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Hidden Away

4.44 of 5 stars 4.44  ·  rating details  ·  132 ratings  ·  44 reviews
Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “No man and no force can abolish memory.” John Oakes and Kurt Fournier are living proof of the truth behind those words. Since the horrors of the Second World War, John and Kurt have been trudging through existence, bleeding from wounds that have never healed. Now they’re at the crossroads of the 1950s: the war may be over, but the battle to fin ...more
ebook, 340 pages
Published December 31st 2012 by Dreamspinner Press (first published December 30th 2012)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 545)
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This is a really confronting book. It's the story of John, a WW2 vet who is suffering from severe PTSD particularly related to his involvement in the liberation of the concentration camp, Dachau. The constant nightmares, flashbacks, heavy drinking and suicidal ideation seem to be getting worse instead of better. One day John sees a German man playing piano in the university he attends and swiftly becomes obsessed with him.

The story is told in alternate POV's. John's is set in 1951 and follows h
**Note: This is by far the hardest review I have written yet. Forgive the haphazardness of it please. I am still quite a mess.**

I consider my self a pretty smart gal. I am not saying that to be conceded. I have this OCD tendency to NEED to know everything. If I am interested in it, I just have to know. Having this need, I love it when I am challenged with what I do NOT know. A new piece of information that gets into my head, bounces around until I quiet it with research. Why do I say this? I le
Kaje Harper
This historical novel tackles a difficult subject - the concentration camps of WWII loom large in the past of both MCs. For John, because he saw and did horrible things when he liberated a camp as part of the American military, and for Kurt, because he wore the pink triangle in a camp and lived through years of hell there. In my opinion, the author did a good job of neither softening nor exploiting that painful part of history. The flashbacks set in the camps are very dark and painful, hard to r ...more
MareTara SLiTsReaD Reviews~Lover of all things MM
*This review contains spoilers*


There are no words that I have that can give this book justice. NONE.

This book was just so POWERFUL.

I felt like I got hit by a Mac Truck.. Like I was watching the collision course. I was watching that Mac Truck barrel towards me and there was nothing I could do to alter its path.

J.W. Kilhey tackled a really tough subject and did so in such a poetic way.

It was rough and brutal and so freaking raw.


It was beautiful.

This book w
Kade Boehme
Just. Wow.

This was one amazing story. I have such mad respect for this author. Easiest 5 star rating I've ever given. This was beautiful and haunting and so damned authentic and respectful of the subject matter. I truly am just trying to catch my breath after finishing this.

This is not an easy read, emotionally. But the writing is fantastic. First POV John is told in 1951. He is suffering from terrible PTSD after his part in the American Army's liberation of the camps. He's spiraling out of
It took me a few days to write this review because I had to find a way to put into words the soul-deep effect this book had on me.

Amazing, beautiful, ugly, moving, engaging, fascinating, terrifying, nauseating, emotionally charged, passionate, educational, eye-opening. These are some of the adjectives that came to me while trying to describe this work of art. I can't believe that this is only J.W. Kilhey's second published novel. The professional quality (aside from monor editing errors which I

Is it possible to give more than 5 stars? I wish I could this book deserves it.

How to write this review totally eludes me. I will try to do my best to put some thoughts down about this amazing story but I'm sure I can't come close to doing this book justice and I know nothing I write will make me happy.

It was especially hard for me to read, as I’m sure it was for others because I had family members that lived through WWII and ones that didn’t. I grew up hearing very little about what happened, m

Warning: book contains explicit physical and sexual violence.

“The older inmates told us the average life expectancy of a queer or a Jew in Mauthausen was only a few months. Six at most.

“Yet you survived three years. How did you do it?”

He lifts his head slowly, training his eyes on me, and finally he answers in a quiet voice, “Any way I could”.

I am sure many readers have subjects, themes, topics w

Once I heard in a movie that it’s not a good idea to put together a sad boy with a sad girl. I think there is some truth in that, like Peter Bruegel’s picture “If a blind man leads a blind man both will fall into a pit”.


Too much pain together can’t be good. But then we meet John’s thoughts: Kurt understands him, there is not need of words. I don’t know yet which is the winning belief, maybe it depends on the person, rather than the generalization to the human being at a whole.

This book has been
THIS book is the reason I read books. Stunning. Thought provoking. Beautifully written. Read this book. Read it now.
Oh. Just -- Oh.

I didn't like the blunt, inelegant prose at first, but taken altogether there is no way I could give this any less than 5 stars.

Don't listen to anyone who tries to tell you that this is "concentration camp porn." You might as well apply the same label to Sophie's Choice or Schindler's List or The Pianist. In reality, this book doesn't trivialize or exploit the suffering of anyone. Instead, it tries to bring to life the horrors these groups of men experienced -- and I mean both the
Dear God, this story is terribly tragic, I'm speechless and truly deeply sad. I can only state of being glad, that I never lived in the time of World War I and II. I can't talk about John and Kurt, because it's hard to think about them both. This is really hard book to stomach. J.W. Kilhey work here is exceptional, even if deeply difficult.
First of all, the author is a wonderful friend of mine and this story holds a very special place in my heart. Saying that, I will do my very best to be as objective as possible, but it is going to be difficult - because I loved this book so very much. For many reasons.

