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Hidden in the Heart

4.47  ·  Rating Details ·  87 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
Finalist in the 2012 Grace Awards
Long Listed in the 2013 INSPY Awards

Everything Claire wants
seems to be beyond her reach…

After losing her mother to cancer and suffering a miscarriage soon after, Claire
Ferguson numbs the pain with alcohol and pills, and wonders if her own life is
worth living.
Adopted at birth, Claire is convinced she has some unknown genetic flaw
that m
Paperback, 248 pages
Published September 15th 2012 by OakTara
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Christine Lindsay
Sep 16, 2012 Christine Lindsay rated it it was amazing
As a birthmother---a woman who in real life relinquished a child to adoption----I highly recommend Catherine West’s novel Hidden in the Heart. Adoption reunions are not something you can understand unless you’ve experience it yourself, or do a great deal of research.

In Catherine West’s case, it is clear she has lived through the experience, because Hidden in the Heart grabs you by the heartstrings and doesn’t let you go until the last page. Yet, this book is so much more than a tear-jerker that
Apr 21, 2013 Jodie rated it liked it
Shelves: litfuse, 2013
Claire has had a rough year. She lost her mother, her unborn child, she has pushed her husband away, and turned to alcohol to ease her pain. Now, trying to pull herself back togehter, she is determined to find her birth mother. What she doesn't realize is that when she does, she may get more than she bargained for, something that could completely tear apart her family.

I chose to read this book as I heard such great things about Catherine's first book Yesterday's Tomorrow. I began reading the boo
Nov 04, 2012 Lisa rated it it was amazing
It takes more than blood to define family.

Cathy West seems to excel at poking for your heart, cutting it into tiny little pieces, ripping out your guts and sewing it all back together with a little extra love and admiration added in.

No sophomore syndrome for this author, in my opinion. Right from the start of West’s new novel, Hidden in the Heart, I walked with Claire, who was completely out of control with grief and fear and loss of identity despite having everything most people only dream of.
Dec 04, 2012 Lori rated it it was amazing
This book was my introduction to Catherine West as an author, and she could easily become one of my favourites. I wanted the story to go on forever. If I had the time, I'd have read it again immediately, but I'll just have to wait.

Not only is this book well-written, but the author exhibits an excellent understanding of human nature. She adeptly shows how one little thing after another can alter the course of a life, a marriage, a dream...anything. Even so, we see the triumph of love and the han
Sarah Sundin
Jan 31, 2013 Sarah Sundin rated it it was amazing
Realistic and memorable characters, a charming setting, and beautiful writing all support this incredibly moving story. Catherine West doesn't hold anything back - the grittiness of addiction, the pain of infertility, and the multi-layered emotions wrapped up in adoption - they're all here. I highly recommend this book.
Dineen Miller
Sep 05, 2012 Dineen Miller rated it it was amazing
Hidden in the Heart is a compelling tale of forgiveness, redemption and hope. Catherine West brilliantly weaves a story that will you will leave but will not leave you because it embodies what we all desire each and every day—the chance to love better than we did the day before.
Apr 03, 2013 Kathleen rated it it was amazing
Hidden In The Heart is a poignant tale of loss, hope, forgiveness, and redemption. Author Catherine West weaves a powerful story about adoption, family, and a young woman's emotional journey in search of her birth mother. The author weaves an intricate fictional story based loosely on her own adoption experience.

Written in the third person narrative, the reader follows Claire Ferguson's emotional journey of self-discovery and healing. Claire is a grown adoptee whose life is in a mess after the d
Apr 04, 2013 TAMMY CUEVAS rated it really liked it
After losing her mother to cancer and then suffering a miscarriage, Claire turns to alcohol to get through this bleak period of life. She believes a genetic flaw is to blame for the loss of her baby, but as an adoptee, she has no way of knowing the medical history of her family. As her marriage begins to fall apart, Claire begins her search for her birth mother. But she fails to think of what will happen if this mystery woman does not appreciate being found.
This is thought-provoking modern ficti
Emilie Hendryx
Mar 23, 2013 Emilie Hendryx rated it really liked it
Shelves: review-copy
In the middle of many struggles, Claire Ferguson just wants the truth. She's suffered the loss of her mother, a miscarriage, resulting difficulty in her marriage due to her escape into medication and alcohol, and now the haunting possibility she has a genetic disease the caused the miscarriage. The only way to alleviate her fears is to find her mother - that is, her birth mother.

Claire is adopted.

This story is one of struggle and fighting for the truth. Claire's journey to find her birth mothe
Valerie Comer
Oct 25, 2012 Valerie Comer rated it it was amazing
Claire Ferguson is a mess. Her mom died two years ago and, shortly after, she miscarried a baby. Her husband, James, thinks they’ll be okay–they can get pregnant again–but Claire spirals into depression and drinking. When she meets an old friend from high school days who has found her birth mother, Claire wonders if doing the same will fill the empty spot in her own heart and enable her to go on. After all, what if her miscarriage was a result of a genetic flaw? She has to know.

