While walking home from work one evening, Jeff Manning is struck by a car and killed. Two women fall to pieces at the news: his wife, Claire, and his co-worker Tish. Reeling from her loss, Claire must comfort her grieving son as well as contend with funeral arrangements, well-meaning family members, and the arrival of Jeff’s estranged brother, who was her ex-boyfriend. Tish volunteers to attend the funeral on her company’s behalf, but only she knows the true risk of inserting herself into the wreckage of Jeff’s life.
Told through the three voices of Jeff, Tish, and Claire, Hidden explores the complexity of relationships, the repercussions of our personal choices, and the responsibilities we have to the ones we love.
Catherine McKenzie was born and raised in Montreal, Canada. A graduate of McGill in History and Law, Catherine practiced law in Montreal for twenty years before retiring to write full time. An avid runner and skier, she's the author of numerous bestsellers including HIDDEN, FRACTURED, THE and the GOOD LIAR. I'LL NEVER TELL was a #1 Amazon Bestseller, a Globe & Mail and Toronto Star Bestseller, shortlisted for the Hugh McLennan Prize for Fiction and has been optioned for a television series by Paramount TV. Her 2022 release, PLEASE JOIN US, has been optioned by Fox Television.
Her next novel, HAVE YOU SEEN HER, will be released on June 27, 2023.
It took me 3 days to decide to review this book for two big reasons: 1.) I liked it on some level and I didn't want to be harsh. 2.) I honestly don't enjoy offending people and in this case authors because writing a book is fucking hard.
That said, I just had to review this because 3 days later, it still managed to irritate the hell out of me and I don't feel comfortable when I don't review books that affected me.
Warning: THERE WILL BE SPOILERS.
Where do I even start? I hated Tish with a burning passion. And no, it's not because I can relate to Claire or for any other sanctimonious personal reason. I hated her because she was a lying, inconsiderate fuck who didn't deserve a good husband or any of the luxuries she got in the book. I hated her because she had the audacity to show up at the funeral of a man she had an affair with while ditching her poor daughter for her self-centered ass. I hated her because she willingly fucked another woman's husband(a woman who offered her kindness when she was being whiny, a woman she had met and looked in the fucking face then had an affair with her husband!) God, the nerve! I also didn't buy that the reason she didn't tell Claire the truth about the affair is because she promised to keep it a secret for Jeff. She was saving her own ass because she's the kind of person who loves to eat their cake and have it. I mean, Why ruin the stable home she has when she can fuck up someone else's life with no consequences. It's the perfect turn-out for a gutless liar.
Then, there's Jeff. Spineless asshole. Nothing remotely interesting about him.
Claire - She was the only tolerable character I didn't want to drop kick. The fact that she didn't end up knowing the truth about the affair really bugged me because I could sense how much it mattered to her. I don't buy that garbage Beth was spewing about how she would have been happier with her ex if she never found out about his affair. WRONG It is human nature to want to be protected from the truth and maybe even reminisce about what could have been. That doesn't make it reality. Beth might have preferred to be oblivious but she can't speak for Claire on that issue. Who is to say Beth's husband wouldn't have grown increasingly unhappy till it ended up affecting their marriage? Just because the truth hurts doesn't mean we should always shield ourselves from it.
Characterization and Mechanics: I had a minor problem with the characterization. For some reason, Tish and Claire's voices sounded really similar as if they were the same person. They thought alike, they spoke alike and even their families were fairly similar. ( as in decent spouse and single child of about the same age). It's not that big of a deal but it stood out when I had small confusion deciphering whose perspective I was reading. As for the mechanics, I also had issue figuring out the past from the present cause the story kinda jumped around.
1.) I really liked the writing style. Aside from the minor repetition of phrases during dialogs, I would absolutely love to read more from this writer.
