Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “claire-obscure” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.59  ·  Rating Details ·  122 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
Claire Caviness loves words and books. She wears vintage clothing and hides behind the camera lens and in the red light of her makeshift darkroom. She wants to be a writer but all she manages to write are letters to Virginia Woolf.

Lonely, unfulfilled, and envious of her best friend who has moved to Italy, Claire heads out to the same old club one night but takes a right tu
Nook, Nook, 276 pages
Published May 22nd 2011 by Billie Hinton, via Smashwords (first published August 21st 2010)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about claire-obscure, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about claire-obscure

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
May 26, 2013 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just finished 'claire-obscure' and I'm utterly spent. I had to reads passages through my fingers because I was worried about what might happen. There were so many twists and turns near the end even within the space of just a few paragraphs. I was certain something was about to happen or that a certain character was going to say something and then in a quick jerk I was pulled to something that a paragraph earlier I was sure wouldn't occur or be said or felt by the characters. I found myself say ...more
Rachel Cotterill
First, a warning: this is not a book for the faint of heart. It starts with rape that's described bluntly, though not graphically, and follows through the consequences in Claire's life.

I don't even know how to categorise this book; it's like nothing else I've ever read. It has a classic "chick lit" romance premise (one girl, two boys, a difficulty in choosing) but has nothing else in common with that genre. This may be the darkest book I've ever read, yet there's not a single scene that feels li
Kathleen Valentine
claire-obscure is both horrifying and mesmerizing and not for the feint of heart. It is the story of Claire, a lost young woman, who grew up in a bleak family situation, the only child of a cold, bitter mother and a father who was coming to the acceptance of his homosexuality. At 17 Claire is brutally raped and from that point on she lacks any sense of boundaries or self-regard. She is intelligent and lovely but utterly and completely lost. She dresses in vintage clothing from consignment shops, ...more
Jun 05, 2011 Naomi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book for the complexity of its' characters. This book reminds me of another book I read called Sherry and Narcotics, in which the main character had a naivety to her that you know isn't going to bode well for her on sooo many levels. This book had me on the edge of my seat and was even darker than what I had expected. Final GR Rating 4.5/5 Stars is my Amazon review: This book and author were recommended to me and I am so happy she was. This book was fantastic. If you read t
May 16, 2012 Saphrina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Claire – her name. Obscure – not clear - describes her. Her life. Her wants and desires. What she wants from Finn. He asked her to move in with him but they don’t share a bed. They don’t share their bodies. Does she want to? She doesn’t know. Her feelings toward him are obscure – not clear - and he’s not making it easy. He’s just as messed up as she is. Probably more so as you will learn.

Other parts of her life are obscure to her. Her father is gay. Her mother has never showed her affection. She
Lyn (Readinghearts)
Aug 24, 2011 Lyn (Readinghearts) rated it really liked it
Recommended to Lyn (Readinghearts) by: Sisterhood of the Traveling Book
When I read the synopsis of this book, I was expecting to read the typical mystery/thriller. Girl meets boys, boy is a murderer, girl and friends have to solve the murder. Boy was I wrong. This book is nothing ordinary. It is the very complex story of a very complex cast of characters. Sometimes I loved them, sometimes I hated them, sometimes I was just disappointed in them. But always I was intrigued by them.

I could tell right away that this book was going to be a dark one. At the halfway poin
Jul 20, 2012 Gaele rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
as copied from my Amazon review
Obscure, perhaps far too much so ...

I picked up the book simply because it looked far different from the norm - and I was drawn to the title. It took me nearly 3 weeks to finish this book of 260 or so pages. A record slow read for me. It didn't excite me to read it, I found the characters to be rather self-absorbed and mired within that self-proclaimed obscurity. Sad, because the premise of a girl/woman with a general dissatisfaction in her life and no real impetus
Jun 05, 2012 Rebecca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful and tragic. Not everyone will understand this tale which is at times difficult to read. But those with wounds that run deep will perhaps relate. and weep. Loved the word that she finally found in all her searching: cicatrice - the scar of a healed wound.

"I want to feel the ups and downs and passions of life without worrying that it's all too much. (...) I'm still a ways away, stuck outside the edges of the life I want to live and the person I want to be. What I know: every relationshi
Mar 23, 2012 Jean rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gr-authors, wowed-me
Claire is a fractured young woman and, as a result, she allows herself to be abused physically and mentally by men. This book is not for the squeamish as it is very graphic in places an in other parts, it's downright creepy.

I'm not usually one for abuse and weirdness but Billy Hinton presents an excellent story with, albiet, seriously mentally unbalanced characters,holds one's attention throughout.

I am left with a new respect for the saying: "People who hurt, hurt others." Wow! Lots of psycholog
Sarah (Workaday Reads)
May 31, 2011 Sarah (Workaday Reads) rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2012
This was a dark, depressing read. The story is quite heavy with a desperate feel to it. Even with this though, the ending had a glimmer of hope and the idea of overcoming darkness.

The characters were the biggest part of the story. Claire was frustrating, and at points I started to hate her. Finn was scary and dangerous, and was easy to hate. Raoul was the light of the story with his gentle understanding nature. He had his own dark side, he seemed much more controlled and “normal”.

