These Things Hidden by Heather Gudenkauf is a compelling and often heartbreaking work of fiction that will be coming out at the end of this month (January 25th in paperback!). I found myself completely sucked into the story and unable to put it down. The novel is written from the perspective of four women who are all connected to one little boy. At times I found myself wishing the book was only told from one perspective, but after finishing the story I realize that much of the emotional turmoil would have been lost without the strong involvement of all four. This is a tale of one teenage girl who was sent to prison for a terrible crime and her need to reconnect with her sister. After getting out of prison, Allison starts trying to piece her life back to “normal”. She is able to get a job at a local bookstore and she finds herself hopeful with reconnecting with her sister Brynn. Her life may yet turn around. Then she meets her boss’ son, and Allison realizes her life is once again spinning out of control. She knows that the only person she can talk to is her estranged sister. This is the main storyline in the book, but there are several subplots for each character involved making the overall novel complex and captivating. The ending caught me off guard giving the story yet one more dimension and Gudenkauf did a great job with her characters. I especially like how the reader slowly learns more about the infamous night that sent Allison to prison keeping you engaged to the very end of the book. This is a great book if you are looking for a contemporary fiction novel.
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