Hidden by Catherine McKenzie
Publication Date: April 1, 2014
Book Description: Why do people cheat? It’s a question we never seem to tire of asking. In Hidden, Catherine McKenzie takes a story as old as the institution of marriage and makes it new. What is so novel about her book—what hooked me from the beginning—is that it’s told in the voices of all three main characters: Jeff Manning, who is killed in a car accident; his wife, Claire, who struggles to pick up the pieces after his death; and Tish Underhill, Jeff’s coworker and friend.
Of course, when you ask three witnesses to tell you about the same event, you get three different stories. Reading Hidden, I found myself torn in three directions—I couldn’t help but feel sympathetic to each character’s perspective. It’s no surprise that Catherine, a lawyer by day, has a keen sense of observation and an uncanny ability to tease out the flawed yet very human motivations behind her characters’ reckless actions. In this portrait of modern love and family obligations, she blurs the boundaries of fidelity and what constitutes a marital transgression.
Was Jeff planning to walk away from the life he had built with Claire? Was Tish more than just a good friend? Will Claire ever discover if her suspicions are grounded in reality?
A good domestic drama keeps us turning the pages at breakneck speed. A great one causes us to question even our most tightly held beliefs. Hidden does both. Just like I did, you’ll race through this book to uncover the truth. (Source: Amazon.com)
Review: Catherine McKenzie is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors, I really enjoyed the subject material and writing of her first few books. I was so happy to see that she had a new book coming out! I received this book from the publisher, but it was also one of the choices on Kindle First for the month of March which I thought was pretty awesome.
Books about adultery usually brings out a lot of loud opinions. I’m not here to take a moral high ground on the issue of extramarital affairs. I’m here to discuss the book and what I liked or didn’t like about it.
I absolutely did not like the shared narration and random jumps back in time. Of course it all ties together at the end, but was it necessarily a worthy reveal…no, it wasn’t. Why didn’t I like this aspect of storytelling? I personally found it very confusing. There were no chapter names that would indicate whether Jeff, Claire or Tish was speaking. In fact, it often took me a page to figure it out. Obviously when Jeff’s point of view was given, we were flashing back but it should have been more clear to the reader.
Also, I didn’t feel an emotional pull to Tish and Jeff OR to Jeff and Claire. With Tish and Jeff specifically, I did feel the pull of what might have brought them together. I didn’t feel invested in their relationship, nor did I see the reasoning behind it.
Though I did not enjoy this book as Catherine McKenzie’s other books, I will definitely keep reading her in the future. I really enjoy how she takes controversial subjects and makes you think about them a different way.
*This book was provided for review on Confessions of a Bookaholic. All thoughts and opinions are my own.