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These Things Hidden

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  20,492 ratings  ·  2,508 reviews
A powerful and explosive tale of the lies that you keep locked up, and the truths that could set you free.

When teenager Allison Glenn is sent to prison for a heinous crime, she leaves behind her reputation as Linden Falls' golden girl forever. Her parents deny the existence of their once-perfect child. Her former friends exult her downfall. But it's her shy, quiet sister,
Mass Market Paperback
Published April 2013 by Harlequin MIRA (first published January 1st 2011)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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I have been debating whether to give this book one or two stars for a while now but, in all honesty, I did not like this book. I wanted to like this book, I struggled to get to the end to see if there was some redeeming last minute revelation but, alas, it never came.

The story rotates around 4 women, - Allison, an ex convict, Brynn, her sister, Charm, a nurse to-be and Claire, a bookshop owner - a little boy and a terrible secret that seems to connect them all. I didn't see the terrible secret.
These Things Hidden is all about secrets. As the story progresses, the past is revealed piece by piece. The story falls into place easily while offering shocking things, long hidden, yet never expected.

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 p
Suzanne Barrett
Heather Gudenkauf’s second novel deals with a difficult subject: murder. Told in first and third person by a quartet of female protagonists, it opens with Allison Glenn, the main protagonist who is getting out of prison after serving half of a ten-year sentence. Her lawyer, Devin, escorts her to a halfway house run by pragmatic-but tender-hearted Oleta. Allison wants desperately to put the past behind her and start anew but finds obstacles at every turn. Her sister, once a confidant, won’t answe ...more
Jan 25, 2011 Mara rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who loves Jodi Picoult
Shelves: suspense, womens-lit, 2011
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This is another Audible gem. They were having a "Buy One, Get One" sale, and These Things Hidden was my "Get One" book, chosen on a whim. But for that sale, I probably never would have read this. (I've been kind of unofficially avoiding YA lately, being sick of the love triangles and the YAPNR and the blah blah blah.) But had I missed this one, it would have been a shame, because this book is fantastic.

I almost don't want to talk about the plot of the story at all, because I'm afraid of ruining
Trying to come up with words is almost impossible. I read The Weight of Silence quite awhile ago but I still think about it and talk about it. This one will be the same. I read different genres and enjoy them all, but I love fiction that could easily be fact.
Allison's character was one of the biggest reasons why I enjoyed this book so much. Throughout the book I wanted to hate her, but something told me to be patient. It's rare that there is a character I hate to love, it's usually the other wa
This is a must read. I LOVED this book! I couldn't put it down and I was just speechless upon completion.

I was surprised at so many points while reading These Things Hidden and that doesn't happen often for me when reading a book. The author did an incredible job of slowly revealing secrets, piece by piece, and from various points of view.

My heart broke for many of the characters. I truly felt for them all, although my feelings changed toward the end and I had the deepest compassion for one of
This was a crazy ride! At first I didn't know what was going on, what Allison had done that was so terrible. So I flew through the pages dying to know. In those pages I felt like I got to know Allison well enough that I couldn't imagine she had truly done something horrible. I couldn't imagine why everyone would be so hateful toward her. When I found out what her crime had been I just had to know WHY?!
This book alternates characters. We go to know Allison, the center of it all and the one who ju
This is a book that is all about secrets, choices, second chances, abandonment, and ultimately of hope.

The story is told from the POV of multiple characters whose lives are connected in ways that only become readily apparent as the story unravels in unexpected ways.

Allison is the twenty one year old former overachieving highschool student convicted of a heinous crime that has left her alienated and abandoned by her family and an outcast in the small Iowa town that she grew up in.

Brynn is Allis
This was a nice easy-reading book, and although I thought I figured out the ending quite early on, I was wrong. The reason it only gets a three start rating from me, is that I never felt that much empathy with any of the characters. If you want to try a book by the author, which was brilliant and reminded me a lot of Jodi Picoult's writing, I highly recommend One Breath Away

The story: When her sister Allison, convicted of a heinous crime, is released from prison to a halfway house and is despera
Got this book for some mindless entertainment...To me, that's just what it was. It wasn't wasn't bad...Won't tell you what it is about because you can read any other review or the book's jacket for that...

It's know...when you're flipping through the channels on the tellie and there is nada on...and you settle on some lifetime movie or something that's already been on for however long (who cares anyway?)just because you're tired of flipping and you know you can just keep flip
Casey Hays
I must admit, there were things I liked about the book, but more things I didn't. The author was able to paint some images in my head with her descriptions, and that worked. Some of those images I will not be able to erase. Every once in awhile, she said something profound and beautifully-written that made me sigh in satisfaction, but these were few and far between.