That said, beyond my major grievances, I have to wonder what question the author was trying to pose with this book. Honestly, nothing that occurred offered any insights into why people cheat. The story only scraped the very surface of the concept so I felt like there was little reason for Jeff to cheat at all. In retrospect, I get that there isn't always a reason to why people cheat but because the author never delved into Jeff's rationalization of his behavior, I just assumed it was an eye for an eye type situation where he only strayed as a revenge to Claire for kissing his brother. Is this far-fetched? Maybe. But that's how I felt at the end of the book.
I was so disappointed by this book. I loved McKenzie's first three books and read it despite thinking that the concept seemed a little boring and done compared to her previous novels. Man dies, wife and mysterious other woman left in his wake. I figured in McKenzie's hands, this tired concept would take on new life. It did not.
What I found unforgivable was how completely indistinct the three narrators are. She tells each character's part of the story with identical voices. Sometimes it took me a page to figure out who's voice we were hearing. And that's even considering one was male!
Following from that, I found the two women interchangeable. Oh, one has a son and one has a daughter. One plays piano and the other..zzz...These touchstones were the only way to tell them apart. Neither had any life, spark, distinct qualities. I'd pick up the book after a day off and not be able to remember anything about the character, or which was which. There wasn't even enough description for me to create an image of either in my head, or what their homes were like. As a result, I found myself disengaged and not caring what happened to them.
This is essentially a book where nothing happens. Which can be fine and even shocking when enough suspense is built up and you think something huge has happened. Here it was just like, oh, nothing really happened? Yeah, I saw that coming. I appreciate that in real life, not all affairs are searing Hollywood dramas and I appreciate an author taking one like this on. But there just wasn't enough buildup or I just didn't care enough about the characters.
The one thing I really liked,and wished there was more of, was how McKenzie explores the debatable perspective that sometimes it's better not to know but how impossible it is to stop yourself from looking anyway.
I really really hope McKenzie's next is better and I will keep reading based on her first three.
In some ways, Catherine McKenzie's fourth novel, HIDDEN, resembles a mystery. It's a story about a relationship triangle, between Jeff, the husband whose unexpected death tears out the hearts of two women: his wife, Claire, and Tish, the co-worker with whom he had an intense bond -- but what exactly was its nature?
In HIDDEN, the mystery is not "who dunnit" but why, and even, what did they do, exactly? One result is that like a suspenseful mystery, it's a compulsive page-turner.
McKenzie handles the three very different voices with skill and empathy, and by the time we reach the conclusion, we understand the whats and the whys. The ending, like life, is messy, revealing three flawed characters trying to do their best and not always succeeding, and I have a feeling that some readers may be upset by certain aspects of it. For me, though, the messiness is both true to life, and true to the story. I love the complexity and growth that McKenzie demonstrates with HIDDEN, and I can't wait to read her next one.
Montreal writer, Catherine McKenzie tells a great yarn and Hidden is no exception. Although I had an inkling about what would be the big revelation, I couldn't turn away from the pages and felt the book was highly intriguing. Despite the fact that the story is a slowburn, the three person narrative of the husband, wife, and a female friend that might have been more kept me turning the pages.
Hidden by Catherine McKenzie is a Lake Union publishing 2014 release.
Claire and Jeff have a pretty good marriage up until Claire has an unplanned pregnancy and a miscarriage which sends her into a tailspin. She makes some pretty drastic changes in her life and her marriage begins to slip away bit by bit. But, things had gotten back on a more equal footing until Jeff is killed in an accident and a young woman he worked with attends his funeral leaving Claire with an uneasy feeling.
The story takes us back to Claire and Jeff's beginning. Claire and Jeff's brother, Tim, had been a hot item until obligations separated them. With Tim out of the picture, Claire and Jeff begin dating, fall in love, marry,and have a son. We hear this part of the story mainly from Jeff's point of view. We are also given Clarie's perspective and Tish's perpective as the story unfolds.
Jeff never quite got past Claire's past relationship with Tim. He always had a deeply rooted suspicion that things were never completely resolved between them. When Claire begins to have trouble emotionally after her miscarriage, It's Tim, not Jeff, who sees that Claire is not doing well.
