These Things Hidden

Monday, January 17, 2011

Title: These Things Hidden
Author: Heather Gudenkauf
Pages: 352
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Mira (Harlequin)
Pub. Date: January 18 (or 25), 2011 (depending on where you look)

I wasn't sure what to expect when I went into this, especially since I hadn't read the author's debut, The Weight of Silence, but I was impressed with what I found to be a solid contemporary/women's fiction novel that had elements of suspense and definite mystery.

The narration switches among four people:
  • Allison -- Pretty much the main character; just got out of jail after 5 years (also 5 years early) for a horrendous crime that we learn more about throughout the book; is 21-years old and moving into a halfway house; used to be the "perfect" girl according to her parents and teachers, but now her parents have disowned her and everyone in town hates her.

  • Brynn -- Allison's sister; the crime has affected her too because everyone now knows her as that girl's sister; sister dynamic with Allison is complicated.

  • Claire -- Owner of the local bookstore, Bookends; has an adopted 5-year-old son, Joshua.

  • Charm -- Nursing student; likes to stop by the bookstore often; lives with an ex-stepfather because her mom doesn't do the parent job well.

But, you may have guessed it... all these women are connected more than they realize. It was fun trying to figure out how, because early on I couldn't see the connection at all. This book was full of secrets and surprises. Some things we are given a good idea about up front but we learn more through the course of the book, but other secrets were surprises for me. And at the end all "these things hidden" came spiraling together into a traumatic and tense moment of culmination. On top of that I was shocked at one thing and then cried which I completely was not expecting.

There was one, minor, logistical detail that I thought might make the story unplausible. I mean, it's possible but it just made me wonder. But other than that, I really got into this story that encompassed themes of secrets, sisters, families, and dependence on others.


Zibilee said...

This sounds like an excellent read, and now I am really curious about Allison and what she actually did to earn so much ire from the people around her! Great review! I am glad to hear that you liked this one! Your review was so persuasive that now I really need to read this one!

Melissa said...

I am a huge fan of The Weight of Silence! I've been looking out for reviews of this one just to kind of see what people are thinking. Great review!

Jenny said...

Heather: It's funny that you feel persuaded to read this because when I looked over the review later I felt like I didn't say very much but couldn't figure out what else TO say, lol! I'm glad it worked though. This was a quick, easy read for me but I really enjoyed it.

Melissa: I haven't read that one but I heard so many good things about it and I can only assume her writing style is the same, so I really think you'll like this one!

Shooting Stars Mag said...

I really want to read this one. I haven't heard the author's other book either, but it sounds like an interesting mystery!!


Tina said...

Im glad you liked it!! I got this one a awhile ago from the pub, but I have not made an inch towards maybe Ill have to move this one up the list.

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) said...

Sounds like a great read. I am regretting it a little that I didn't get a copy of it.

Jenny said...

Lauren: I was pretty much hooked the whole time!

Tina: Definitely! I want to see what you think!

Nicole: Do you have an e-reader? You can get it at netgalley still...

Jennifer said...

I'm in the middle of this now and I love it!!!

Michelle (Red Headed Book Child) said...

I didn't hear very good things about The Weight of SIlence but my boss is reading this one now and she liked it too. Great review!

Thoughts of Joy said...

I don't try to figure out the path of a book, but this one just came to me, so it wasn't as suspenseful as I would have liked. I did really enjoy it, though. I have The Weight of Silence on my TBR shelf and look forward to it.

Marlene Detierro said...

This looks like something I might like; I usually like Picoult's novels and sister-sister relationships are also a favorite of mine. I will have to keep an eye out for it!

Marlene Detierro (Tactical Accessories)

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