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Look Inside | Reading Guide
Jun 24, 2008
| ISBN 9780345506245
Jun 24, 2008
| ISBN 9780345507143
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Jun 24, 2008 | ISBN 9780345506245
Jun 24, 2008 | ISBN 9780345507143
“Sparkling . . . it’s all systems go for a wonderful romance . . . a charming story told with large doses of love and humour.”–The Australian Women’s WeeklyEva Kennedy is in a rut. After seven years of working at her uncle’s Dublin delicatessen, her artistic aspirations have slipped by the wayside and her latest relationship has fizzled. Whatever happened to the Eva who was going to be someone? Hoping to shake things up and find inspiration, Eva takes a break and ventures to Melbourne, Australia, to visit her old friend Lainey, who, for fun, gives her an exciting new identity. Eva is now exotic and adventurous and . . . not herself.Joseph Wheeler is a successful London designer. Unfortunately his firm is thriving at such a high level that he doesn’t have time to actually design anymore. And his love life is nonexistent. In Australia on business, Joseph meets Eva, and the sparks fly–even as Eva is stuck pretending to be someone she’s not. Little does she know that Joseph has some secrets of his own. . . .When what starts as a holiday fling quickly blossoms into something more, Joseph and Eva discover that romance can turn life upside down and inside out at the bottom of the world. “The perfect holiday romp . . . A fresh and fun read that will win the attention of its readers for its warm and bubbly tone.”–Irish Tattler“There is a huge ‘aaahh’ factor in [Upside Down Inside Out].”–Irish Examiner“Refreshing . . . tongue-in-cheek fun.”–The Sun-Herald (Australia)
“Sparkling . . . it’s all systems go for a wonderful romance . . . a charming story told with large doses of love and humour.” –The Australian Women’s Weekly Eva Kennedy is in a rut. After seven years of working at her uncle’s Dublin delicatessen, her artistic aspirations have slipped by the wayside and her latest relationship has fizzled. Whatever happened to the Eva who was going to be someone? Hoping to shake things up and find inspiration, Eva takes a break and ventures to Melbourne, Australia, to visit her old friend Lainey, who, for fun, gives her an exciting new identity. Eva is now exotic and adventurous and . . . not herself. Joseph Wheeler is a successful London designer. Unfortunately his firm is thriving at such a high level that he doesn’t have time to actually design anymore. And his love life is nonexistent. In Australia on business, Joseph meets Eva, and the sparks fly–even as Eva is stuck pretending to be someone she’s not. Little does she know that Joseph has some secrets of his own. . . . When what starts as a holiday fling quickly blossoms into something more, Joseph and Eva discover that romance can turn life upside down and inside out at the bottom of the world. BONUS: This edition contains excerpts from Monica McInerney’s Lola’s Secret, At Home with the Templetons, The Faraday Girls, Family Baggage, The Alphabet Sisters, and Greetings from Somewhere Else.
International bestselling writer Monica McInerney is the award-winning author of many novels, short stories, and articles. She grew up in Australia, one of seven children, and has split her time between Australia and Ireland for more than 20 years. McInerney and her… More about Monica McInerney
A CONVERSATION WITH MONICA MCINERNEY Random House Reader’s Circle: What was the writing experience like for Upside Down Inside Out? Have your methods or approaches regarding writing changed over the years? Monica McInerney: With Upside Down Inside Out, I decided I wanted to follow two main characters, letting the reader in on both of their lives, watching them grow closer and closer, even as their lives and lies got more mixed up. I wrote it as it unfolds for the reader– layer on layer, switching back and forth between Eva and Joseph’s stories, and not sure myself until the end how and when Eva would tell the truth about herself, and also how she would learn the truth about Joseph. I still like to write that way, learning about the characters and their stories as I go along so no, I don’t think my writing methods have changed all that much from one book to the other. I’m also still just as interested in the layers of secrets and misunderstandings we humans surround ourselves with. I ﬁnd secrets, lies, mishaps, and misunderstandings make such wonderful material for ﬁction, especially set against a backdrop of a complicated family or a growing romance. RHRC: Eva and Lainey, while both delightful, compelling characters, are very different from each other. Do you see yourself in either of them? Or do your characters tend to be pure invention? MM: My characters’ emotions are deﬁnitely autobiographical. I’ve experienced all that Eva and Lainey go through: fear, happiness, jealousy, frustration, anger, love, hurt, misunderstandings, etc., but the actual events they go through in the novel are pure invention. RHRC: One of this novel’s main themes is seeking happiness–through work, love, travel, friendship–and it’s inspiring how both Eva and Joseph change their lives throughout the course of the narrative. Do