Upside Down Inside Out

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Upside Down Inside Out

Eva Kennedy is a shop assistant in her uncle’s deli.  She started there part time while she attended art school part time. It worked well for everyone.  About three years into that arrangement her uncle’s wife dies and Eva is needed full time in the shop which she doesn’t hesitate to do.  Now, after seven years of working in the deli, she wonders if this is going to be her life.  Just prior to going on vacation to New York with her boyfriend, Eva’s uncle asks her to think about taking over the shop so he can retire.  With this big decision, Eva goes to meet her boyfriend and finds out that he is only interested in the shop and its location and not her at all.  With two weeks vacation coming up and nowhere to go, Eva decides to visit her best friend in Australia.
Lainey and her family use to live in Ireland in the same small village Eva grew up in.  Eva and her were best friends and did everything together.  When the girls were 15, Lainey’s family moved to Australia.  She been back to Ireland twice to see Eva though the last time ended on a bad note.  She’s thrilled Eva is coming to visit.  Once Eva is there though, Lainey makes up a whole different life for Eva.  Eva’s name is now Niamh.  She’s a world famous sculptor and sings backup for famous Irish singers.  It started as a joke but suddenly Eva can’t seem to get the truth out.
Joseph Wheeler is an industrial designer.  He has a large office complex, several designers that work under him and lots of paperwork and meetings.  He seldom gets to design any more and it’s been years since he’s had a vacation.  He has no love life and his social life has taken on business overtones.   Currently, he has a contract with a company in Canada he has to make a decision on and a conference in Australia where he is the guest speaker.  He’s decided to take some time off while he’s there.  Somehow he’s mistaken for a backpacker working his way around Australia and meets Eva at a party. 
Now, Eva and Joseph are living lives that they don’t really have while trying to get to know each other.  They enjoy each others company but wonder if the other will still be there when they know the truth.  With each having secrets that they are not willing to share, will they be able to stay together or will it be too much?
These characters are fairly well developed.  Their families make appearances in this book as well as friends.  Each of these people bring another perspective of the character besides just the characters’ actions and words.  Joseph has a very loving relationship with his mother and enjoys meeting her for meals.  Eva’s uncle has faith in her and thinks she is ready to take over the deli and bring it into the 21st century.  Their families are supportive and allow their children to grow but not leave their roots.
The storyline is believable.  It was easy to see how the lie of who Eva and Joseph really were back home could develop into something that wasn’t easily explained.  As each character got to know the other, these mistruths became less and less important.  Even the ending of the book, after Joseph and Eva make life changing decisions, makes perfect sense and gives a closure to their adventures.
This was a fun book to read.  There were many places that had a great touch of humor such as Joseph becoming a dishwasher.  There was also Eva’s fear of cats, even very small kittens and she’s left cat sitting Lainey’s kitten.  Humor touched just about everything Eva and Joseph did yet did not seem out of place or forced.  And a word of warning if you ever make Eva mad, don’t be drinking a Guinness with your cell phone nearby!

Book Blurb for Upside Down Inside Out

Ever been tempted to pretend you were someone exotic, someone adventurous … someone different?

Set in Ireland, England and Australia, this is the funny and heartwarming story of two people whose lives are about to turn upside down and inside out.

Eva is off to Australia on a break from her job in a Dublin delicatessen, hoping to forget a fizzled romance and find inspiration for a new career. Joseph is taking a holiday from his stressful London job.

Each is on a search for some answers about life.

Then something quite unexpected happens.

They meet each other.

Upside Down Inside Out is a novel about love, adventure, honesty and discovering that the person you’ve always wanted to be might just be the person you already are.


Night Owl Reviews Aug, 2008 3.50