Many things bothered me about the book. Christopher was too vague. Grandma was too vague. I couldn't figure out the relationship Br
Oct 28, 2013 Kathryn rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kathryn by: Becky
These Things Hidden was sort of a recommendation from my GR friend Becky. She read this book last year, and even though it had been on my TBR shelf for a while, Becky's five star review pushed me to consider reading it sooner. I happened upon it a few months ago sitting on the $1 clearance section at Half-Price Books. It was a great investment.

I really thought this story was about something else entirely. About secrets? Yes. What kind of secrets? I didn't know, or at least my idea was completely
Harlequin Books
My personal opinion:

This read had my emotions going all over the place. I connected with Allison. She had a quiet strength and even though I thought she made some horrific choices, I could understand where they came from. She was frightened. She was young. She did not have her parents support. I felt for her sister, Brynn. The bullying scenes were heart-breaking. The way the story unfolded kept me on the edge of my seat. I was always anxious to find out how the newest twist would pan out. The en
Nov 25, 2010 Beadyjan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoyed The Ice Cream girls by Dorothy Koomson or Sister by Rosamund Lupton
Recommended to Beadyjan by: Netgalley
I was fortunate enough to receive a pre publication copy of this book to review via NetGalley from whom I am giving the following quote ...

Quote: from the publishers "Allison Glenn tried to hide what happened that night...and failed.

The consequence? Five years in prison. Now she’s free. But secrets have a way of keeping you imprisoned.

When Allison Glenn is sent to prison for a heinous crime, she leaves behind her reputation as Linden Falls’s golden girl forever. Her parents deny the existence
Tara Chevrestt
This is a novel about motherhood. What makes a good mother? A bad mother? It's about how faced with motherhood, desired or not, changes a woman's life forever. There are those that want to be mothers and face numerous struggles to become one. There are those that are not ready for motherhood but are faced with it anyway and must deal with it or make a difficult choice. This novel shows how differently every woman handles this life changing event.

Allison was faced with motherhood, but it foiled h
My basis of a good story depends on how it surprises the reader especially on how the story has ended. I failed to predict the ending and all the more the revelations shocked me. At first, it was a plain family oriented story which speaks more of parents-children relationships. And then went over to sweet childhood to sibling rivalry to growing pains and then eventually to young adult dealing with complex situations. Lies and deception took in as I went on every chapter of the story. Shocking re ...more
Michael Jenkins
Allison Glenn is your typical smart, gorgeous girl who has a good reputation. Not only do her peers look up to her for guidance but they respect her as an individual and often want other people to follow in her footsteps. However her timid and average looking sister Brynn is overlooked in the shadow of her sister, complicating their relationship. While Alison gets excused for the choices she makes by her parents, Brynn is forced to conform to her personality. Growing up together as siblings, the ...more
Crystal Craig
So many people gave These Things Hidden five stars. I’ve had many people recommend it to me. It was good. In all honesty, I finished it in three one hour sittings; I didn’t want to put it down. However, I felt the author told the story more so than made me feel; if that makes any sense at all. For example: when Allison and Christopher fell in love. As the reader, I knew they were in love because the author told me, however, I felt no chemistry between them. Maybe it was because there romance was ...more
Samantha Janning
These Things Hidden by Heather Gudenkauf gave me chills throughout the entire story. It begins with Allison Glenn, a 21 year old Iowa native who is serving time in prison for a crime that is not immediately known. Allison is about to be released, and will finish out her sentence at a halfway house in her hometown. Once the golden girl of her family, excellent grades, good at sports, a college future in mind, Allison’s family has now shunned her very existence. But the one person Allison is despe ...more
My Thoughts (from my blog):

As the novel opens, 21-year-old Allison Glenn is being released from prison and into a halfway house in her hometown of Linden Falls, Iowa. Having served five years for a heinous crime, she is ready to start her life over again. But, secrets from the past have a way of hanging on...and never letting go.

Brynn Glenn is Allison's 20-year-old sister; a young woman tormented by the secrets of the night of Allison's crime. She tried to start over by moving in with her grandm
Five years ago, straight-A student and overachiever Allison Glenn went to jail for throwing her newborn baby girl into a river. Her sister Brynn refuses any contact with her and only trusts her pets and her grandmother. Five years ago, Charm Tullia dropped a baby boy off at a Safe Haven location. Five years ago, Claire, the owner of a bookstore, adopted a little boy, Joshua. When Allison is released from jail early, these four women will find their lives intersecting...

