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Hidden in the Heart

4.49 of 5 stars 4.49  ·  rating details  ·  57 ratings  ·  36 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

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Christine Lindsay
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
Anne Baxter Campbell
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
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
Suzanne Williams
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
Ginny Jaques
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
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
Emilie Hendryx
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
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
Lindi Peterson
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
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
Beth Vogt
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.
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
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
Ruth Hill
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
Kathleen E.
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
Lindsey Silvestrini
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
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
Sara  Ella
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
What a beautifully written book, so much so it takes your breath away. It makes you laugh, cry, and rejoice with the steps the characters take to bring full circle what God had planned. This is a book about forgiveness, as without it a root of bitterness grows. If Christ can forgive us, then how can we not forgive others. Claire takes a journey in discovering her birth mother and you don't want to put it down till you find the outcome. I highly recommend this, as well as Cathy's other books.
Beth Willis Miller
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
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.

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
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
Jennifer Sikora
I love novels that remind me about forgiveness and second chances. While this book was sometimes difficult to read, Hidden in the Heart is an amazing novel that is full of emotions.

Catherine West provides a total honest portrayal of addiction and how those addictions can ruin a family and a life. It is truly heartbreaking.

I love the fact that her characters are realistic and flawed. Novels that make me feel like I can relate are definitely my favorite to read. This is a compelling story of redem
Margaret Tidwell
I found that I got frustrated with Claire and how she acted. I really enjoyed the authors writing but I really didn't like Claire. I can see why she acted as she did but I guess it just got tired of her and how she acted. I found myself looking at her like she was a real person and so she got on my nerves. Other than not really "liking" Claire I loved the other characters. The author did a good job with this book so please don't not read it because I personally didn't like Claire because that is ...more
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Hidden in the Heart 1 6 Aug 31, 2012 04:28PM  
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Catherine West is an award-winning author who writes stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. Her first novel, Yesterday’s Tomorrow, released in 2011 and won the INSPY for Romance, a Silver Medal in the Reader’s Favorite Awards, and was a finalist in the Grace Awards. Catherine’s second novel, Hidden in the Heart, released in September 2012, was long listed in the 2012 INSPY’s ...more
More about Catherine West...
Yesterday's Tomorrow Bridge of Faith

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