Jeff Manning dies after being run down by a car. His wife is devastated, his son is devastated, his co-worker/mistress is devastated and their lives all come together at Jeff’s funeral.
Hidden is written with each chapter alternating the thoughts and memories of a different character–Jeff, his wife Claire and his co-worker Tish. The story flashes back and forth between the present and the past so that you understand what is currently happening without actually reading the book in the chronological order of events. I found this to be a wonderful way of keeping up with the story without having to read too much background information.
Jeff’s wife had a relationship with his brother before they dated and got married. Jeff is estranged from his brother (for other reasons) and is shocked when his brother Brian, shows up on his doorstep for a visit. Jeff and Claire have had a rocky road in their marriage since she had a miscarriage a couple years before and various events lead to Jeff catching Claire and Brian kissing. Jeff has been attracted to a co-worker – at the same company, but in a different town (both are named Springfield) – for quite some time and winds up acting on it.
The company decides that someone from “the other Springfield” should attend the funeral and pay condolences from their branch. No one jumps at the opportunity and finally Tish says that she will do it. She realizes that this is going to be one of the hardest things she has ever done, but completely underestimates the feelings she experiences when she finds herself talking to Brian and Claire.
Hidden is a book about emotions and relationships and how they can go very wrong yet right at the same time. How loss can become gain and turn back into loss in a matter of moments. The book was written in such a way that you experience each of the characters thoughts and emotions and can completely relate to the events that occur and their feelings about them.
I would recommend this book highly to others who have rocky relationships or even doubts about their relationships. It isn’t exactly a “fun” read, but is well written and definitely worth the time.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by New Harvest. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.