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The Hidden Side

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  364 ratings  ·  152 reviews
New York, 2016
Natalie Abbott offers answers for hurting listeners on her popular radio program. But she struggles to connect with her teenagers, with her daughter in an unhealthy relationship and her son uncommunicative and isolated. When one member of the family commits an unspeakable act, Natalie is forced to uncover who she truly is under the façade of her radio persona
Paperback, 448 pages
Published May 8th 2018 by Tyndale House Publishers (first published May 2018)
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Average rating 4.33  · 
Rating details
 ·  364 ratings  ·  152 reviews

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May 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2018
Wow. I am a bit speechless and already feel sorry for whatever my next book might be.

The Hidden Side is a time slip novel and begins in the present day. I was drawn in immediately. How many Christian Fiction novels do you know that mention hiding Virginia Slims on page one? The entire novel is about hiding. Hiding things like cigarettes or truths from ourselves.

While I wasn't initially as engaged by the historical thread, I was pulled in and enjoyed Mercy's story. She was a strong woman that liv
Jenelle Hovde
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
6/5 stars.  I started Heidi Chiavaroli’s novel weeks ago and found myself unable to continue—but not for the reasons you might assume. I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind and I knew…KNEW…this was one of those books that had tremendous power and there would be no going back once started. So I set it aside until I could devote a full, undivided attention to each page. Simply put, my heart needed to be ready.

I've read many good novels. Extremely good novels…but once in awhile, I come across so
Heidi Chiavaroli caught my attention last year with her debut novel, Freedom’s Ring, and I can easily say that she surpassed herself with The Hidden Side. I admit that it took me several days to read the first fifty pages, not because it was a slow read or not keeping my attention, but rather because I knew what was coming, and I wasn't sure if my heart could bear it. I can't imagine the emotional agony that the Abbots endured, and I imagine that it takes a certain amount of bravery to face the ...more
Sarah Monzon
Apr 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
There have been a few books I’ve read in the last year that I just want to give either the author or the publisher a bravery medal for—this book is one of those. Tackling a sensitive subject that has hit too many close to home, school shooting are becoming all too frequent and are times in which the whole nation grieves. Shinning the light where it needs to be—individuals, grace, leaning on God—and not getting sideswiped by political outrages for or against gun control. I had no idea what the bo ...more
Apr 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Hidden Side is a powerful, grab you by the heart, kind of story. In actuality, it is two stories as it is a time-split novel, and both storylines are equally compelling.

This was not an emotionally easy novel for me to read. But if you are looking for a book that will stretch you and make you open your heart and delve into some uncomfortable questions, then this is a great story to grab hold of.

I appreciated the raw emotion and valid questions that were raised in both time periods, past and p
Heidi Chiavaroli
Apr 08, 2018 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
I received the first "official" copy of this book, my sophomore novel, a few days ago. No matter how I try, I can't resist reading it through one more time!

I'm pleased to be able to put The Hidden Side in the hands of my readers in just one month from today! This story pushed me outside of my comfort zone as I wrote it, and I am anxious to hear your thoughts on these characters who have come to mean so much to me. Thank you for trusting me to deliver you a worthwhile story.

One detail I was pleas
Whoa! Was this a different book! Heidi Chiavaroli can write!
Traveling right now, review to come.


First: The book cover.
You think this book, by the looks of it, is straight from the 18th century, but most of the time in the book is current day.

There are two stories: one of a present day family, the other is from the book that someone is reading in the family, set in the Revolutionary War period. During that period, there was a Culper spy ring pretending to be loyalists, gathe
Jocelyn Green
Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: time-slip
To say I enjoyed this novel (which is true) seems to fall flat for the depth of subject matter explored in The Hidden Side. Both the historical and contemporary pieces were equally well written, but I was drawn to the contemporary one even more, which is rare for this fan of histfic. While the two timelines weren't as intricately connected as I felt they were in Freedom's Ring, I give this book five stars for the immersive experience, the depth of emotion conveyed, and above all, for skillfully ...more
Melanie Dobson
May 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Heidi Chiavaroli has written another poignant novel that slips between a heart-wrenching present-day story and a tragic one set during the Revolutionary War. The Hidden Side explores the raw humanness of characters who are confronted with unimaginable sorrow and the secrets they keep to protect themselves and the people they love. Heidi does a remarkable job demonstrating how God's love and mercy can break through the darkest shame while honoring the immense pain experienced by hurting victims. ...more
Rachel McMillan
May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Renowned as one of the most dynamically intelligent new authors in the CBA in the past two years, Chiavaroli holds the rare honour of keeping readers captivated equally in both the historical and contemporary strands of her piece. Poetic. Heart-rending. Relevant and with a keen perspective of how the past marries the present with potent resonance.

