Hidden Talents
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Hidden Talents

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  394 ratings  ·  36 reviews
Dulcie Ballantyne is prepared to welcome an unlikely mix of people when she founds her creative writers' group, Hidden Talents, and her expectations are not disappointed. Beth King is facing empty-nest syndrome as her only son leaves home for college; Jack Solomon, a local estate agent, is having trouble coming to terms with the shock of his wife leaving him for his best f...more
Paperback, 496 pages
Published July 1st 2009 by Orion Publishing (first published January 1st 2003)
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I have been reading the novels written by Erica James since her first one ‘A Breath of Fresh Air’ was published in 1996. With the exception of ‘Gardens of Delight’ which is still sitting on my bookshelf, plus ‘Love and Devotion’ which I still have not obtained a copy of, I have now read all her novels. I regard her work as a thoroughly good read where you can immerse yourself in the story, not great literature but so much better than some of the novels regarded as ‘chick lit’ or ‘romantic women’...more
Erica James has definitely earned a place now in my "comfort reading" category. Once again, I didn't like this one quite as much as the first one I read (Love and Devotion), but I liked it better than Tell it to the Skies. I'd give it 3 1/2 stars if that were possible. As a writing instructor, I liked the "writing group" frame. I also enjoyed the characters and the family relationships. There's a niceness about these that contributes to my labelling her as "comfort" reading. The only character t...more
Emma Moss
Once again Erica James has won me over. Her characters grow into such interesting spokes of a wheel and the twists and turns don't appear unrealistic. A feel good novel of growing and adapting with others around us within the hand we have been dealt. Slightly frustrating characters get their just deserts and become more balanced.
This was a really good read.

It was quite long and there are quite a few different characters to keep track of but Erica James' writing style made it really easy to read and each of the characters seemed believable and likeable. Each chapter is about a different character or is told from a different person's point ov view but their individual stories are all connected by the writing group that they have joined.

The storyline is interesting and I think it flows really well. The characters each hav...more
Un libro carino, magari non un capolavoro letterario, ma godibile e leggero, senza pretese.
Dulcie decide di fondare un piccolo gruppo di scrittura creativa, e così si riuniscono Beth, Jaz, Jack e Victor, ognuno con le proprie peculiarità, la propria famiglia e gli inevitabili problemi. Ognuno di loro vede nella scrittura una fuga dalla realtà, e con il passare del tempo diventano molto più che conoscenti, stabiliscono una vera e propria amicizia, si aiutano, si confidano, si sostengono... Non su...more
Lisa James
This story brings together a cast of characters who, though dealing with various & sometimes really rough things in their own lives, are united by their love of writing. There is mostly a happy ending for the whole ensemble, which was nice.
Lisa Ahronian
I liked this book...I didn't love it. I found some of the situations not quite believable. The whole bit about Jack's wife dumping him and taking up with his best friend, and then Jack being able to make peace with it and bury the hatchet...seriously? I doubt anyone would ever be that forgiving, even with kids involved. And Jaz, the moody teenager who will go to any length to keep every aspect of herself a secret to everyone, at any cost...I just wanted to dope slap her. But aside from those few...more
I took a long time to read this book, but read it cover to cover. It was an enjoyable read, but I didn't find the ending as satisfying as I would have liked (I won't spoil it, no worries). The book started off strong with the writers group theme, and I had high hopes that it would continue with that theme, but it did not. The focus became more the interweaving of the characters' personal lives, which was fine, but one of the reasons I got the book was its seeming focus on the writing group. I wo...more
My 2nd Erica James, and I enjoyed it as much as the first even though some of the characters do things I don't approve of. Hidden Talents is a new writer's group with five diverse members. As the group begins to meet, their writing talents improve and they bond together as friends - exactly what each need to get them through the various trials of their lives. These are ordinary people that you come to care about. Well done.

I especially like the audio narrated by Anne Dover. As these are British,...more
Lizzie Randon-partis
An easy read for travelling.
Tessa Celie
Vlot geschreven, goed uitgewerkte karakters, maar helaas een voorspelbare plot.
Couldn't get into it. Oh well.
Rachel Brand
Aug 25, 2009 Rachel Brand rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Rachel by: Mum
Shelves: library, 2009
Admittedly, a bit fluffy and maybe not something I'd have chosen to read if my mother hadn't recommended it to me. Despite that, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The characters were all unique and full of quirks that made them appealing and they made me want to care about what happened to their individual sub-plots. Plus, it was centered around writing, which made me especially interested. I liked that it wasn't predictable, and although it didn't blow my mind, it was an easy and enjoyable read. 7/10
Steph Watson
Was pleasantly surprised with this novel, as I purchased it for a mere £2 at a local publisher's clearance shop, so wasn't expecting much. All the same, I chose it for its creative writing aspects, and despite there being little on the matter throughout the book, each of the characters' stories had me gripped from the very beginning, and despite wrongdoings at times, I still felt for each of them individually at some point. Great read, would highly recommend. :)
Diane Will
Not an overly taxing read, but enjoyable enough. A group of people are brought together when they join a local writing group 'Hidden Talents' Beth, Jack, Jaz, Victor and Dulcie. All have their own need to be there. The usual everyday life stories and in different ways help each other through problems they are all faced with.

All the characters linked together well and it had a tidy ending.
Another great book by Erica James
I just can't get enough of this author and look forward to all her new books.
I love the way she introduces you to each of her characters in such wonderful warm detail so that you feel you really know them inside and out. The relationships she builds between all of her characters is heart-warming and invites the reader in to want to read more.
Erica James has such a talent for creating real life stories, intertwining them with others and making them seem real. This book is particularly successful at achieving, probably because the central storyline is focused around a group of people from various points of life coming together and sharing their experiences. A must read!
Dulcie starts a small writing group. This novel follows the lives of Dulcie and the group's members, giving a nice blend of subplots, some very moving moments, and some surprises for the characters (although I had guessed most of them in advance). Believable and well-written.
Enjoyable read.
Possibly is trying to be a bit like Maeve Binchy, the characters are slightly less well developed and warm.
Some of the spoken language is a tad OTT, not how ' real' people speak.
There's a small subplot towards the end to keep the reader going.
I think by far this is one of the best Erica James books I have read hands down. A great read, some predictable story telling, but good solid characters and an above average story line.
This was a good story, an unlikely group formed to help with writing skills ended up helping them all with thier own personal lives and they became friends, an enjoyable read :)
Robin Nicholas
I enjoyed it, but I wouldn't call it a great book...or even necessarily recommend it to people. However, it you happen to be reading it, it will keep you entertained.
My kind of story - random people coming together and becoming friends and helping each other through hard times and making life better for everyone!
Emily Poyser
Found this book by chance and wasnt sure it was something would like, but really enjoyed it. Now on search for more Erica James books!!
I didn't like the book, to be honest. It was like a 'teleserye' to me.
A Brit lit beach read with zany characters facing many personal dilemmas.
Enjoyed this. Not a taxing read but enough storyline to get your teeth into.
A nice read but occasionally I lost track of the characters.
Great read....very reminiscent of Maeve Binchy or Rosamunde Pilcher.
A great book to sit back and read on a Saturday night!:)
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With an insatiable appetite for other people's business, Erica James will readily strike up conversation with strangers in the hope of unearthing a useful gem for her writing. She finds it the best way to write authentic characters for her novels, although her two grown-up sons claim they will never recover from a childhood spent in a perpetual state of embarrassment at their mother's compulsion.

More about Erica James...
Tell It to the Skies The Queen of New Beginnings Gardens of Delight Love and Devotion It's the Little Things

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