By the time Jeff wakes up to his wife's issues he is at a loss as to how to make things better. Then Jeff meets Tish. She is married to a doctor and has a young daughter. She and Jeff are both avid golfers and there is an attraction between them . Both of them know full well they are playing with fire, but they just go right on flirting with disaster.
Tish and Jeff explain their relationship as it evolved, the decisions they made and why they made them.
It is so easy to see how people can find themselves in a vulnerable place in their lives, meet someone that is so alive, fun, and unburdened with your circumstances and before long each person is tempted to escape. Not to sound preachy, but as adults we should know this is a fantasy. The grass in not greener on the other side. Sooner or later, every relationship becomes burdened with reality. This is why they tell you "for better or worse, in sickness and in health "and all the rest of it. It's not all peachy every day. Money problems, job pressures, health, children and so on will take our time and sometimes our very essense. Marriage is hard work even at the best of times.
But, when hardships surface, a marriage can face even more adversity, giving it a true measure of its strength. Toss in Jeff's aloofness, or tone deafness, and Tim's sensitivity towards Claire and old jealousies come to the surface, complicating an already tense sitution. But, the real question here is whether or not the old adage of "What you don't know can't hurt you" is really true.
Even after all the information is presented, I couldn't completely sort out my feelings. Part of me is mad, part of me is relieved. Adultery is a touchy subject, very emotional, and certainly raises the tension level. I was turning pages as fast as possible! But, at the end of the day, any story bold enough to wade into the murky waters of infidelity nearly always comes off as a cautionary tale. Read this book and you'll see it is no exception to that rule. Very thought provoking and utterly absorbing.
Hidden is my first novel by Catherine McKenzie. It was thought provoking and well-written. Jeff Manning is suddenly killed and leaves two women devastated. One, his wife Claire who is left to struggle with this unimaginable loss and the other, Jeff's co-worker Tish who not only has to hide her grief but is faced with hiding her secret before anyone discovers it. Narrated by three different characters, at times, I was confused as to who was speaking. Other than that I truly felt connected to the characters and experienced their emotions along with them. The epilogue is a surprise that is not only tender but satisfying and memorable. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel - full of life lessons - and hope to read more of this author's work.
When it comes to cheating, there are varying opinions on whether you should break your partner's heart by coming clean or keep it to yourself and allow guilt to be your isolating punishment. I say it depends. Is cheating a chronic issue for you? That needs to be discussed. Have you put your partner at risk of an STD? That absolutely needs to be discussed. Other than that? Just don't. At least don't if the only reason is to relieve yourself of guilt because that makes you an @sshole. You've brought the person who chose you and only you down in a hole with you and only the very resilient ones get out intact. True forgiveness is not a natural trait found easily these days. In Hidden, Catherine McKenzie shows how these choices look both externally and internally, and various forms of infidelity were explored. There's the physical crossing of boundaries obviously, but there's also that tricky emotional infidelity which can be far more destructive than a one-time act. I liked that Ms. McKenzie explored this debate with such grace and thoroughness, but I didn't find the book as a whole to be incredibly engaging. But...I firmly believe this story was written to provoke thought and not necessarily for entertainment value and when you think, you gain perspective and grow. There is ALWAYS value in that. Check it out!
My favorite quote: "It’s so easy, even in this day of suspicion and privacy, to find someone if they’re not careful. It’s so easy to lose someone too."
From the first chapter of Hidden, I was hooked. Catherine McKenzie’s writing grabbed me, held on tight and made me wonder all along - did it really happen? Did Tish and Jeff betray Brian and Claire? Infidelity isn’t an easy thing to read about, but this story was so well written, emotional and thought-provoking.
Naturally, Claire is devastated when she unexpectedly loses her husband, Jeff. With the help of her family she tries to pull things together the best she can for their son. But, it’s rough. Especially, as pieces of Jeff’s life start to unravel and suspicion starts niggling away and consuming her thoughts.
