Seré Prince Halverson has written a story that has moments of joy coupled with those that will sear your heart. I can only guess that many of the feelings within can be felt by step parents at one time or another as the emotions felt so authentic. Halverson herself is a step parent and grew up with a mom and step mom which allows her to treat this subject matter with reality and care.
Ella Beene is headed nowhere after the dissolve of her marriage and the sadness and loss that preceded its end. She arrives in Elbow in Northern California and bumps into a man trying to manage two young children he has in tow. In the blink of any eye Ella finds a new home and life for herself.
Ella’s chance meeting with Joe Capozzi is a scene from a Lifetime TV movie. Neither were looking for the other, but had no idea just how much they needed each other. Joe’s first wife, Paige, had left him to care for their two young children, Annie and Zach. Ella stepped into the roles of wife and mother and in the process found herself home with a joyful life.
Fast forward three years Joe, an amateur photographer, on his way to his day job of running the family’s grocery store in town took an ill-fated detour. Joe went to the ocean to take some pictures and broke one of his own rules that resulted in his death. Grief stricken at the loss of her husband but knowing she has to be strong for her stepchildren, Annie and Zach, she continues on. But in this underside moment the past is reaching out to the present and all of this will impact their future.
Ella finds out that Joe was a dreamer in so many ways and did not in dot the is or cross the ts in so many essential matters. Ella did not know the details of her husband’s past and even some of the realities of the present. And now things are a mess with her precious step children, the family business and Ella’s life.
Soon she is pulled from all angles and in the fight of her life for the things that bring her joy. Ella is able to secure joy but just as in life this is not how things end. Once again Ella is plunged into the “underside of joy” by her actions and her sense of doing the right thing.
Special thanks to @KMSPR for providing me with this book that touched my heart. To learn more about this author and the book visit Seré Prince Halverson’s website: http://sereprincehalverson.com/. THE UNDERSIDE OF JOY is available for purchase at: