More Cassie's story than Dauphine's. Dauphine's journey rushed, Cassie's romantic decision obvious. Will is annoying - he allows circumstances to dict...moreMore Cassie's story than Dauphine's. Dauphine's journey rushed, Cassie's romantic decision obvious. Will is annoying - he allows circumstances to dictate how he acts & he seems to be using Cassie which I don't think the author wanted to convey. Some twists and scenes soap operatic. Sex scenes better overall, but story development felt perfunctory.(less)
Catherine McKenzie’s Hidden is a wonderfully nuanced portrait of infidelity. When Jeff Manning is killed in a car accident, he leaves behind his griev...moreCatherine McKenzie’s Hidden is a wonderfully nuanced portrait of infidelity. When Jeff Manning is killed in a car accident, he leaves behind his grieving wife Claire and his grieving co-worker and girlfriend Tish. In such a story, it is all too easy to demonize one of the women, or to portray one as the man’s “true love.” McKenzie stays clear of that trap and in so doing, succeeds in crafting a complex, realistic tale of adult relationships, and the way people make them work.
McKenzie tells the story from all three perspectives, which makes each character come even more vividly to life. We see Jeff fall in love with Claire, and we understand the cause of his jealousy over her past relationship with his brother. We also see his first couple of encounters with Tish, and how they form an immediate connection. I love how his connection with Tish, despite the instant chemistry, was mostly more friendly than romantic, and I especially love how this connection in no way detracted from his feelings for Claire.
Claire and Tish themselves were fully fleshed out characters. Claire is a former lawyer who now runs a daycare, and the reasons behind her switch in plans gives an idea of how important family is to her. Her son’s grief over his father’s death is deeply felt as well, and his vulnerability when reading the eulogy at the funeral is palpable.
Tish has a more unusual family situation, with a highly intelligent doctor husband and a genius-level poet daughter. Their accomplishments are in stark contrast to Tish’s own lack of ambition, and despite her natural talent at golf and poetry, she is mostly content to coast. Her connection with Jeff, and the intensity of her feelings towards him, are therefore a significant step forward, and his death forces her even further out of her comfort zone.
Complex relationships form this book, but strong characterization makes it work. We are drawn to all three characters; they feel like people we know, and even though we already know it ultimately ends in tragedy, we still want to see how it progresses. Knowledge of Jeff’s impending death add poignancy to the flashbacks of his chapters, and reading about Claire and Tish’s grief interspersed with Jeff’s story just enhances the nuance.
Hidden is a captivating read, and a compelling portrayal of three people whose lives are inextricably intertwined. A mature, richly drawn narrative that is ultimately more about relationships, and making them work.(less)
A really good whodunit with a protagonist to root for. I like how the book delved into social issues like...moreI received this book in a Goodreads giveaway.
A really good whodunit with a protagonist to root for. I like how the book delved into social issues like class structures and racism, & how these highly influenced Raymond Donne's approach to the case. Donne appears to have a chip on his shoulder about privileged private school kids, at times judging them with unnecessary harshness (e.g. labelling them frivolous and spoiled before they even do anything) but other characters (Mrs Lee especially) have a more balanced view & the story shows how even the rich kids have far from perfect lives.(less)
What a letdown after Insurgent. I like the insertion of social issues, I like the ending (& unlike some others thought it was handled pretty well)...moreWhat a letdown after Insurgent. I like the insertion of social issues, I like the ending (& unlike some others thought it was handled pretty well). I found the pacing somewhat lacklustre and the handling of moral questions too black and white. Kudos though for showing an open, honest romantic relationship & not shying away from all the love scenes.
Very much a post-Hunger Games trilogy and it shows. Benefits from it in some way - more matter of fact about corruption etc - but psychological flatness of characters is highlighted by the comparison.(less)