Hidden Places
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Hidden Places

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4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  2,225 ratings  ·  252 reviews
A widowed mother of three is desperately trying to keep her family orchard from going under during the Great Depression.
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Published July 1st 2001 by Bethany House Publishers (first published January 1st 2001)
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Jeannette Garcia
Hidden Places is incredible. It was such a beautiful portrayal of Biblical truth... I was surprised when I realized how much I learned from this book. Such characters as Aunt Batty and Walter Gibson just exuded so much wisdom in their part of the story. Stories like this make you realize how important relationships are... I've never had that great of a relationship with my own father, but I know that above my earthly father I have a Heavenly Father whose love shows no bounds. Lynn Austin is an e...more
Linnette
What an incredible read! Lynn's portrayal of the human heart is spot on in every instance!

Hidden Places delved into the hidden places within - healing me in places, challenging me in others, and leaving question for me to answer about myself.

I love Aunt Batty! What an amazing and accurate perspective she has of God. I want to be just like her when I grow up!

Eliza is the woman we so often find ourselves to be - hurt, confused, afraid... Gabe, the wounded hero, is incredible in spite of his mis...more
Lori Henrich
Loved this story. This is the first book by this author that I have read and it won't be the last. It flowed well, kept me interested, had the enough faith based info without being to preachy or overdone. Someone could easily read this story and be led to the Lord. What I like the most about the flow of the story was that you weren't given the entire past of the characters all at once. Just when I started to wonder about certain aspects of what happened previously it was shared. At times I wante...more
Rebecca Graf
Heartwarming stories of family, forgiveness, healing, and miracles get me every time. Lynn Austin does a wonderful job in Hidden Places where secrets, anger, and hate find a way to heal with God’s power.

Set during the Great Depression, a young woman finds herself alone raising three children and attempting to manage an apple orchard. Bitterness from her own past as well as the pain inflicted on those around her cause Eliza to turn her back on God. In her eyes, God is punishing her for the many w...more
Cali
Aug 14, 2012 Cali rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Anyone who loves a good romance
This book is basically your typical romance because you know there's going to be a happy ending, but it did keep me guessing until the end. Throughout the book the characters' pasts are revealed one by one and you learn a little more each time.

I, like most readers, try to figure out where the story is going before it actually gets there. And with this book I would think I had it figured out, but would learn something new about a character and have to change my opinion. So, I had a few ideas abo...more
Kerry
I really enjoyed this book. Good "chick flick" in written form :)! Like the other Lynn Austen books, the subject matter is somewhat depressing in a way, but somewhat uplifting at the same time, if that makes any sense. All’s well that ends well :) haha!
Louise
This is the second Austin novel I've read and found the style in which it was written, very similar to her other novel 'Eve's Daughters'. I enjoy this author's style and was just as captivated by this Historical Fiction as I was the other. Lynn Austin is a wonderful Christian author who has the talent of intertwining the morals and values of Christianity into her novels without at all being preachy or in your face with religion. These are just nice, clean, works of fiction.

Hidden Places begins a...more
Beth
Generally speaking, I like Lynn Austin books — really like Lynn Austin books! But this one wasn’t at all my favorite. In fact, when assigning a rating to it on Goodreads, I had to go with “it was okay” — a lowly 2-star rating.

I can’t figure out what made this one so mediocre. It’s Austin’s first novel, so maybe with her improved writing in her later books I’ve come to expect more. Maybe it’s because this didn’t delve deep enough into the historical aspects of this book, which is something I’ve c...more
Ml Herman
This book was a page turner. I was captivated by every character, but especially Aunt Batty. Her warmth and understanding kept me smiling. I enjoyed how the story was told. I'm not sure I've ever read another book where the story unfolded like it did in this book. Each character's story revealing yet another layer of the whole plot without any regard to a chronological timeline. So interesting and creative.

I chose to give the book only 4 stars because the characters had far fetched lives. Autho...more
Kayley
I'm always amazed at the depth Lynn Austin's books hold. The richness of her characters, the way a story line anyone could write becomes a heartfelt journey for the reader, and how you feel you've learned something when you shut the book. "Hidden Places" does every one of those things. Despite the unique situations of the story, Eliza's struggles are so easy to relate to, and the wisdom of Aunt Batty and Walter Gibson are like cool drinks of water in July. I always feel like my walk with God has...more
Jenifer
I really enjoyed this book! The writing style is simple and yet in places elegent and beautiful. The characters are well-developed deeply relatable and very realistic, each with both redeeming qualities and flaws, with both tighly guarded secrets and raw volunerability (don't our secrets make us voulnerable?) It was the tidy ending you were hoping for, but I found it satisfying inspite of being predictable. A thoroughly pleasant reading!
Shell Belle
Love this book! I've read it twice. It's one of those that are perfect for curling up by the fire with a blanket. Its one of the rather rare good Christian books- its romantic, but it also deals with many other things and is actually good literature as well as being inspirational! The characters are believable, and the use of many different story lines- past and present- means you never lose interest. I definitely recommend it.
Alexia


I thought it was a good book. I loved aunt batty from the beginning. It was worth the read . Very serious though and predictable and surprising at times. There could have been more romance.
Stephanie
If you liked Cold Sassy Tree or These is my Words, you'll like this book. I loved it!! Didn't get much done around the house till I was done reading it.
Shirley Hanson