you think it’s as possible in real life? MM: I do. I love the endless possibility of life, how one small step can set many other events in motion, how taking what seems like a big risk can sometimes bring so many wonderful and unexpected returns. RHRC: You so deftly and accurately portray the tension and jealousy Eva occasionally feels toward Lainey. Why do you think friendships between women are often so complicated? MM: Women invest a great deal in their friends, I think–particularly as young women, when we are still learning how we feel about so many big issues–career, relationships, families–while at the same time forming our own personalities. We “trial” many of our bigger feelings on our friends, wanting and expecting 100 percent loyalty and support and understanding alongside the fun and the laughter and the big nights out. That can mean wonderful, close relationships, but the stronger the bonds, the higher the expectations–and sometimes the bigger the disappointment if it all goes wrong. RHRC: You wonderfully evoke Ireland and Australia in the book, and are obviously able to do so because you’ve lived in both places. Is there one country you prefer over the other? What are your favorite haunts in each? Why is travel such an integral part of so many of your books? MM: I’m very glad, and fortunate, that I can think of both Australia and Ireland as “my” countries, though for the past six years, practically speaking, Ireland has been home. Poor Ireland gets bad press for its weather, but I have to confess it’s one of the things I love most about living here. I am a cold-weather girl, and the longer I’m away from Australia, the harder I ﬁnd the heat there. I love many things about both places– the space and the light of Australia, the history and quirkiness of Ireland. My favorite places in each constantly change–I love the mood and the liveliness of Melbourne, the ancient and beautiful Flinders Ranges of South Australia, and the big, empty beaches you can ﬁnd all around Australia. In Ireland, I especially love the wildness of County Donegal and also the unexpected treats of the Phoenix Park, with its open ﬁelds, deer, chestnut trees, and squirrels, right in the center of Dublin. All of my books have a strong focus on travel because I know from ﬁrsthand experience how it can change your life. I love the adventure and uncertainty of it, in real life and in ﬁction–taking a person out of their normal life and dropping them into new surroundings immediately creates all sorts of dramatic possibilities. RHRC: This novel has a sequel: Spin the Bottle. Did you write Upside Down Inside Out intending to follow some of the same characters in the next book, or was that a decision you made later? Do you ever consider borrowing characters from your previous novels for any of your future books? MM: About two-thirds of the way through writing Upside Down Inside Out, I decided that my next novel (which would become Spin the Bottle) would be a sequel. I found Lainey so intriguing that I wanted to know more about her. I also wanted to explore the Irish emigrants’ experience, how it feels to return home after years away from Ireland. Lainey and her family were the perfect candidates. I haven’t used any other recurring characters in my books since then, though wine from the Clare Valley (my hometown) does pop up in most of my books, even in just a passing reference. RHRC: Do you plan out the entire plots of your novels before you begin writing? Or do they get ﬁgured out as you go along? Is this difﬁcult if you have a logistically complex story such as Upside Down? MM: I have the scaffolding, or the skeleton, in place in my mind when I start writing, but once I start I’m often surprised by the twists and turns that appear and the directions in which the characters go, physically and emotionally. I felt like a puppeteer with Upside Down sometimes, making Eva and Joe do one thing ﬁrst, and then head in another direction soon after. It’s a very enjoyable feeling. RHRC: Reading your novels is like an escape: Readers can travel and fall in love vicariously. Is that your intent when you set out to write a novel, or does it vary for each book? What do you most want your readers to come away with after ﬁnishing Upside Down Inside Out? MM: I hope my readers feel like they’re right there with my characters, traveling, having adventures, making mistakes, falling in love, experiencing all the twists and roundabouts of life. It’s how I love to feel when I’m reading a book and it’s something I try hard to make happen with my own stories. I hope readers close the covers on Upside Down and feel like they’ve been on that journey with Eva and Joseph, and know that despite all the misunderstandings and mishaps, the two of them will be okay and that there’s been a rich and satisfying end to their story. And of course, if my readers really want to ﬁnd out what happens next, they can also read Spin the Bottle! RHRC: Are you working on a new book? MM: Yes, I’m in the early “thinking” stage of my next novel. It means I’m doing lots of daydreaming about plots, collecting possible names for characters, deciding on locations, and soon the research and writing will begin too.
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