Book Review: These Things Hidden – Heather Gudenkauf

Title: These Things Hidden
Author: Heather Gudenkauf
ISBN: 9780778328797
Pages:  352
Release Date: January 18, 2011
Publisher: Mira
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: Publicist
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Summary:

Allison Glenn has been in prison for five years.  Five years of living with her crime, five years without any family contact.  Once she was the golden girl of her high school, with dreams and aspirations of college and beyond, but now she is just another incarcerated woman about to be released on parole.  Allison wants to start over as she tries to get back in touch with her beloved younger sister, Bree.  But what Allison doesn’t realize is that her release from prison sparks a chain of events that will make her realize that there is no hiding from what happened that fateful night.

Review:

I’ve heard amazing things about Heather Gudenkauf’s first novel The Weight of Silence, and though I never found the time to read it, it’s a book I really want to explore at some point.  Therefore, when I heard that Gudenkauf’s second novel was releasing in early 2011 and was offered the chance to review it, I jumped at it.  And I have to say, I’m so glad I did – These Things Hidden was densely plotted, intriguing, and utterly absorbing.

Gudenkauf wrote Allison Glenn with such care, the reader can’t help but care about her.  From the very beginning, the reader is emotionally involved in Allison’s story.  They know fully well that she committed a crime, something heinous by the sound of it, but by the time they find out what it is, they are so sympathetic towards her and so involved in her well-being that they can’t hate her.  It’s incredibly well done and beautifully depicted.  I cared so much about Allison, and while I understood very well that something very bad had happened, I felt so much for her.  I was so caught up in this story and in its characters.

These Things Hidden deals with a lot of contemporary issues; I won’t list them here because doing so will ruin parts of the book.  However, it’s very interesting to see how Gudenkauf presents them and how the characters in the book grapple with the consequences.  She writes the entire novel in a very suspenseful manner, such that the reader is hooked, unable to put the book down until the very end.  It was incredibly well done and I was impressed with Gudenkauf’s efforts.

After reading this book, I know I need to go back and read Gudenkauf’s debut The Weight of Silence immediately.  It’s clear that Heather Gudenkauf’s is a very talented author, and I love her mix of suspense, mystery, and contemporary fiction.  I also loved how much she captured me with Allison’s story, and how involved I was in it.  I had to know that everything would turn out okay, and could not put the book down until I turned the very last page.  Fans of books dealing with contemporary issues and that mystery/suspense blend should definitely consider picking this book up; it would also make a great book for book clubs, as it goes quickly but leaves the reader with a lot to think about and discuss.

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Comments

  1. I’m so glad you reviewed this! Like you, this author has been buzzing around in my periphery, and I’ve always wanted to read the books. It is fun to read a book that makes your heart pound and turn the pages faster and faster!

  2. I’m so glad you reviewed this! Like you, this author has been buzzing around in my periphery, and I’ve always wanted to read the books. It is fun to read a book that makes your heart pound and turn the pages faster and faster!

  3. I loved Weight of Silence but only liked this one. I’m glad so many are reading her book(s).

  4. I loved Weight of Silence but only liked this one. I’m glad so many are reading her book(s).

  5. I just picked this book up the other day, after being intrigued by the premise and reading a few other good reviews. It does sound like a book that I am going to like a lot, and I am thrilled to hear that you thought it was such an amazing read. I will have to let you know what I think!

  6. I just picked this book up the other day, after being intrigued by the premise and reading a few other good reviews. It does sound like a book that I am going to like a lot, and I am thrilled to hear that you thought it was such an amazing read. I will have to let you know what I think!

  7. I have Weight of Silence in my TBR pile and I can’t wait to get to it. It’s good to know this book is good as well.

  8. I have Weight of Silence in my TBR pile and I can’t wait to get to it. It’s good to know this book is good as well.

  9. While I did really enjoy The Weight Of Silence, the suspense was almost too much for me to take! I’m a total sissy about those sorts of things. I have These Things Hidden in my TBR and hope to read it soon, though I have a feeling it’s going to keep me up at night!

  10. While I did really enjoy The Weight Of Silence, the suspense was almost too much for me to take! I’m a total sissy about those sorts of things. I have These Things Hidden in my TBR and hope to read it soon, though I have a feeling it’s going to keep me up at night!

  11. Wow, this sounds like a fabulous character study!

  12. Wow, this sounds like a fabulous character study!

  13. Thank you for introducing me to this author 🙂

  14. Thank you for introducing me to this author 🙂

  15. Good grief! Today I’ve added five books to my list, and after reading your fascinating review, I’m adding this one too!

  16. Good grief! Today I’ve added five books to my list, and after reading your fascinating review, I’m adding this one too!

  17. I loved Weight of Silence and have been looking forward to this book. Thanks for the review. It’s definitely on my TBR list!

  18. I loved Weight of Silence and have been looking forward to this book. Thanks for the review. It’s definitely on my TBR list!

  19. I have meant to read WEIGHT OF SILENCE for a long time. Now there is another book, which is a good thing. Glad to hear this one worked well for you.

  20. I have meant to read WEIGHT OF SILENCE for a long time. Now there is another book, which is a good thing. Glad to hear this one worked well for you.

  21. For some reason I thought this novel was a sequel. Now that I know it’s not, I’m even more eager to make room for it!

  22. For some reason I thought this novel was a sequel. Now that I know it’s not, I’m even more eager to make room for it!

  23. This author is actually new to me, but this book sounds wonderful. I’ll have to check it out. Adding to my wish list.

  24. This author is actually new to me, but this book sounds wonderful. I’ll have to check it out. Adding to my wish list.

  25. Sounds like a good one!

  26. Sounds like a good one!

  27. I loved the Weight of Silence and am pleasantly surprised she has another book out. I can’t wait to pick it up!

  28. I loved the Weight of Silence and am pleasantly surprised she has another book out. I can’t wait to pick it up!

  29. I have the Weight of Silence in my TBR pile as well and just haven’t gotten around to it. I got the chance to read and review this one and I have to say I agree wholeheartedly with you. This book was really good!

  30. I have the Weight of Silence in my TBR pile as well and just haven’t gotten around to it. I got the chance to read and review this one and I have to say I agree wholeheartedly with you. This book was really good!

  31. I’m not familiar at all with this author, but this book does look particularly good. A big crime issue usually has motivating factors, so I am glad to see that they are covered.

  32. I’m not familiar at all with this author, but this book does look particularly good. A big crime issue usually has motivating factors, so I am glad to see that they are covered.

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