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The Hidden Side by Heidi Chiavaroli
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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 stretches your capacity to understand your faith and accept grace in a whole new way. And, honestly, it will leave you feeling bruised and tender for some time to come.

Chiavaroli has courageously tackled some tough subject matter and exposes even more questions than answers by the time the story concludes. And that's a good thing because we need to be thinking and talking and listening. We need to be brave enough to come out of hiding; to tackle society's most difficult issues with compassionate honesty.

While this is a dual timeline novel, it's the present day story that held me captive. Mercy's historical viewpoint was interesting but I didn't feel a deep connection between the events of 1776 and those of present day. For me, the Abbott family's journey consumed me. I read each page with ever growing horror, reeling in despair as their lives unravel.. It took my breath away. It hurt. I was just as stunned and confused and grappling for answers as the characters were. But the author didn't leave us in that dark place. She reminds the Abbotts...and her readers...that we are not navigating through this complicated world alone.

"You are a broken mess. Your family is a broken mess. But your God is not." (p 361)

And when it comes to our brokenness -- we can choose to wallow in it or allow hope to carry us out of it.

"I chose the hope of something more in the center of our dire circumstances. I drew in a deep breath, made a decision to fall into His capable hands." (p 372)

Gut-wrenching. Sobering. Thought provoking. There's plenty to talk about so The Hidden Side would make a truly amazing Book Club selection. Definitely worth the time it takes to read and ponder.
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Reading Progress

March 5, 2018 – Shelved
March 5, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
Started Reading
September 20, 2018 – Finished Reading

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