Saturday, December 4, 2010

These Things Hidden-Heather Gudenkauf

These Things Hidden
Heather Gudenkauf
Mira, Feb 1 2011, $15.99
ISBN: 9780778328797

After spending five years in prison for the murder of her newborn daughter, twenty one year old Allison Glenn is released to the Gertrude Halfway House for the next six months. Her parents have disowned her and her younger sister Brynn has ignored her efforts to contact her. Allison has fallen mightily from being perfect in high school. Her lawyer meets her at the prison and takes her to Gertrude House where she meets owner Olene who encourages her.

Bookends owner Claire Kelby and her husband Jonathan adopted their now six years old son Joshua who was found abandoned at a fire station when he was two days old. They heard the unknown teenage mother tried to kill him. Nursing student Charm Tulia likes coming to the bookstore where she buys all sorts of self- help books because she is the one who left Joshua in a safe house in accordance with Iowa law.

Brynn ignores her sister’s plea to talk to her. She stays with her granny taking medicine for depression. She attends school enjoying the animal classes. Brynn was with Allison when she gave birth. There were no doctors or hospitals based on Allison’s insistence. Olene arranges for Allison to interview for a job at Bookends Bookstore. Charm remembers entering the bookstore for the first time and recognizing Joshua. She comes regularly to see that he is okay. Claire hires Allison. Soon the full truth that connects these women will surface.

The key ensemble cast especially the four prime females is all developed while the connection between the ladies is developed over the course of the wonderful story line. Although there are two key coincidences that feel out of place re the woman involved, readers will enjoy that the truth does not always set one free.

Harriet Klausner

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