The historical details (as far as I can tell, I am no expert) are amazing. At times, it is *very* difficult to read this book. However, as heartbreaking as it is, the author never sensationalizes what happened to these men that his
This book is amazing. I absolutely loved it. I was completely pulled in the story. The author did a great job with the alternating point of views, building strong characters and painting a realistic picture of John's PTSD and being gay in Mauthausen concentration camp. The secondary characters were also great, especially Jules and he is very protective Kurt. The writing was beautiful and haunting at the same time. The second half of the book was really hard. My heart just bled for Kurt and Peter ...more
Holy crap! This story is terribly disturbing in many ways, but what an amazing story. I totally felt like I was living in this story with them. It sucked me in and kept me up until the wee hours of the morning to finish it. Then I was so distraught from reading it that I had to find something really fluffy to read before sleeping because I was worried I have bad dreams about it. Wow. I never knew the camps were for more than just the Jewish. I might not read this one again because of the subject ...more
Nancy Carbajal
What a heartbreaking, achingly well written story. Kurt Klein is what the Nazis considered the perfect German but with a secret, John is a WWII veteran dealing with PTS. Both men are broken by their pasts, but John cannot let go of Kurt since spotting him around his school. Both have a long and trying road ahead of on earth can two seemingly broken men get over their fears to find love and trust again? The death camp internment flashbacks are very hard to read but bring to light the ...more
C.J. Anthony
This book will be a hard read, no doubt, but it is a book that needs to be read. Although this is fiction, the story of the pink triangles in Hitler's Germany needs to be known. I was only made aware of the pink triangles a couple of years ago, they were certainly never mentioned in high school history class.

The violence is pretty brutal in this book, but in my opinion it needs to be there if the book is going to be honest. The author did a fabulous job portraying two men who lived through many
Nov 06, 2013 Riley rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Runell
Recommended to Riley by: Brandilyn
I don't know if there's anything I can say about this one that could do it justice. In fact, I had to give it a couple days to sink in so I could even try - and I'm still pretty sure I'll fail. This is a powerful read and it made me feel a range of emotions from angry to sad, rage, relief, amazement, and just plain heartbreak. It made me forget that I don't even like historical reads.

I should probably have prefaced this by stating that i didn't choose this book, it was chosen for me as part of a
Eli Easton
Wow. So having hundreds of books on my TBR list right now, I decided to sort by rating and read the highest rated ones. That's how I decided to buy and start reading THIS magnificent gem of a story. So glad I did!

This reminds me a little of a few other books I've read recently like "Billy's Bones" and "Where the Allegheny Meets the Monongahela" in that it's so much more than just a m/m romance book--it is a deep story that deals with serious issues and is well-written and impeccably researched.

Without sensationalizing or exploiting the topic, author Kilhey has written a remarkably cogent and insightful treatment of a very traumatic historical event. Well written and displaying psychological complexity, it lays bare the long-lasting effects of war on both the soldier and the oppressed. Although some parts are emotionally difficult to read, this book is decidedly worth that challenge.
4,5 stars
The way some books make you feel is impossible to put in words, like some subjects are almost impossible to do justice. How to do justice to the horrors in the concentrations camps? How to do justice to the guilt and horror a soldier feels after spending over a year in war, in active combat, and the indescribable anger and loathing it must have felt to lay eyes on the concentration camps? And what a feat to turn that in a story of hope and healing, of two people finding each other livin
Becky Condit
4 1/2 stars!

This book is not my normal read. I don’t usually enjoy historical novels, but I was interested in this one due to the subject matter: Being gay in Nazi Germany.

The book switches time each chapter. Going from 1941 to 1951. John has seen the horrors of war and cannot escape it. He sees a man playing piano one night, and doing a beautiful job. When the man finds out he’s being watched he apologizes and makes a hasty exit. John is curious, more so when he finds out that the man has a Ger
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
4.5 because even though the subject couldn't be more important I have a few (tiny) objections.

I read the first chapter before going ahead and buying the book, but it wasn't until I read in one of the reviews here that this story has alternating POV:s that I actually went ahead and bought it, something I am very glad I did.

The reason the first chapter didn't do for me is John, the American main character, I didn't like his self-righteousness in the beginning of the story,and I wasn't sure whethe
Have we now come to the point where finally trite HEAs and concentration camp porn exploit the suffering of so many? Romance and concentration camps--that doesn't, that shouldn't mesh. It is inconceivable how a genre that riddled with tropes, with a plot which perforce is geared to an end few of the victims and survivors ever achieved, could do even the minutest justice to either. As a result this can only be deemed disrespectful and shallow.

I recommend instead these books for starters

An incredible story about victims of the holocaust that are rarely written about, gay men. Both men have been damaged by the war; one is a gay survivor of Mathausen, the other a liberator of Dachau.

The experiences, and their after-effects, of both men felt painfully authentic. This is not an easy book to read but it's not without hope. Holocaust survivors did manage to build lives for themselves, and so does Kurt.

I think the author has done a fantastic job creating a credible story about a diff
Heartbreaking. Absolutely heartbreaking.

This is my first 5 star review of the year. What I appreciated about this story was the respectful manner that the story was portrayed. Yes, there are horrific events portrayed in this story, but the MCs guided us through these events honestly.

Just sitting here thinking of the story brings tears to my eyes, especially when I think of Peter and Kurt.

This is not an easy story, but it really is a story that teaches and evokes emotion.
Karin Wollina
that was a very difficult book to read about a very very difficult subject an d I think the writing was excellent and the historical correctness ( as much as I can say) was very good.
Thank you for writing this !
Feb 21, 2015 Iris rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: mm
I consider myself inexperienced in such topics as the Holocaust and Nazi. I never finished that movie Schindler's List, refused to watch The Pianist with my friend, deliberately dropped a history course about Nazi and concentration camps when I was in college......all because I hate that suffocating depression permeates every single word I read and heard.

Well, and here I am, reading a book called Hidden Away.

I gave this book five stars and that's it. I am not going to review it and I am not goi
The part written from Kurt's pov was emotional and haunting.
I wasn't able to connect to John (I dislike him!) so I started to skip his pov halfway through the book.
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Dreamspinner Press: Hidden Away by J.W. Kilhey 1 24 Dec 31, 2012 01:06AM  
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