’t shed the “Niamh” personality, and the game turns into quite a tangled web of delightfully decadent deceit.
Businessman Joseph Wheeler lives in London as a successful designer and owner of Wheeler Designs. He is off to Australia as a keynote speaker for a conference,then to follow up with a short vacation and search for a father he has never known. Quite by fortunate accidental encounters, Joseph and Eva meet and the sparks fly right away. Joseph,however, trying to relax in a friend’s T-shirt and jeans while he carries the new backpack he has designed, is mistaken for a backpacking traveler looking for work and his next meal. Joseph, now “Joe”,meets Eva, now “Niamh”, and their attraction is instant.
The humorous, tender, and oftentimes frustrating relationship takes off with neither having the right opportunity to tell the other about the “game” they are playing. Things escalate, as do their feelings for each other, and they’re heading for a crash landing if they can’t connect in time to reveal their secret before the other finds out from a different source. An emergency erupts and tears them apart, ending their vacations and possibly a lovely budding romance.
The puzzle pieces are there to be put together for Eva and Joseph if the timer doesn’t stop the game too soon. McInerney keeps one reading to the very end to find out if, and how, these two may or may not get together. Is there always a happy ending? Are things Upside Down Inside Out, or can they be set right? As I did, with much delight, one has to pick up this glorious summer fun read to find out. Fans of Sophie Kinsella, Jennifer Weiner, Helen Fielding, and Jennifer Crusie will find Monica McInerney’s Upside Down Inside Out’s Eva Kennedy rivalsthe likes of Bridget Jones, Cannie Shapiro and Becky Bloomwood.