“ I don’t need my heart anymore / you can have it . . . “
Claire isn’t the only woman broken over the loss of Jeff. Tish and Jeff were work colleagues, living in different states but communicating through email and video conferences. What started off as just a work training, turned into a flirty and emotional connection. One that made them both question their current relationships. Tish has a husband of her own and a daughter, but there's something about her that feels unsettled.
“This is going to sound strange, but… do you ever wish you could do your life over again?”
As more of the story unfolds, it comes out that Claire and Jeff didn’t have the perfect marriage. There were past mistakes and hurt, like any relationship. Claire starts to question Jeff and make assumptions. It takes Tim, the one person that’s always been a wedge between her and Jeff, to see what’s been right in front of her all along. They both made mistakes, but in the end chose each other. Isn’t that all that should matter?
I love, love, love how this story unfolded. With pieces of the past and the present being thrown at us from the alternating POVs of Claire (the wife), Jeff (the husband) and Tish (the other woman). I’m not exaggerating when I say I couldn’t put this book down. It's the first book I’ve read from this author and her writing was engaging and flowed so perfectly. I don’t want to give anything away but the epilogue…..wow. It was epic. Changed everything.
This is not REALLY a spoiler review, but it's an opinion heavy review, in which spoilers maaaay be read from between the lines, maybe. I would not call it a spoiler review, but if you want to go into this one COMPLETELY green, then you may want to skip this review just to be on the safe side.
This is a tough one to rate. I kept waiting for the moment when all hell would break loose, but it just wasn't a hell-breaking-loose kind of book. Everything kind of rolled leisurely to light. However it did keep my interest throughout. The characters of Jeff and Tish were very immature and shallow in all their "love" talk (which was not love at all, but lust and boredom). I HOPE that the author was intending to portray them as immature and shallow and NOT trying to drum up sympathy for this adulterous duo with their talk of love and connection and all that. The cheating was born pretty much out of boredom, as both parties had it pretty good at home. I felt like the author was rather sympathetic towards Tish, the mistress. I don't know if this was a deliberate technique to force the reader to think against such a tone or what, but I just did not like this Tish gal and thought she was selfish, selfish, selfish. And really, I didn't expect much better from Jeff, the front-runner for most immature man in the world until he got hit by a car in the first 5% of the book. Really all this can be gleaned from the first 20 pages. I won't even get into the ending, which I have a BIG opinion about. Props to whoever was in charge of cover design on this one. A pretty clever cover. Clever title as well.
I have long been a fan of Catherine McKenzie. From her very first book she captivated my interest and has held it since with three more books including her newest entitled Hidden which releases tomorrow. Hidden takes us into the lives of husbands, wives, maybe mistresses, and all the things that make up the lives we live each day. It is a very real and honest novel that is raw and emotional and is a change from her previous novels that always seemed to have a funny side to them. Hidden shows just what an extremely talented writer Catherine McKenzie is.
Hidden introduces us to three narrators: Claire, Jeff, and Tish. Each chapter alternates between them giving us an insight into who they were and are now. Claire and Jeff are married with a son and Tish is married with a daughter. Jeff and Tish work for the same company although in different locations and have developed a strong friendship. After Jeff’s death certain things come to light that cause Claire to wonder if Jeff and Tish had been having an affair. Her sister tells her to leave it alone as what can it matter now that he’s gone but Claire can’t do that. She can’t go forward with her life until she finds out for sure what had been going on. Had Jeff cheated on her? It’s not like he and Claire didn’t have a complicated past. And more importantly why does this woman Tish seems just as broken as she Claire is over the death of Jeff?
Hidden addresses a very complex circle of relationships, both past and present, and how they make us the people we become and also how these past experiences shape our future relationships with each other and others. The characters are all very well developed but as usual with me I gravitated towards the female characters but mostly with Claire. Her emotional response to losing her husband was just so raw that you couldn’t help being drawn to her. Despite feeling as though her whole world had ended she knew she had to pull herself up and move forward for her son and for herself. I could feel her pain and uncertainty when she became suspicious of Jeff’s relationship to Tish and also of her need for the truth even if it was even more devastating to her already fragile heart.
