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These Things Hidden Paperback – January 18, 2011
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Everything We Keep: A Novel
On the day of her wedding, she buried her fiancé—and unearthed shocking secrets. Learn More
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From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is written in alternating viewpoints between four different women all linked in some way to a little boy named Joshua. Each woman wants to ensure Joshua is safe and taken care if, even if they have different ideas and motives driving them.
The book begins with Allison being released from prison. She committed an unforgivable crime, the nature of which we don't learn until later in the book. Every bit of Allison's past is revealed at the perfect moment. Her story is traumatically heart-wrenching and you can't help but feel for her while at the same time hating her actions.
The story is scarily realistic for the world we live in today. Bad choices ruin lives. Good choices can just as easily take their toll. Love for family and the secrets we keep can lead down a road we aren't prepared to travel. These Things Hidden is a moving, beautifully written, absolutely compelling novel you won't want to miss.
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.Read more ›
This book alternates characters. We go to know Allison, the center of it all and the one who just got out of prison. We get to know her sister Brynn who is having a hard time dealing with her past, and her life in general. We get to know Charm who takes care of her stepfather as he dies and is going to school to be a nurse. Then we get to know Claire, the mother who adopted beautiful Joshua. We don't know how they all connect but as the story goes on we make connections. At times we assume things or put the puzzle together only to find out that the pieces don't fit.
A little past the middle I thought it was all figured out. I wondered why the author let us know everything already and wondered if it was all going to just take a bit to wrap up. But nope~ we don't know everything. There is still so much more to the story and it is one crazy emotional ride!
Through the first half of the book I was really liking it. I was thinking it was a 4 star book. It was easy to read and hard to put down. The mystery was intriguing and the characters were interesting. But it was just past the middle that I realized that it was an amazing story. It went from being really good to unbelievably good. I couldn't put the book down. I locked myself in the bathroom to avoid interruptions and flew through the book. I couldn't stop reading! The book is 400 pages, but I flew through it like it was 200.
This is an adult book, but I would say it's definitely appropriate for older young adults or young adults used to reading adult books.
I bought this book for an upcoming book club meeting, and was irked and annoyed the whole way through. It was the quickest book I have read in ages, because the language is very, very simple and unchallenging. I really enjoy the use of rich language in a book, so that was one let down. I felt the story was also lacking essential background information and detail. Every chapter switched perspective of the narrator, which is often fun, but the chapters would also switch from first to third person sporadically. One chapter from the perspective of Allison would start with, "Allison walked into the bookstore that day," and another about her would start with, "I didn't know what to expect when I walked into the bookstore that day." I found this very disorganized feeling and sloppy in style.
I was also left wanting to know SO MUCH MORE about the characters' emotional experiences and thoughts. For a book that was constructed around a very interesting and controversial scenario, much more detail was needed. It felt flat and emotionally lacking. The character of Allison was a painfully underdeveloped given her extremely complex situation- I kept thinking, 'is THIS all she feels???'. It felt false. The character of Claire was disgustingly codependent, inappropriately immeshed and emotionally incestuous with her weakling, grossly over-coddled adopted little boy, but I felt like the only one who noticed her obnoxious obsession with the child? I didn't feel satisfied and was let down by the read after reading such rave reviews.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book kept me hooked from the moment I picked it up! I would highly recommend any of her work!!Published 22 days ago by Alexandria
Great story! Just as taboos started to slow down, the author throws in an awesome shocking surprise! This book is thrilling and can relate to a lot of individuals.Published 2 months ago by Nicole
Unexpected ending. This book shows the love sisters have for each other and how as teenagers they react to issues without really thinking on the consequences.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Amazing book! I personally love Heather Gudenkauf. I actually reread this book and forgot what happened. As I was reading it, I was so engrossed in it. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Sam
I always enjoy Heather Gudenkauf's books. This one was no exception. Her characters come alive and I loved the short chapters going back and forth between characters. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Gerjer
This book is incredibly well written and keeps you on the edge of your seat, like all Heather Gudenkauf books. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Heather Lawrence
good story. good "beach read" however disappointment at the lack of discussion about mental illness, dressing and suicide. fed into a stereotype versus helping break it down.Published 5 months ago by Paraeng