If you want to see an author's heart on the page, look no further. I quite enjoyed the pacing and intricate plotting and the light that crept under the
This is one of the top 5 heaviest books I’ve ever read. It’s more than I care for, in that I read more for enjoyment and I wouldn’t say I enjoyed this. I would say it is extremely well written and well researched. I am also not a fan of split time/story novels. I felt and empathize more with the Abbotts in the contemporary storyline than I did with Mercy, a spy during the Revolution. I really appreciated the hope in Jesus that was brought full circle in both stories. There is always hope in the ...more
Clarice James
Author Heidi Chiavaroli gave me an Advance Reader Copy of her latest book, THE HIDDEN SIDE, a split time novel, available May 8, 2018 from Tyndale House Publishers. My mind is still reeling and grappling with these two tough stories: Mercy Howard, a spy for the Patriots during the American Revolution, and Natalie Abbott, wife and mother, living through a horrific family tragedy. Heidi does a thorough job of getting readers inside the minds and emotions of her characters. So well, I couldn’t slee ...more
Amanda Geaney
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Heidi Chiavaroli has left an indelible mark on my heart with her second novel. I attribute this primarily to the emotional depth she employs in her writing.

Full Review:
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed, favorites
There are some stories that I can't begin to imagine the journey the author went through to write them. There's a certain responsibility when writing difficult stories because at the same time you're not assuming to know what it means to go through these situations, you want the readers to have a glimpse, to connect, to not let these stories be forgotten so we may pray that they may not be repeated. Hence, I believe as challenging as they might be, they must be written and we readers should sear ...more
Jessica Baker (A Baker's Perspective)
Chiavaroli took my breath away with The Hidden Side. The raw emotion she managed to put in between the pages cuts straight to your heart and doesn’t let up. I found myself thinking about this story all day long, even when I was reading, and for days afterwards. The present day story felt so real to me, probably because it’s something that seems to happen frequently in this world. But to get inside the mind of the family who is suffering from this experience the most was absolutely mind blowing.

Monica Hills
I won this book from Goodreads Kindle Giveaways. I love historical fiction and I was intrigued that this novel was set during the Civil War for part of the story and then the other half was set in modern day. This is also a Christian Fiction novel. I don't want to give away spoilers but the modern day story shocked me and I had trouble with it. I am a teacher and I had a really tough time reading about what happened. The mother is a Christian radio jockey and she has twins who are in high school ...more
May 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
This story was heavy…it is the kind of story that will stay with me for a long time and caused me to think a lot about the issues that were presented.

I had a hard time getting into the story…it took me about 150 pages to really start to enjoy it but once I hit that point, I flew through the book. I became very invested in the characters (past and present) and learned a lot about historical events.

I love how the author took a story from the past and present and connected them. I also loved the fa
Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review can be summed up in one word: Wow. Just, wow. I ran through so many different emotions while reading, from nostalgia to sorrow to bittersweet hope, and it really threw me for a loop. I wanted- no, scratch that, I HAD - to read more, but at the same time I didn't. The emotions and angst were all too real, but I still needed to read more to find out that it was all going to be okay at the end.

Once in a while (unfortunately, it can be rare) you'll come across this one book that not only
Sep 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"You are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory." (p 365)

I'm not even sure how to review this one. So much to say but I really can't without posting a whole bunch of spoilers and I think it's best to experience The Hidden Side as the story unfolds because there really isn't any way to prepare you for what's to come.

