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Disappearing in Plain Sight

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  637 ratings  ·  88 reviews
Sixteen-year-old Lisa-Marie has been packed off to spend the summer with her aunt on the isolated shores of Crater Lake. She is drawn to Izzy Montgomery, a gifted trauma counsellor who is struggling through personal and professional challenges. Lisa-Marie also befriends Liam Collins, a man who goes quietly about his life trying to deal with his own secrets and guilt. The a ...more
ebook, 328 pages
Published February 1st 2013 by FriesenPress
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Average rating 3.91  · 
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 ·  637 ratings  ·  88 reviews

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Mar 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
We're only human. It's a cliche we've all heard before, but it carries a powerful message: life's messy, and we all make mistakes.

Sometimes our mistakes are insignificant; we can pick up the pieces and move on. Other times, life deals us an unfair hand, or the choices we make lead us down an unexpected path, and the resulting issues are not so easily solved.

What happens when our choices and imperfections continue to impact our lives for months, even years? Do we face the problem head-on and begi
Oct 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Most of the novels I read are centred on one main character whereas ‘disappearing in plain sight’ is centred on five core characters (one of whom is dead) and three other characters who almost steal centre-stage. When I’d finished reading I asked myself, ‘Who was the main character?’ and couldn’t come up with an answer. This made this novel very different. The writing is superb and there were scenes in two parts of the book that were beautifully crafted. The first is something we have all experi ...more
Aug 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
While I thought this was going to be more a story told from the point of view of a sixteen year old girl sent to her aunt’s home for the summer, Francis Guenette managed to bring multiple characters, their growth and interactions as they learn to face and sort their pasts and then move forward into the future. Cleverly penned with an eye for interaction and motivation into behaviors, fears and actions readers are pulled into the story that has little nuggets of gold buried within each character ...more
Sep 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
The novel focuses on Lisa-Maria who has been sent to live with her aunt for the summer and Izzy, a widow who is also the resident counsellor for the camp. Lisa-Marie is a typical sixteen year old with issues from her past she is yet to deal with. Izzy has her own issues which stops her being the professional she should be. There is a real sense of family about this novel; different people with different problems coming together and making a life for themselves with the ghost of Izzy’s husband Ca ...more
Apr 05, 2016 rated it liked it
The book packs an emotional punch, I found myself crying several times.
Lots of twists and turns, some I didn't expect. Some of the people didn't really become full-fledged characters to me. Dan, the priest was never more than a cardboard cut out priest. Aunt Beth never really came clear as a person, and Beullah just seemed like a bully. Lisa-Marie seemed like a real teen, but maybe a little too quick to get over her trauma.
I didn't understand how Izzy could work with friends as a trauma therap
Michelle Bacon
Suffering and psychology

Crater Lake has a camp where disturbed people go to get through their troubles. Izzy is an attractive counselor trying to help these people cope although she has some coping of her own to do. We explore the lives and troubles of Beulah and Aunt Bethany, Lisa-Marie, Caleb, Justin and Liam and watch as a tangled web of love and obsession unfold.
Debbie Young
Jun 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Orna Ross, Maia Sepp
Writing this review on 11 January, it may not seem much praise to say that this is one of the best books I've read this year - but I am pretty sure I will still be saying that by 31 December.

I chose this book because of the intriguing title and beautiful cover, and its setting on Vancouver Island, where some of my relatives lived for many years, but which I never had the good fortune to visit.

With regard to the setting, this was powerfully evoked by the writing, bringing the territory to life i
P.C. Zick
Dec 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Disappearing in Plain Sight by Francis L. Guenette is a beautifully executed novel about wounded souls attempting to heal and find their path in a life that hasn’t been kind—so far. The wounded bodies and minds converge in one lovely and isolated spot on Crater Lake on Vancouver Island off the coast of British Columbia, Canada. It’s the ideal spot to disappear in plain sight.
The title reminds me of times in my own life when I felt as if I was melting into the corner as life went on around me. It
Bernadette Robinson
Apr 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Please ignore the reading time quoted as the book was actually started on 03.02.14.

I was sent a copy of this book by the Author in exchange for an honest review.

I gave this a 4.5 stars.

What a great debut novel from this Author. Francis Guenette has obviously drawn on some of her real life skills as the book centres predominantly around Izzy, a trauma counsellor and Lisa-Marie a young sixteen year old.