While I didn’t
Jul 04, 2012 Sheila rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This book is almost difficult for me to describe. Claire is...Claire. She is young and troubled, and the hurt she inflicts upon herself will make you want to shake some sense into her. You want to scream out warnings, but all you can do is hang in there abed hope she comes to her senses. It was that deep emotional involvement in Claire that made me love this story so much. I felt as though I was a friend of Claire's...seeing this all happen and wanting to save her, but knowing that wisdom can on ...more
James Everington
Jan 22, 2012 James Everington rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book, and exceptionally well written. It's essentially a love-triangle story, although a complex, strange, and disturbing one. In its forensic depiction of emotional states and the dark side of love, it reminded me of some of Margaret Atwood's more realistic stories - high praise. I also liked the author's obvious love of words - the word definitions that headed chapters (which was in character for Claire) and the letters to Virginia Woolf were both great touches. One slight (and ...more
Jul 04, 2012 Karla rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Claire is a complex, dark and complicated young woman. This book was very difficult at times to read because the unpleasant and dark parts were very descriptive. This book made me sad, and uncomfortable. However, with that being said Billie Hinton did an amazing job in writing this tale and really getting you into the characters skin. I would recommend this book but I think you do have to be in the right mind frame to read it. Twisted, dark, wrong, depressing, sad, broken, empty, abused, violate ...more
Jun 21, 2011 Angela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very rarely does a book take me to a place where I feel as if I am part of the story. Emotionally I understood her relationships, I could feel her need and desires fulfilled by each man that became part of the story. To say I enjoyed the read would be an understatement. Ms. Hinton's descriptions of all aspects of the book were wonderful and detailed. Even though sexual actions played their part in this book, they played such a small part to the emotions of each character. I don't know that I wou ...more
D.S. Williams
Mar 17, 2014 D.S. Williams rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book - a unique story, filled with poetic writing which had a dream-like quality throughout. Billie Hinton has created characters that I found interesting and captivating to read. Although I couldn't understand Claire's obsessive need to remain with Finn, I remained emotionally invested in the characters throughout the story and had to keep reading to the end. All the characters were flawed in some way, and the author has given insight to the darker side of these people and why they ...more
Aug 31, 2012 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
WOW!! What a book!! I had never read a book by Billie Hinton, but I just loved this one! Claire really made me mad at some of the things she did and what she put up with, but I couldn't stop reading!! I had to know what was going to happen! At times, the book was very dark and I found myself holding my breath! What was she going to do next?? Make sure you read the sequel, Signs that Might be Omens to read more about Claire! Great job Billie!! I loved it!!
Jul 22, 2011 Vicki rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-reads, nook
Claire Obscure is a complex novel about Claire, who was raped on when she was 17, and the implications of this act on the rest of her life. This is definitely the kind of book you read, shaking your head, wondering what the character is thinking. I was inclined to finish to see if there was some sort of redemption for her character. I did find some scenes to be redundant and the constant circle of her life stilted the plot for me.

3.5 Stars overall for me.
Angelique Buckley
I don't think I would have finished this book if I had read it at any other point. The fact that it was the first one I started after the 50 Shades series is definitely what kept me in. It is the complete opposite to the 50 shades series. Every character seems damaged, and the author wants you to care about each one.... but I just didn't. Oh well.
Marguerite Caldwell
Rather fantastic. I loved the way it was written, and very much identified with Claire, her choices, etc. More information here:
Brandy Hunt
Jun 03, 2011 Brandy Hunt rated it it was amazing
The main character in this book is compelling and so ... strong. She doesn't really come off as strong in the beginning, but as the novel goes on and more of her story is told, the strength of the main character as she tries to find love and acceptance kept me drawn in. Definitely, worth reading.

This book was good, but hard to read. I was wanting to shake this woman and say, 'what is wrong with you?!?!' It was a little like a train wreck. I'm glad I read it, though. The author had excellent prose.
Jul 19, 2011 Hanane rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Interestingly strange. read it in an afternoon
Claudia Harrington
warning : strong sexual n some language.
A very well written tragic story that highlights the struggles of a rape victim. Characters are well developed and likeable.
J Brooke
Aug 14, 2012 J Brooke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Amazing unsettling confusing beautiful
Cg rated it it was ok
Apr 09, 2013
Holly Parker
Holly Parker rated it it was ok
Oct 21, 2014
Joe rated it liked it
Apr 02, 2016
Dawn Wilson
Dawn Wilson rated it it was amazing
Apr 09, 2011
Jessica rated it liked it
Apr 24, 2012
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Old Mermaid's Tale: A Novel of the Great Lakes
  •  Joe Café
  • Catnip (The Dunbarton Mysteries Series, #1)
  • The Curiosity Cabinet
  • The Fourth Law
  • Five Dances with Death: Dance One
  • The 19th Element (James Becker, #1)
  • The Lonely Mile
  • Cat's Paw
  • The Crimson-Eyed Dragon
  • Money, Lies, and Murder (Amber Fox, #2)
  • Whale Song
  • Are You Sitting Down?
  • Alone
  • Run Like Hell
  • You Have Chosen to Remember: A Journey from Perception to Knowledge, Peace of Mind and Joy
  • The Static of the Spheres
  • Danger in Cat World
Billie Hinton lives on a small horse farm in North Carolina with her human family, two horses, a painted pony, two miniature donkeys, four fanciful felines, and a fluffy Corgi.

She sees magic happen every single day.
More about Billie Hinton...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“What I know: every relationship is its own place, a country you live in for awhile and then you leave.” 4 likes
More quotes…