Hidden is one of those novels that would make a fantastic book for your book club. There is even a Reading Guide that can help you and your book club have a great discussion. There are a multitude of topics to discuss in this novel from marriage, children, identity, jobs, and infidelity. I can guarantee that there will not be a shortage of things to discuss and debate and I imagine that this is one of those novels that will evoke a strong response from those chatting on the issues brought forth.
As always Catherine has impressed me with yet another fantastic novel that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend. She has a way of getting to the heart of people and their emotions and portraying that in a story that literally enthralls you from the very first page!
I was introduced to Catherine McKenzie’s “Hidden” by way of a Facebook book group (because it clearly gets no more “book nerd” than that). McKenzie is a well-published Canadian author that I have somehow managed to overlook in all of my years of reading. In “Hidden”, a man is killed in a car accident, leaving behind a wife and son. But then there is also “Tish”, a “co-worker” and “friend” of the man, who has her own secrets to tell. But what secrets? And what will she tell? And how will this affect the life of Claire, the man’s wife? What secrets is Claire hiding? The story’s description reads like something from an overly dramatic soap opera. I am happy to say though, that the novel does not. The characters and the relationships they form are nothing but genuine and relatable. The characters have their own sets of flaws and dysfunctions, and yet a reader is automatically sympathetic to all of them. I am always happy to report when I am satisfied by an ending, and this book proved to give me the satisfaction I always search for. I do encourage readers to read the prologue though, to give more answers to any remaining questions. McKenzie is definitely a “hidden Canadian talent” (to me at least!) who I hope is receiving the recognition she deserves from someone in the Universe with more power than me. “Hidden” is a great read, and I read it quickly. Each chapter is just small enough to satisfy, and yet leave you wanting more. I was impressed with McKenzie’s work and will now begin the search to find her other works.
Thanks to Netgalley and New Harvest for the advanced copy.
When Jeff Manning is killed in a freak accident on his way home from work, not only does his wife (Claire) and son feel the impact, but there is another woman who feels the loss as well. Tish, a co-worker of Jeff's, who he has formed a bond with that exceeds the relationship limits of most co-workers, is trying to cope with his death in her own way.
This story is told from three points-of-view: Jeff, Claire, and Tish. This allowed me to sneak inside their minds and get every perspective of the lives that were affected.
I was immediately sucked into this book. I found that the characters were incredibly realistic and I connected with each and every one of them. This connection even haunted me long after I had finished the book.
I would definitely recommend this book as it is an easy read and I finished it in the total of one day. In the end it will leave you questioning the importance of people in your life and how your death would affect those close to you. I know that sounds a bit morbid, but I assure you that it isn't a heavy book, but rather one that leaves you pondering your life in a very positive way. At least that's how "Hidden" affected me.
Love - One emotion, that makes us or breaks us. I always found it as delusional emotion where somethings wait everything isn't justified ever. We love once, others are just I guess compromises. I think a person falling in love twice like Jeff are luckiest ones ever found. Clarie - I disliked her at certain points when she tries to prove her point confronting the people but maybe that was inevitable for her peace of heart. Tish - Only words I have for her is she kept her promise, saving many hearts from being broken. Jeff - His maturity level and understanding about her wife was completely astonishing. He knew how to and when to hold on boundaries. Yes, Epilogue is the thing which stays with you forever of this book. "Her hands moved to my face, forcing me to look her in the eyes I was already lost in. “We can’t tell, okay? We have to … this has to be our thing. Ours.” “Yes.” “Promise?” she asked. “Promise,” I agreed."
Hidden by Catherine McKenzie was the most surprising book of the year - it 200% exceeded my expectations!
If you haven't read this book, I'd highly recommend it. This contemporary novel follows the death of a man and the fallout that ensues. Jeff steps into the street (with his eyes closed, bad decision on his part) and is killed. His wife and son along with his co-workers must come to accept his death and unravel a big secret he left behind.