Izzy is like the light that attracts the moth and her ever open house, attracts plenty of charac
Mar 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Crater Lake is a small fictional community. It is picturesque and somewhat isolated, chosen by its inhabitants so that each, in his or her own way, can grapple with a variety of personal trials that makes them want to disappear in plain site. And yet, they move forward, working through

I loved the characters in this book because I could relate to each of them. They all experienced great hardship and came through it to move forward with their lives. Grief, personal loss, failure to fit in ... all
Erin Fanning
May 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This lovely, intricately-plotted novel unfolds in layers, all rich in detail and intrigue, until author Francis Guenette ties the threads together for a satisfying and surprising conclusion. Told from the perspective of several characters--as is true with life, some more likable than others--the story is difficult to categorize, both literary and young adult, but ultimately impossible to put down. I look very forward to reading more in the series!
A.B. Shepherd
I'm not quite sure where I got the idea that this was a mystery novel. It is not.

It is what I would call semi-dark women's fiction with a heavy emphasis on sexual abuse and loss. That said, however, the author does a good job of exploring the psychological effects of both, and the recognition of our own responsibility when it comes to dealing with them.

I do not regret reading this novel, in spite of the fact that I was mistaken in it's genre.
Apr 07, 2016 rated it liked it
I generally liked this book and especially all the characters. I was really disappointed by the whole Liam, Lisa-Maria thing. Ruined it a bit for me.
Paula  Obermeier McCarty

I read a lot of books but I rarely write reviews. Most of the books are fun but not that memorable. I enjoy them but they usually don't touch me all that deeply (even the ones that are considered "literary"). This book took me by surprise.

First, I bought it thinking it took place near Crater Lake in Oregon and I used to live near there. Then I thought it was a suspense book about a missing person. Lastly, I thought it would be a typical light read. Well, I was wrong about all of those thi
Misfits farm
Mar 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lisa-Marie goes to stay with her Aunt Bethany. Bethany lives with her partner Beulah next to Camp Micah- a place for those who may have had a troubled past to have time to excel at different pastimes and to find themselves with counselling at the same time. The plot is based around 5 characters and their lives both now and in the past, the traumas they have endured and how they are patching things together. The scenes are beautifully described. This is one of those books that is hard to say too ...more
Feb 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The book introduces the reader to sixteen-year-old Lisa-Marie, sent to spend the summer with her aunt Bethany in a remote town on the edge of the fictional Crater Lake. Her aunt resides in a simple A-frame within the confines of Camp Micah, a counsellor’s camp for young ways and strays. Like any sixteen-year-old, Lisa-Marie is instantly taken by the camp's resident hunk, nineteen-year-old Justin, and as time progresses she develops confusing feelings towards Izzy Montgomery, the camp's exception ...more
Jun 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Disappearing in Plain Sight" is a glimpse at the wild ugliness of humanity in the midst of the wild beauty of nature. Guenette tells the story of many characters in a way that is both raw and empathetic.

I was disappointed at first that the characters seemed mostly built on stereotypes and that the story often ventured into the "telling instead of showing" realm. However, this story ultimately invites the reader into a precious and intimate group of people in various stages of grief. In the mid
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant from start to finish.

Life doesn't always turn out the way we want it to, but it's how you hang on to face another day that defines you. That's what this book is about...loved it and sad to finish; can't wait to start on another in the series.
Jan 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly good read!

Nothing to dislike. Well developed characters,struggles, and triumph! I could see each of these people and feel their strengths. Very nice.
Cathy Ryan
Sep 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Lisa-Marie is spending the summer on the beautiful shores of Crater Lake, Vancouver Island, with her Aunt Bethany and her aunt’s partner, Beulah. They live by Camp Micah, a refuge for troubled teenagers who have spent years in care, and among a small diverse community who all have their own conflicting personalities, emotions and issues.

Crater Lake is remote and peaceful, a place to which people gravitate in the hope of leaving behind their troubled pasts. But, as the cast of very authentic and
Kevin Brennan
Nov 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
It’s been quite a while since I’ve read a book so steeped in a vivid sense of place. Because this novel is set in a remote corner of Canada’s Vancouver Island, it feels almost mythic. Francis Guenette’s descriptions of fictional Crater Lake and environs are rich, detailed, textured, and almost tangible, and the reader learns where all the wooded trails lead as the characters live their lives at Micah Camp, a counseling facility for troubled young people.