Now estranged fro
Ginny Jaques
Sep 17, 2012 Ginny Jaques rated it it was amazing
I have to admit that when I first met Claire, I didn't like her very much. She seemed bitchy, whiny and full of self-pity. But that criticism was unfair, especially coming from a reader who has neither been adopted nor suffered a miscarriage. I have no conception of how painful either of those situations might be, much less both of them. But before long, in the reading, I was won over. To watch the development, and the redemption, of this character, as well as others who come into her life along ...more
Anne Campbell
Dec 26, 2012 Anne Campbell rated it it was amazing
If you have been adopted or have adopted or are thinking of adoption, this is the novel for you.

It's too much for one woman to take. Her mother has died, and she has miscarried. Claire doesn't know if there's something in her genes has caused the loss of the child. Prayer isn't in her vocabulary. It seems only logical that she should seek oblivion in alcohol and pills.

Not so obvious for her distressed husband, James, or her father, or her best friend. James tries to go to AA. Her father discoura
Suzanne Williams
Sep 12, 2012 Suzanne Williams rated it it was amazing
I was prepared when I began reading this story for it to be yet another tale of someone with a drinking problem, this despite reading the blurb. As someone who has never taken an alcoholic drink in her life, this didn’t appeal to me so much. Yet what I found within its pages was one woman’s quest to make sense of the loss in her life and to work her way back to a place of love and healing. Beautifully written, Hidden In The Heart, has something for everyone. There’s a bit of mystery. There’s rom ...more
Sep 16, 2012 Jo rated it it was amazing
After her mother dies and she has a miscarriage, Claire turns to alcohol and pills. She blames herself for her miscarriage and wonders if she has inherited a flaw that contributed to the miscarriage. To know that, she must find her birth mother. Her father won’t identify Claire’s birth mother so Claire sets out with only one clue to find her. This book unfolds a beautiful story about family, marriage, and children. Claire’s pain is felt by the reader. West presents strong and loving characters a ...more
Lindi Peterson
Sep 16, 2012 Lindi Peterson rated it it was amazing
Hidden In The Heart takes you on an emotional journey through the life of Claire Ferguson. A journey of loss, hope, and a promise for the future. Claire struggles through darkness until a sleepy Maine town, and its inhabitants, show a glimpse of light and rest. Catherine’s gift for writing the family saga has made her one of my favorite authors. She has the talent of being able to weave together stories with such emotional power, that you feel truly blessed when you reach the end. A Catherine We ...more
Diana Montgomery
Feb 19, 2013 Diana Montgomery rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful book. Wish I could give it more then five stars. Adoption is a touchy subject. Catherine's story was well told. It would be hard not knowing you were adopted and find out much later in life. Then the questions would be there WHY didn't they want me. The next will they want to meet me now? This was a box of tissue book. Very emotional story but very well done. Catherine had to be full of tears. Story of forgiveness. Well done Catherine, may God bless your life.
Beth Vogt
Sep 14, 2012 Beth Vogt rated it it was amazing
I fell in love with Cathy West's writing while reading her first novel, Yesterday's Tomorrow. She follows that up with another compelling story. Hidden in the Heart is true-to-life and the characters West paints are vivid -- the kind that stay with you long after you've closed the book. What I appreciate most about West's writing is how she crafts a story with gut-wrenching honesty and yet a tenderness that kept me turning pages late into the night.
Kathleen E.
Nov 01, 2012 Kathleen E. rated it really liked it
Catherine West is an award-winning author who writes stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. Educated in Bermuda, England and Canada, Catherine holds a degree in English from the University of Toronto. When she’s not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border Collie for long walks or tending to her roses and orchids. She and her husband have two college-aged children. Catherine is a member of American Christian Fiction Writ
Mar 19, 2017 Holly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There is so much depth to this book. I'll admit that I had doubts the first three chapters. Claire was not very likable at first. Michelle and Belinda didn't seem to fit into the story. Things started to interconnect. We met very likable and important secondary characters. Discoveries and secrets kept coming. The romance was actually secondary to discovering family secrets. Very well done.
Sara Ella
Feb 20, 2013 Sara Ella rated it it was amazing
Claire Ferguson has lost everything. On top of that, she can’t understand why her birth mother wouldn’t want her. Could she have some genetic defect that caused her to miscarry her firstborn? With nothing left to lose, Claire sets out on a search for the woman who gave her life. What she finds is something she never expected. Life doesn’t always turn out the way you plan, and for Claire this couldn’t be truer. Do fulfillment and happiness wait for Claire at the end of her quest, or will she end ...more
Ruth Hill
Apr 16, 2013 Ruth Hill rated it it was amazing
Shelves: e-books
I liked this book almost from the beginning, and I loved it even more as I continued to read. I was intrigued to see that the author herself was adopted which made the message of the book even more impacting. This is a Christian book with a strong, underlying message that never comes across as being "preachy." There is no profanity nor sex scenes in it (yes, that should be standard for Christian books, but it is not always).