I added this title on my N
Dale Harcombe
Four and a half stars. That I read this book through so quickly shows how involved I was in the story and the characters. The story is told from varying viewpoints. That of Allison who has just been released from prison after serving five years for a shocking crime, and her younger sister Brynn who wants nothing to do with Allison. Then there is Charm who is pulled into the consequences of that fatal night when Allison's life took a drastic turn, and Claire - mother of the adopted Joshua.
Lesson learned: I shouldn't listen to friends who've read the same book. I would have been more surprised had I not known anything, anything at all.

This is a good book, written in the first and third person perspectives, with the four female protagonists' views alternating as chapters. The story is moving, sad, heavy; perfect for someone who loves drama (like me).

The story cites the Safe Haven law. There's a discussion at the end of the book on the law's enactment in all fifty states. It poses
Choices. We make them every day, sometimes without much thought as to how they will affect the future, sometimes without much time to think how they will affect people in ways we can’t imagine. Heather Gudenkauf’s novel, “These Things Hidden,” is a story about family, and about the dynamics within families, and the way these things along with certain circumstances define the characters’ lives. Told in a simple yet gripping fashion, Gudenkauf’s tale grows and expands, not unlike pebbles carelessl ...more
This is the second book I've read by this author. I thought The Weight of Silence was a good book, and I actually liked this one a little better. This book switched between different characters as the narrator also, and the author does a good job with it. I was never confused but always left wanting to find out more about how all of the narrator's stories were going to tie completely together. It was a sad story but also a good story, and it left me thinking that sometimes when you are on the ou ...more
I was teetering between giving this book a 3.0 and a 4 star rating. I ultimately settled on 4 stars, since 3.5 is not an option.

It was a great read filled with emotion and that tugged at my heart, but I was able to figure out all of the “shocking” reveals early on. However, that shouldn’t take away from the writing and being able to enjoy the story and the way it was told.

This is the first book I've read by Heather and I'm looking forward to reading more of her books.
Why was this on my TBR list? I must have read some review that made it sound interesting, and so I picked it at random at the library. At least I didn't pay money for it.

This is a book about secrets and babies and mommy-love and bad parents and crazy.

Perfect college-bound girl athlete Allison gets knocked up by a summer fling, and when she gives birth (somehow managing to keep this secret from her parents, because they are caricature Bad, Superficial Parents), with her flaky sister Brynn present
A gripping story about love. Love of a child and love of a sister. The emotions, mostly angst, that flow throughout this book are overpowering. The strength of unconditional love is tangibly portrayed by the actions of three of the main characters. The book also raises certain social issues regarding abandoned children and the laws that govern these instances.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who appreciates good writing and an excellent story.
Lisa B.
What a great book! I do like how the author writes the story from several different points of view. I think this helps us to understand each character's background of what brought them to current storyline. It also moves the story forward until we reach the surprising twist at the end.

I sure do like Ms. Gundenkauf's writing style.

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Bookworm Bitches : April 2011: These Things Hidden 34 200 Mar 10, 2014 11:11PM  
Did anyone else have trouble connecting with the characters? 6 73 Oct 21, 2013 10:32PM  
Cozy Chair Book Club: These Things Hidden 9 24 Feb 28, 2013 05:37PM  
Coffee Talk: July Book of the Month-Discussion 40 44 Aug 01, 2012 05:01AM  
  • Secrets She Left Behind (Before the Storm #2)
  • Hidden Wives
  • Never Knowing
  • Fragile (Jones Cooper, #1)
  • The Murderer's Daughters
  • Prayers and Lies
  • The Good Sister
  • Saving Max
  • The Last Child
  • Best Kept Secret
  • The Kindest Thing
  • What Happened to My Sister
  • A Theory of Relativity
  • The Surrogate
  • Close Your Eyes
  • Mothers and Other Liars
  • Hush Little Baby
Heather is the NYT and USA Today Bestselling author of THE WEIGHT OF SILENCE and THESE THINGS HIDDEN.
More about Heather Gudenkauf...
The Weight of Silence One Breath Away Little Mercies Little Lies The Next Page: A Fiction Sampler for Book Clubs: The Good Girl\The Wonder of All Things\Little Mercies\Madame Picasso\The Returned\The Last Breath

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“I get Allison’s letters. Sometimes I wish that I could write back to her, go see her, act like a sister to her. But something always stops me. Grandma tells me I should talk to Allison, try to forgive her. But I can’t. It’s like something broke inside me that night five years ago.” 0 likes
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