There is lots of drama in this book - cheating, big life decisions like changing jobs, following dreams and dealing with past mistakes. Claire, Jeff's wife, used to date Jeff's brother. When he left for Australia and broke up with Claire, suddenly feelings were developing between the now married couple. Claire and Jeff have a son, Seth, and end up experiencing a miscarriage when they try for a second child. Jeff always seems to compare himself to his brother and has his doubts about Claire's love. When Claire kisses Tim (her ex/Jeff's brother) Jeff goes on a bit of a spiral - in secret, of course.
Tish is Jeff's coworker. She works in HR and ends up helping him out during the firing that occurs just before he dies. The two of them went on a work trip together, and it's always hinted that there might be something more between them. Once Jeff dies, Claire goes on the hunt to see if this relationship existed.
The big theme of this book seems to be surrounding the concept of not knowing a secret or a bad thing can keep you innocent. Claire would have been devastated to know her dead husband cheated on her. Was it better to keep it in the dark? Would she have liked it better to know he was faithful or that he cheated? This final question is left up to the reader after the final chapter. Along the way, I kept going back and forth on whether I believed anything happened. The book does give the reader a concrete answer on this.
My personal opinions:
1. I don't like Tish. I'm not sure if Catherine meant for us to hate her, but I definitely did not like her. She goes to the funeral and makes Claire's life miserable. That woman didn't need to do this! Why in the world would you go out of your way to hurt a grieving widow?! She also seems rather clueless about her own daughter. There is a side of me that feels bad about her, but MAN I still dislike her. In the end, I believe she's the type of woman who is incredibly selfish. She did and didn't do something (major plot points) for her own well-being. No where does it say she did it for the well being of Claire, Seth, her husband, Jeff or her own daughter.
2. Jeff's a dumb man. He's also a jerk. Mainly because he's self-conscious about his relationship, so he should have gotten some major therapy for that. If you're so concerned that your wife used to date your brother, maybe don't marry her? After his wife's miscarriage he didn't seem that supportive either, but that's my own personal opinion on how it was written. Also, who walks with their eyes closed into a street?
3. In the end, Claire should have run off into the sunset with Tim. I think she would have been much happier with him, especially after reading all of Jeff's short comings. Maybe that's the inner romance reader in me...
I might seem to have many negatives about this book, BUT IT IS STILL SO GOOD. I was hooked on every word and needed to know how the book ended. It was compelling and intriguing. I cannot recommend it enough.
The book does seem to be a "you love it or you don't" sort of novel with other reviewers, so reader beware! Either way, I enjoyed it! And that is what counts.
Final question: Did Claire ever join her sister in a joint law firm? I NEED TO KNOW. CATHERINE, HIT ME UP GIRL!
Five out of five stars.
I received this book through Goodreads First Reads.
At first, it was kind of a drag to be reading this, but as the story progressed, I felt really intrigued. Great plot, but the characters didn't win my heart. They were so real but so plain sometimes, that I couldn't help it. I liked Claire over Tish, of course. The story is told from the POV of the three main characters, the love triangle, and you have to get to the end to figure out what the mystery is.
This was good, but like others I felt this story line of a dead guy, his wife and his lover has been written about to death. The characters were kind of lacking and I felt when I was reading the two ladies tell there story it felt kind of the same. I didn't particularly like the writing style but it was a good late night insomnia read.
The story revolves around three primary characters and their issues. Jeff Manning is married to Claire. One Friday night, he leaves the office and is killed when hit by a car. Claire is devastated. So, is Tish, his office wife, whom was awaiting his call. Both women crumble when Jeff's gone. Tish is forced to try and deflect her pain in front of her attentive husband and her daughter and of course, those at the office. When she appears at the funeral, representing the company, Claire senses something amiss.