One thing the author was able to do that really stood out was the fact t
Lindsey Silvestrini
Apr 19, 2013 Lindsey Silvestrini rated it it was amazing
Hidden in the Heart is such a beautiful story of one woman’s journey through despair, hope, love and forgiveness. Catherine West will draw you into her story with her heartfelt words and emotion wrought from her own adoption experience.

Catherine West grew up knowing she was adopted but she never felt the emptiness or abandonment until she lost her adopted mother and suffers her own tragic loss. Finding solace in alcohol causes friction between she and her husband and her father. When she separat
Andi Newberry ~Tubbs
Oct 31, 2012 Andi Newberry ~Tubbs rated it really liked it
I am an adopted child and this book appealed to me for that reason, however this was crazy from the beginning. My head hurt just reading it.
Claire is a mess. Her mother died and soon after she lost a baby in a miscarriage. Claire hasn't been the same since, and she's turned to pills and booze to dull the pain. Everyone is mad at her, and wants her to go to counseling and treatment. Her husband James thinks that if they try to have a baby things will get better.

She won't even think about it. She
Mar 27, 2015 Rebecca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lovely, fascinating and riddled with gut-wrenching emotion, "Hidden in the Heart" is a most remarkable story; navigating a labyrinth of complex memories borne far too long by individuals living under the weight of regret. Therefore, in the end, redemption is a beautiful thing to behold. Catherine West is a writer whose gifts come alive on the page!

When Claire Ferguson finds herself at the end of her rope and possibly at the end of her marriage, she stumbles towards the only thing that she belie
Maureen Timerman
Oct 24, 2012 Maureen Timerman rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It is about the pain of having to give a child up for adoption.
It is also about the feelings of the adoptee.
Catherine West has woven a compelling, page turning read. She delves first into the adoptee, Claire...who in the span of a short time lost her Mom, and then suffered a miscarriage. She is unable to cope, and it opens up everything. She becomes dependent on pills and alcohol.
So begins Claire's journey...will she end up in a bottomless pit, or find t
Beth Miller
Oct 20, 2012 Beth Miller rated it it was amazing
As a fellow adoptee, Catherine West had me with the tag line on the front cover—"You existed before you were adopted." I love the way Catherine has woven an intricate fiction story based loosely on her own adoption life experiences. The characters are so vivid and well-written, I keep hoping she writes a sequel so I can find out what happens next! This novel reinforces my belief in the sovereignty of God, that nothing comes into my life that is not filtered through God's hands of love—there are ...more
Feb 07, 2013 Cindi rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned-books, r-r
This is an emotionally charged story about Claire Ferguson. She always knew she was adopted and decides to search for her biological parents after her adoptive mother passes away and Claire has a miscarriage. Claire is convinced that she is somehow responsible for her unborn child dying.
On top of it all her marriage is on the rocks and she turns to drinking to ease her sorrows.

Will Claire be able to find her birth parents? What will she do if she finds them? Will they accept her with open arms?

Janie  R. Freeman
Nov 04, 2014 Janie R. Freeman rated it it was amazing

An exceptional read by an exceptional author- Catherine West! I loved this story!
In this story,the message of how love transforms lives from hatred, bitterness,regrets,fear,anger,and a stone-cold heart! Love forgives,and heals and gives freedom to one's imprisoned negative life.
I really like this quote by one of the characters in the story: "I still don't understand it all, but I know everything happens for a reason. I think we were all part of a bigger plan. Bigger than any of us could imagi
Nov 10, 2012 Cafelilybookreviews rated it it was ok
I really wanted to love this book. The subject matter appealed to me but I could not get into the story. My first disappointment was that the print was so small, it made it very tedious to read.

The main character, Claire, was a mess and all over the place. I had a very difficult time following her, and the plot. It started off very slow and as hard as I tried to make myself finish it, I just could not take anymore.

I skipped over a lot of the book to get to the end. I found the writing to be a
Nov 26, 2013 Joan rated it it was amazing
It took me about 50 pages to get into this novel but after that it was a compelling read. It was amazing to read how God worked through people and experiences to heal Claire. West has a way with words and there were sentences that were so well crafted they were poetic.
The author notes that the book is loosely based on her own experience of adoption. Be sure to have a tissue ready at the end. there is a discussion guide so this would be great for reading groups.
See my full review at http://bit.l
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Hidden in the Heart 1 6 Aug 31, 2012 04:28PM  
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Award-winning author Catherine West writes stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. When she’s not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border Collie for long walks or reading books by her favorite authors. She and her husband have two grown children. Catherine’s novel, Bridge of Faith, won the 2015 Grace Award. Her latest novel, The Things We ...more
More about Catherine West...

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