Cynthia (A Blog about Nothing)'s Reviews > These Things Hidden

These Things Hidden by Heather Gudenkauf
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Feb 01, 11

Read in January, 2011 — I own a copy

After reading the synopsis for These Things Hidden I knew I wanted to read it, it was intriguing, and sounded very intense. I thought it was going to be a young adult novel which is pretty much all I ever read but it wasn't, it was more of an adult novel or a much older YA. When I figured out that it wasn't YA I immediately thought I wouldn't like it because I haven't read adult novels in quite a while, but I was wrong, because this book captured my attention from the first fifty pages.

The story focuses on the lives of four different women, three of them are college age and one is an older woman but they are all connected somehow and the reader doesn't really know the connection at the beginning, except for the two sisters. The book starts off with Allison Glenn being released from jail after serving five years for a horrible crime that she committed while she was still in high school. Allison has a sister name Brynn who is trying to live a normal life but filled with guilt and bitterness over what happened with her sister five years ago. Then we have Charm, another 20 year old who has a connection to Claire a book owner that has an adopted son, and I won't say much more on that so I won't spoil it for you. The book is told from the point of view of these four women and they are all very different, so even if it wouldn't have the character's name on top of each chapter the reader would be able to notice the differences in their voices and who's point of view you're reading it from. These were very well written and well developed characters that the reader can relate to and feel a connection to at least one of them.

This story was shocking almost all the way through, I kept getting blown away when things just kept being revealed and just about everything that I thought I knew and had already predicted was wrong, because the story doesn't really unravel all of its secrets until the end. It was intense and emotional, I cried at least four times while reading it and just had a very hard time putting it down, to say it had me glued to its pages doesn't even begin to describe it, I just needed to know what was going on and what had really happened to these people five years ago. I just kept saying NO WAYS and OMGs the whole way through, that's how shocking, intense, and good this book was. It had me fooled until almost the end and had me in tears through most of the story. It was definitely a great contemporary novel about real life choices, sister relationships, family secrets, and motherhood. If I had to choose one adult novel to read this year this would have been it, I'm glad I read it as it's a painful but beautifully written story.
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