As Tish and Claire reflect on their past with Jeff, and dead Jeff chimes in on his take on his history with each woman, adding a very different perception to the mix. This book not only reveals how different people interpret events but also their joy and regrets from various vantage points. This was made the story fascinating which was greatly enhanced by McKenzie's tremendous talent. I don't really like to hear stories about affairs, especially when they are about someone I know. While others may enjoy the gossip and details, it hits to close to home for me both when I was young and later in my own family. The pain that results is deep. Honestly, I hated Tish at first since she is married and having a fling. I never particularly liked her but she became more empathetic as the story proceeded. Oh, and just so you know, I am not a big fan of Jeff because also cheated on his family, he dies. That said, this book was simply well done, especially, who love good character studies, this delivers. It made me really appreciate the growth each character exhibits over time.
This was probably a 3.5 given the insights that the characters and the reader gains as we see the aftermath of an affair. Claire's suspicions interfere with her grief and make her do some questionable things, likewise, Tish does too. Both reflect on her emotions and behavior and come to realize that everyone has good and bad points and choose to embrace their today and love those who remain. I felt the end was strong and satisfying.
I like Ms. McKenzie's work and her writing style is quite a pleasure. I prefer her other books more than this but I am definitely planning to read the her future works. Enjoy!
"But, of course, everyone has regrets. Loose ends. Things they could do if they had more time." (Hidden, ebook pg 103)
Catherine McKenzie has spun a tale that is still resonating with me. She wrote what is was like to have to face a loss and to make life work under a new and uncarted set of circumstances. When Claire loses her husband, Jeff, expectedly her life is turned upside down. But, when she has an encounter with one of Jeff's co-worker at Jeff's funeral her life takes another unexpected detour down a road she may wished she never explored.
"I've spent a lot of time thinking about this, too much probably, and I don't think that bad actions erase good ones. Not really." (Hidden, ebook pg 278)
We all too often just go along with life, not wanting to upset the order of things. Not really wanting to discovering what may lie ahead. Hidden explores what happens when people make choices, how each choice affects others in ways we may never had intended. How we, at times, are forces to move ahead and take the reins in our own new reality.
"That I'd been letting life act itself out on me when I should have been directing it." (Hidden, ebook pg 139)
How many of us wish we could go back and unlearn something that was completly unexpected and rocks our world to the core. Hidden explores what is the best about literature; human relationships at their best and worst, complexities in marriages, the impact of loss and how every action has a consequence.
"Everyone says that, but we all lie about things. Little things, big things. We all keep stuff hidden. And the longer you're with someone, the more stuff there is like that, I think. That doesn't mean he didn't love me, or wasn't good to me in other ways. So it made me think. Maybe honesty is isn't always the best policy. Because him telling me about it was selfish. The only person it was going to make feel any better was him. So maybe if you make a mistake, you have to live with it by yourself, and that's how you fix it." (Hidden, ebook pg 278)
The funny thing about this book is that the wife never found out how her husband cheated on her while she stayed faithful to him until the end. Ok she did kiss his brother one time but compared to the husband's mistake, it's nothing. She stayed for him and yet he falls in love with another woman, doesn't trust her and the other woman has the gall to "keep her promise" to the husband by not telling the wife the truth. What's the point of making their affair an one time thing when they kissed and slept together? I feel horrible for the wife having to make herself believe that her husband didn't cheat on her . Just because he died doesn't mean all his mistakes should be hidden. I just can't bring myself to sympathize with the husband, the other woman. If it's going to turn out like the last chapter, may as well make the wife know the truth so she can move on with the brother. Overall, I feel bad for all characters except for the cheaters.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
This was my Kindle first selection for March-where you can choose one of 4 books for $1.99 and read it before it's published. Told from three perspectives, that of Jeff Manning, a guy who is killed in an accident and the two women in his life..his wife and, a woman he works with who may or may not be, his mistress? You will want to know, and you won't till the end.
The premise of this book was fascinating and would give a book group much to discuss. When Jeff Manning is unexpectedly dies while walking home from work, there are two women who mourn his loss: his wife Claire and coworker Tish.