It's a tough read -- the kind that singes your heart and forces you to look at things you'd rather not. That makes you uncomfortable as it
Apr 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Wow. This book. As I started flipping pages I realized how much this book was not what I was expecting, it was better! This is a dual timeline, which I love! The modern day story line was the one I really got into, though both are good. This story takes you right into the middle of the mess of a school shooting and the family of the shooter. Holy goodness this was a difficult read! I had really never thought about how the family must feel if their own child was the shooter. This was dealt with s ...more
Karen Sargent
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Heidi Chiavaroli did an amazing job of writing dual storylines that paralleled one another in theme (hiding one's true self). Although the settings and events were vastly different, the characters in the present and past experienced the same emotions throughout the story. I tend to choose contemporary over historical, but both stories were engaging, and I appreciate the research the author did to write about the spy ring during the Revolutionary War. The subject matter can be intense at times, b ...more
Cathy Gohlke
Sep 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Riveting and real—two stories—one unearths secrets of 21st Century America’s worst nightmare, and one the divided loyalties of Patriots and Tories alike in days leading to our country’s painful birth. How do we navigate turbulent waters? How did they? Chivaroli’s ability to write two equally compelling timelines and connect them through raw emotion, deep conflict and fulfilled need in one novel is stunning. The Hidden Side—a novel for all.
This is my first read by this author. I have looked forward to reading one of her books for some time. I love Christian historical fiction from the Revolutionary War period. I love historical fiction period. This is not simply a work of historical fiction. It is written from two time periods simultaneously, 225 years apart. I admit it was difficult for me to switch back and forth from 1776 to 2016 with a rather loose connection. It was like reading two separate books with three points of view.

Just Commonly
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
". . . if only I had faith enough to reveal the raw, unflattering skin of my true self and entrust it all to Him." (365)

I did not know what to expect when I picked up The Hidden Side by Heidi Chiavaroli. I've heard great things for her first novel, Freedom's Ring. So I was looking forward to The Hidden Side. If you saw the cover, you would never expect it to be a dual-time storyline.

As a reader, do you like stories that open your minds and hearts to situations that you've never think of? Do you
Oct 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
One thing I have found out about Ms. Chiavaroli is that when she writes, she deals with the heavy stuff, the things no one else will touch, and for that, I will keep going back to her books. Heidi Chiavaroli has become one of my favorite author because of her ability to weave the tough and less than perfect sides of life into wonderful dual-time stories.
So, what was it about this novel that I liked?
The dual-time. I have long been a fan of this type of novel because I love both contemporary and h
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Heidi Chiavaroli's latest time slip novel "The Hidden Side" is a powerful and incredibly emotional story that captivates her readers as she bravely addresses the topic of school shootings along with the bravery and losses faced by individuals fighting on both sides during the Revolutionary War. As a parent and a teacher, the school shootings hit close to home for me as that is something that we are constantly educating and preparing our staff and students of how to react to should such a situati ...more
Feb 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book! It was very well written! I thoroughly enjoyed they 3 different point of views in this story. This book touches on some deep issues, but it is written in such a great way. It definitely changed my thinking about tragedy. I really loved the part of the story that took place during the Revolutionary War. I highly recommend this book to everyone! There’s a good message of hope in this book.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. I was not required to write
Fiction Aficionado
This is one of the most heartbreaking books I’ve ever read. If I hadn’t been at my daughter’s ballet class when I finished reading it, I would have been a blubbering mess throughout its final chapters. In fact, I probably wouldn’t have been able to read the words at all, so perhaps it was better that I was somewhere I was forced to restrain my emotion! As it was, I still had to go digging for a tissue to surreptitiously wipe the tears that kept blurring my vision before streaming down my face. A ...more
Kerry Johnson
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Overwhelmingly honest, this story dove right into my mother's heart and resonated so that I could barely put it down.

The Hidden Side is split time, like the author's lovely debut, Freedom's Ring. The Revolutionary story side was engaging, but the present-day scenario was so incredibly relevant, I practically devoured the story when it was Natalie's point of view.

This author has a gift for tackling tough, gritty subjects with grace and a gentleness that allows the reader to process the story an
A powerful story that broke my heart for all the Chris’s of the world. Unforgettable.

Highly recommend. (There are disturbing themes—rape, school shooting, bullying—but all handled with subtlety and grace.)
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Heidi Chiavaroli is a writer, runner, and grace-clinger who could spend hours exploring places that whisper of historical secrets. She is an ACFW Carol Award winner and a Christy finalist. Both her debut novel, "Freedom's Ring" and her sophomore novel, "The Hidden Side" are Romantic Times Top Picks. "Freedom's Ring" was also a BOOKLIST Top Ten Romance Debut. She makes her home in Massachusetts wit ...more

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