Friday, July 18, 2014

Hidden by Catherine McKenzie

4 Star

While walking home from work one evening, Jeff Manning is struck by a car and killed. Two women fall to pieces at the news: his wife, Claire, and his co-worker Tish. Reeling from her loss, Claire must comfort her grieving son as well as contend with funeral arrangements, well-meaning family members, and the arrival of Jeff’s estranged brother, who was her ex-boyfriend. Tish volunteers to attend the funeral on her company’s behalf, but only she knows the true risk of inserting herself into the wreckage of Jeff’s life.

Told through the three voices of Jeff, Tish, and Claire, Hidden explores the complexity of relationships, the repercussions of our personal choices, and the responsibilities we have to the ones we love.

Rebecca - 4 Star

The eternal triangle is hardly a new theme for a book and this was a significant reservation when picking up Hidden. I shouldn't have worried however as Catherine McKenzie writes really well and turns what could be a dull rehashing of a familiar plot into a great holiday read.

Actually it transpires that the triangle is more of a quadrangle which beefs things up a bit, but what caught my attention is the lead characters are all very human with their own weaknesses vanities and frailties. Additionally even though the central theme is about infidelity there are no villains to apportion blame to, which raises interesting questions and makes this a more complex read than the cover blurb might suggest.

I did however struggle a little to be convinced by Jeff and Tish’s attraction; neither of them seemed particularly unhappy with their spouses and so you would expect their chemistry to be smoking hot rather than somewhat tepid to justify their indiscretion.  Despite this if you are looking for an engaging book to read by the pool this summer, this is a good bet; it grapples with serious ideas of loss and betrayal without being to depressing or morose. It’s also easy to read; not because it lacks substance but because it is slickly written with a quick pace. Great stuff!

Thank you to Harper Collins Canada for our review copy. All opinions are our own.

Connect with Catherine McKenzie:
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