43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Second Book,
This review is from: These Things Hidden (Paperback)In These Things Hidden, much like she did in The Weight of Silence, Heather Gudenkauf uses the relationships--and intimacy--of a family and a small town to weave a literary tale that feels so real you'd sear it has to at least be 'based on' a true story. Like, Gudenkauf's debut, however, These Things Hidden is completely fictional and completely amazing.
After five years in prison, Allison Glenn is being released. And going home to Linden Falls. Former perfect girl, Allison, now only college aged, isn't going home to her parents, though. Both her parents and her former friends want nothing to do with her anymore.
None of that helps her transition, but the only one Allison is actually concerned with contacting is her sister, Brynn. Brynn, the one who stayed behind while Allison went to jail and went through high school with all the gossip and the town's whispers. And she's the only one, besides Allison, who really knows what happened that night, the night whose events sent Allison to jail.
A secret being kept between two sisters is tearing them apart, but if it gets out it threatens to tear much more apart--including the life of a young child and his adoptive parents.
For almost half of the story I thought that These Things Hidden was going to lack the mystery that The Weight of Silence had that was such a fundamental part of my enjoyment of the story. When things did really begin to develop, however, I was very pleasantly surprised and loved what it added to the tale.
The way that Heather Gudenkauf focuses on familial relationships and then works those families together through their relationships/friendships in the town is really brilliantly done. Not only does it expertly involve all of the characters in a way that a lot of books only strive to do, but because everyone is connected like they are, it makes it feel like a real story, where people are connected that way.
I loved The Weight of Silence so much and had high expectations for this one and I have to say it very much met my expectations. Heather Gudenkauf is an author I will not only be eagerly anticipating more from, but one I will gladly recommend to other--including you!