Book Review – UPSIDE DOWN INSIDE OUT by Monica McInerney

Upside Down Inside Out Synopsis

Upside Down Inside Out by Monica McInerney

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 non-existent.

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 Nile)


I was in the mood for chick lit when I picked this one from my library’s online audio catalogue.

The Irish female protagonist Eva, although initially very endearing (what Irish gal isn’t?), grated on me after while – slightly too much melodrama for my taste from an intelligent woman supposedly around my own age. The idea of literally pretending to be someone else also did not sit well with me. However, as the underlying premise of the story is the exploration of ‘what part we choose to play in life versus who we really are’, I do understand that being an obvious story element.

Audio narrator Melissa Eccleston’s voice was crisp and clear, a pleasure to listen to. But at over 10 hours, this audio book, or more pointedly the novel underlying it (480 pages), was longer than the story warranted.

Monica McInerney’s Upside Down Inside Out is super sweet and charming but not one for the impatient.

What I was pleasantly surprised at though is, unlike your run-of-the-mill chick lit, I actually found myself barracking for the male lead. Was that the author’s intention?

I thought Monica McInerney did a splendid, if not better  job of developing Eva’s male counterpart Joseph. Joseph’s back story was grittier and had much more depth. His troubles seemed quite realistic to me compared to Eva’s often self-inflicted predicaments. Put simply, I associated with Joseph’s character much more than the intended protagonist.

McInerney’s beautiful and realistic descriptions of both Australia and Ireland added something special to this novel also.

Upside Down Inside Out is not for the impatient, but recommended for lovers of the Australian-Irish connection and those who like extra sugar with their chick lit.

BOOK RATING: The Story 3.5 / 5 ; The Writing 3.5 / 5

BOOK DETAILS:  Upside Down Inside Out (Audio – Booktopia); Upside Down Inside Out (The Nile – Australia); Upside Down Inside Out (Amazon)

Genre: Chick Lit, Romance, Humour, Audio

Author Information: Monica McInerney grew up in a family of seven children in the Clare Valley wine region of South Australia, where her father was the railway stationmaster and her mother worked in the local library. Since then Monica has lived all around Australia (in Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart) in Ireland (in County Meath and Dublin) and in London and also travelled widely.

She was a book publicist for ten years, working in Ireland and Australia and promoting authors such as Roald Dahl, Tim Winton, Edna O’Brien and Max Fatchen and events such as the Dublin International Writers’ Festival. Find out more about Monica and her publications at her official website.

– Watch the book trailer for McInerney’s latest release, Lola’s Secret

Other reviews of Upside Down Inside Out: The Independent ; The Australian Bookshelf ; Dear Author

Some of the other titles by Monica McInerney: Lola’s Secret, The Alphabet Sisters, Family Baggage, At Home With The Templetons, A Taste For It, All Together Now