Did Tish and Jeff have an affair or didn't they? Does Jeff's brother still carry a torch for Claire? We read the story of their lives from multiple POV: Jeff, Claire and Tish. As the POV changed it was sometimes difficult to tell who we were hearing from. Thus, three stars instead of four.
We wait until the Epilogue to find out the final answer and the picture is complete.
I'm a huge fan of Catherine McKenzie so I was thrilled to receive an ARC of Hidden. I love multiple points of view, and Catherine does a great job maintaining distinct narrative voices. Hidden is a compelling novel and I couldn't wait to turn the pages. It's heartbreakingly honest and real, and it's a wonderfully relatable tale.
My first book by Catherine McKenzie, an exceptional writer, and look forward to reading more of her books. Very intriguing . . .
While there are mixed reviews about HIDDEN, a compelling read, told through the three voices of Jeff, Tish, and Claire – the author does a fantastic job of leaving a lot to the reader’s imagination, with the building of tension throughout, flawed and messy lives, with real choices – raw emotions, making this an ideal book for discussions and book clubs with many takes, perspectives, and points of view. (Depending on which character you relate to the most).
Full of past and present experiences and ones which play into their future – highlighting charged topics about parenting, relationships, careers, work relationships, children, infidelity, and marriage and consequences. Is honesty the best policy? Should some secrets remain hidden?
A page- turner which will keep you seeking answers, full of intrigue, and suspense – to uncover the truth about Jeff’s life --a mystery between this love triangle – was it innocent, revenge, or just friendship?
Note: I would have given HIDDEN, a 5 star review, most likely-- if I had read the book. Instead, I listened to the audiobook (Audible.com) , and the voice of (Claire)-the wife (Angela Dawe), was the most annoying voice. She sounded as though she was reading from a script, with no emotion or feeling—making it very difficult to listen to her parts---the urge to fast forward over her voice was overwhelming; however, did not want to miss a part of the suspense – so suffered through. (I definitely will not buy another audiobook narrated by Angela Dawe, in the future). BUY THE BOOK OR E-BOOK instead!
On the other hand, the narrators (Jeff), the husband (Jeff Cummings), and (Tish), the co-worker/mistress (Amy McFadden)--Excellent.
Due to this, it really made me dislike Claire and her character, as felt she was annoying and boring. I did like Tish/Jeff together, as better suited for one another ---with a special bond and strong dynamics between the two. They have my vote��since this is fiction. BTW – Nice cover design.
I liked the quote: “Everyone says that, but we all lie about things. Little things, big things. We all keep stuff hidden. And the longer you're with someone, the more stuff there is like that, I think. That doesn't mean he didn't love me, or wasn't good to me in other ways. So it made me think. Maybe honesty is isn't always the best policy. Because him telling me about it was selfish. The only person it was going to make feel any better was him. So maybe if you make a mistake, you have to live with it by yourself, and that's how you fix it."
I have been back and forth with deciding how to rate this book.. and I just give up. So 3 stars it is.
Hidden was an ehh okay book. I wanted to like it more than I actually did but I just couldn't. In it, you will meet Tish. She is the kind of person you either end of hating or loving. Or ya know, liking and disliking. Either way, it's one or the other - never both. For me, I hated Tish. There was nothing that this girl could do to make me like her. Heck, even trying some wine to lighten my mood didn't even help.
Back to her, there was a shit ton of bad crap when thinking about Tish. She was kind of like black spirit, or hole, when it came to certain situations she was in. Whether it was cheating on her husband, being completely self-centered, or ya know... just an asshole.
Besides her, there's Jeff. I also hated him. I don't even want to dive into that deep dark rabbit hole because I'll never come up for air.
Other than all of that, I think the only decent person was Claire but she didn't really stand out to me either. I just lost overall interest before reaching the half-way point in this book. I kind of felt like a zombie reading the pages because I just wanted to know how it was going to end. Without rooting for anyone or anything to happen, I just wanted it over.