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Looking for the next Eleanor Oliphant? Meet Mercy Blain.


About the book

Mercy Blain’s house has just burnt down. Unfortunately for Mercy, this goes beyond the disaster it would be for most people: she hasn’t been outside that house for two years now.

Flung out into the world she’s been studiously ignoring, Mercy goes to the only place she can. Her not-quite-ex-husband Eugene’s house. But it turns out she can’t stay there, either.

And so begins Mercy’s unwilling journey. After the chance purchase of a cult classic campervan (read: tiny, old and smelly), with the company of her sausage dog, Wasabi, and a mysterious box of cremated remains, Mercy heads north from Adelaide to Darwin.

On the road, through badly timed breakdowns, gregarious troupes of grey nomads, and run-ins with a rogue adversary, Mercy’s carefully constructed walls start crumbling. But what was Mercy hiding from in her house? And why is Eugene desperate to have her back in the city? They say you can’t run forever…

Exquisite, tender and wry, this is a break-out novel about facing anxiety and embracing life from an extraordinary new talent.


Real-life inspiration

Inspired by the author’s own experience of acute anxiety, Kim Lock opens readers’ eyes to how overwhelming the modern world can seem to many of us, making Mercy’s condition relatable and heartbreakingly understandable. Listen to Kim talk about The Other Side of Beautiful.


The praise has already begun

‘Mercy Blain is an unforgettable character who will capture your heart from the first pages and hold it through until the end.’
Sophie Green, bestselling author

‘Kim Lock mixes the transformative journey of Alice Hart with the quirkiness of Eleanor Oliphant in this heart-warming story about embracing life, even when it threatens to overwhelm you.’
Tricia Stringer, bestselling author


Book details

The Other Side of Beautiful by Kim Lock

Published 7 July 2021

9781867214908 | TPB | $29.99

HQ Fiction


Proof giveaway

We have 10 proofs of this heartfelt book to giveaway—email HarperCollins for your chance to receive one.




Contact us


Kelsey Oldham

Digital editor
Brad Jefferies

Acting editor, Daily
Matthia Dempsey

Editorial assistant
Anthea Yang

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