This is a wonderful book. I'm glad that I have discovered this author. Lynn Austin makes a story come alive!
Jenn
This book came as a recommendation from my MIL who "absolutely loved it" and said it is now one if her all time favorite books. This book takes place during the Great Depression and is about a widowed mother who's father-in-law has just passed away leaving her the caretaker of the family's orchard. Wondering how she will run an orchard, help comes in the form of two "guardian angels"; her husband's "old aunt Batty" and wandering hobo Gabriel Harper. The story is told from Eliza's point of view a...more
Ruby Hudson
Great Book. One of my favorites. Loved this era.
Julie Klassen
One of my all time favorite books.
Chris
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Diane
This book is definitely a Keeper, meaning I'll listen to it again...but not too soon, as it's not an easy read. The difficulties the characters face are very real, in the context of each of their lives, and given their depth, the going was sometimes quite painful, even disturbing, particularly the unremittingness of the abuse various characters endured. I've sat with enough women living in abusive marriages to know just how trapped they can become, so I can totally see how Lillian ended up takin...more
Barbara
I don't usually read Christian fiction but my mother picked this up at the library and highly recommended it to me. I was just finishing one book and decided to pick this up before it's due date. It really was delightful. I noted that the book had won a Christy award (named for Catherine Marshall's book).

The setting is 1930s in the country and certain made me think of The Andy Griffith show. These are not all the kind of characters from that show though, a couple of them are quite despicable bu...more
Liz Collins
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rachael
I was not expecting to enjoy this book as much as I did. I almost never read fiction and I'd never read a book by a "Christian author" before and wasn't sure what to expect as far as that goes. But I couldn't put this book down. I thought the protagonist was irritating in that she complained so often about God taking things from her which hadn't actually been taken yet. But there were so many fascinating characters besides her to think about, it really didn't matter. I loved Aunt Batty the best...more
Leah (packfan20)
Another win from Lynn Austin! I probably would have given this 5 stars but the last 1/4 of the book felt disjointed and lost my attention. I loved the characters and felt like they were my friends. It's a story of struggle and love and while historic, the same issues exist today. Austin's writing just has a way of pulling you into the story and making you feel like you are there.

(view spoiler)...more
Susan
I enjoyed this story quite a bit. I liked how the author went from the present to the past and back to the present in order to help the reader get to know each character better. Part of the message I got from this book was that, as imperfect as we are as humans, God is aware of each of us and despite the mistakes we make (which can sometimes be life-altering)He loves us still and has a plan for us that includes those mistakes if we but turn to Him for help.

Lynn Austin's writing style really app...more
Sharon A.
I sometimes steer clear of "christian fiction," as I think frequently it's boring. But this was a well-written story, with interesting, flawed characters. I also enjoyed the look inside an orchard, and the circus, and it took me till almost the end to see how it might wrap up with a happy ending. I enjoyed it quite a lot.
Cheyenne G.
This book is about a widowed women who has three children and lives alone. She owns an orhcard all by herself that has a lot of debts that need to be paid. she doesn't even know how she can do this all on her own. Until a man knocks on her front porch asking if there is any work to be done in exchange for food. with a kind heart she brings Gabe into the family until he can get on his feet. Except through out this experience she finds herself drawn to Gabes gentle ways and learns a lot about him...more
Dahlene
After I picked up this novel it seemed familiar. I thought I'd seen a Hallmark movie of this story. After looking it up, indeed, I had seen it. I don't remember much about the movie, so this book had surprises all through it. I wonder if the movie left out a lot of parts, because I did not even remember the end. It seemed like a whole different story. The story is so much better than the book as always. It puts a whole different take on things when you can read the character's minds. The charact...more
Janie
This book by Lynn Austin is about a woman who is grieving because she just lost her husband and then a homeless man comes to her house with the name of Gabe Harper. Everyone thinks it is her husband's brother using a fake name, but her children think that he is an angel. this tells the stories of Eliza, Aunt Batty, and Lydia. All leading up to an unexpected ending. this is a pretty good book.
i think that you should read it if you like books by this author or you like books about farm people with...more
Robin Sampson
Excellent book. Set in Great Depression (I do not usualy read historical fiction).
The writing is unique in that an entire chapter of back story for five characters: mother, father, aunt, uncle, and son's stories were told by the the Aunt explaining the stories to the heroine (actually the aunt and uncle was one chapter). Each was packaged as story within the story.

Pieces of several mysteries were revealed in each back story. It flowed and transitioned really well. I lke it much better than fla...more
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For many years, Lynn Austin nurtured a desire to write but frequent travels and the demands of her growing family postponed her career. When her husband's work took Lynn to Bogota, Colombia, for two years, she used the B.A. she'd earned at Southern Connecticut State University to become a teacher. After returning to the U.S., the Austins moved to Anderson, Indiana, Thunder Bay, Ontario, and later...more
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“I've seen spring come to the orchard every year as far back as I can remember and I've never grown tired of it. Oh, the wonder of it! The outrageous beauty! God didn't have to give us cherry blossoms you know. He didn't have to make apple trees and peach trees burst into flower and fragrance. But God just loves to splurge. He gives us all this magnificence and then, if that isn't enough, He provides fruit from such extravagance.” 18 likes
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