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The Other Side of Beautiful by Kym Lock

“A panic attack was her body preparing to run for its life. Digestion halted, all rational cognitive function ceased and she became a helpless passenger in a runaway body.” ~ Kym Lock.

A couple of years ago I read The Other Side of Beautiful by Kim Lock. I was hooked from the first page. Kym beautifully captures the essence of healing, self-discovery, and the courage to rebuild one’s life.  Set against the vibrant and rugged backdrop of Australia, this book follows the journey of Mercy Blain, a woman who is forced to confront her fears and rediscover herself after a series of life-altering events.

Kim’s portrayal of Mercy’s anxiety is sensitive and realistic, making her struggles deeply relatable. The story balances moments of introspection with light-hearted, often humorous encounters, creating an engaging read.

The Plot

Mercy Blain is living a reclusive life, confined by her overwhelming anxiety and fear of the outside world. The traumatic fire that destroys her home becomes a catalyst for change, forcing her to leave the safety of her self-imposed isolation. With nothing left to lose, Mercy embarks on an impromptu road trip from Adelaide to Darwin in a beat-up old van with only her dachshund, Wasabi, for company.

Throughout her journey, Mercy encounters an array of characters, each with their own stories and struggles. These interactions, along with the vast and varied landscapes of Australia, serve as a backdrop for Mercy’s internal journey towards healing and self-acceptance. As she drives through the outback, she slowly begins to confront her past traumas, understand her fears, and rediscover the parts of herself she had long buried.

The Message

♥ Healing and Self-Discovery

The novel beautifully portrays the process of healing from trauma, and the importance of stepping out of one’s comfort zone. Mercy’s journey is both physical and emotional, highlighting the intertwined nature of inner and outer exploration.

♥ Facing Fears 

Mercy’s road trip symbolizes the courage and resilience to move forward despite anxiety and uncertainties. Her gradual transformation is both realistic and inspiring.

♥ Community and Connection

Through her interactions with strangers, Mercy learns the value of human connection and the support that comes from unexpected places. The kindness of the people she meets on her journey helps her to slowly rebuild her trust in others and in herself.

“There is beauty in the journey of self-acceptance”. ~ Kym Lock.

The Other Side of Beautiful is a touching and hopeful story about the journey to self-acceptance and the power of facing one’s fears. Kim has crafted a compelling story with a relatable character whose path to healing will resonate with many of you. This novel is a reminder that even in the midst of life’s chaos and beauty, hope can be found on the other side.

Whether you are looking for a story of personal growth, an exploration of mental health, or simply a heartwarming journey through the Australian landscape, The Other Side of Beautiful offers a fulfilling and enriching read.

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