What Guenette depicts with her fairly larg
Sep 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: canada
What a book! The novel follows the stories of various residents in the little community at Crater Lake. With stunning sensitivity and an acute awareness of the importance of historically complete stories, Francis weaves together these broken and touching lives into a tale of emotional healing.
The writer has a real flair for her craft; even at the points where the plot slowed down and I started to worry that not much else would happen, Ms. Guenette's writing carried me through. If you're reading
Gloria Antypowich
Mar 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing

As a first novel, Disappearing in Plain Sight,is a stellar accomplishment for Franics Guenette. As a rule, I only read with my Kindle when I go to bed at night, but once I started to read this book I didn't want to stop. I read until 2 o'clock in the morning, which is two and a half hours past my normal bed time. I shut my kindle off and tried to go to sleep, but I was so captivated by the story that I couldn't shut my mind down. It took me a long time to drift off and when I woke up in the morn
Oct 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
With Disappearing in Plain Sight, Francis Guenette has created a story that doesn’t let you off the hook The reader gets to know the community members pretty soon. The characters, their ways of dealing with stuff, their feelings, and the events are very real. You may often think differently, however you know that there are persons in your life who act and feel like the characters in question. The characters and locations are fittingly described; you feel Francis’ love for characters and site. Di ...more
Suzanne Main
Mar 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Disappearing in Plain Sight is a beautiful and thoughtful book full of rich characters.

Rather than centering on one protagonist, it follows a group of friends over a summer as each is forced to confront their past and face their future.

It is a contemplative read. Some books in this genre can be slow and/or boring but Disappearing in Plain Sight never falls into that trap. From early on, I could identify with the characters, and wanted to know what their back stories were and what would become of
Genevieve Mckay
Dec 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book was a delight to read. The author, Francis Guenette, writes in a lovely, lyrical style that draws her readers in. She takes the time to develop the many complex layers of her characters and is not afraid to pull apart and examine both the dark and light aspects of human nature. She introduces her readers to a very likable (most of them ha ha) cast of characters who have learned to deal with life’s challenges in very different ways. Guenette transports readers to a carefully crafted fic ...more
Apr 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The story unfolds as Lisa-Marie, a troubled teenager, spends the summer with her aunt near Crater Lake on Vancouver Island. The descriptions of the area give vivid backdrops to a difficult story of the young girl’s growth. The people who inhabit the tight-knit social climate all change during the summer. The devastating loss two years ago of Caleb, a central figure to the inhabitant’s circle of friends, finally plays out as his closest associates emerge from their grief to deal with their lives. ...more
Pamela Crane
Jan 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: drama
Featuring a complicated tapestry of lives, Disappearing in Plain Sight delivers an emotion-packed, contemplative tale that can be a little too relatable for those who have suffered abuse, but overall a provocative read. The cast of characters invites quite a few names to top billing: Lisa-Marie, the spunky teen with an intriguing past; the ever-on-top-of-things Beulah; the cowardly Bethany; Izzy and her deceased husband; and sentimental Liam…though much more looms beneath each façade as their st ...more
Mar 29, 2016 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Angie Bigler
Apr 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I couldn't put this down!! I was quickly drawn into the lives of the complex characters in this beautifully written novel. The character's lives are rich with human emotion, relationships, romance and mystery. I found myself wanting to be there along with them in the beautiful scenery of Crater Lake, which is described perfectly by the author. She wove the cast, the setting and the myriad web of emotions dealing with topics like loss, abuse and healing into a stunning read that will stay with me ...more
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Hi – my name is Fran Guenette and I’m a writer! You can check out my author's facebook page here -

I live in a small, off-the-grid cabin in a remote location, right beside a lake. My husband, Bruce and our elderly dog, Lawson keep me company.

Can you imagine a better setting for a writer? I can’t.

We have an alternate power system for our home –a combinatio

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“Book-club night stopped abruptly when Caleb died. For almost a year and a half, as if by some type of tacit agreement, they all knew they couldn’t be in the same room at the same time. It was as if their collective grief would multiply, rebounding endlessly within any closed space like an image in a house of mirrors, until the pain would overcome them all.” 1 likes
“When Caleb said it didn’t matter who you had been or what you had done he meant it; and you knew he meant it. That type of acceptance could transform a person. But it was also important to be able to tell your painful stories and know that someone else really heard you – that someone stepped onto the path of darkness and walked alongside of you. It mattered that another person wanted to know who you had been and what had happened to you.” 1 likes
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