The Underside of Joy by SerePrince Halverson

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“[An] exquisite debut . . . moving and hopeful.” –People Style Watch

To Ella Beene, happiness means living in the Northern California river town of Elbow, California, with her husband Joe and his two young children. But one summer day Joe drowns, leaving Ella alone with Annie and Zach—until his ex-wife, Paige, shows up at the funeral. For three years, Ella believed that Paige had selfishly abandoned her family. Yet—as the custody fight between mother and stepmother ensues—Ella realizes there may be more to the story than Joe ever revealed.

The Underside of Joy is not a fairy-tale version of step-motherhood, pitting good against evil, but a captivating story of two women who both claim to be the mother of the same two children.

About SerePrince Halverson

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SERÉ PRINCE HALVERSON lives in northern California and worked as a freelance copywriter for twenty years while she wrote fiction. She and her husband have four grown children. She is a mom and a stepmom, and grew up with a mom and a stepmom. This is her debut novel.
Published January 12, 2012 by Plume. 315 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Underside of Joy

Kirkus Reviews

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When Ella is suddenly widowed (Joe has drowned in a freak accident) she reacts as any young woman would—disbelief mixed with a frantic need to keep things normal for their two small children.

Jan 17 2012 | Read Full Review of The Underside of Joy

Publishers Weekly

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Fleeing a failed marriage, Ella Beene arrives in Elbow, Calif., where she meets Joe and his two children, abandoned four months ago by Paige, who suffered from postpartum depression.

Nov 14 2011 | Read Full Review of The Underside of Joy

Dallas News

Set aside a full evening to read Seré Prince Halverson’s first novel, the engrossing and keenly affectingThe Underside of Joy;

Jan 20 2012 | Read Full Review of The Underside of Joy

City Book Review

Paige had abandoned Joe and the children, and after Joe met Ella, the two fell in love, married quickly, and the young children took to her as their mother.

Mar 09 2012 | Read Full Review of The Underside of Joy

Chick Lit Central

She insists that she sent letters to Joe and the children - letters that Ella never saw.

Feb 10 2012 | Read Full Review of The Underside of Joy

North Jersey

If joy was a pool, there was a time when Ella Beene "did backflips in the deep end of happiness."

Jan 19 2012 | Read Full Review of The Underside of Joy

Shelf Awareness

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Dec 06 2011 | Read Full Review of The Underside of Joy

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