Wednesday, April 27, 2011
These Things Hidden
Title : These Things Hidden
Author : Heather Gudenkauf
Genre : Fiction
I picked up These Things Hidden at Borders on their "Buy One, Get One 50% Off" table. I couldn't even tell you what the other book I bought was, but I'm so glad I picked this up.
These Things Hidden opens up with the tale of Allison, who was sent to prison at age 17, when her newborn daughter was found in the river near her house. As the novel begins, she is 21, being released, and on her way to her new home in a halfway house. As the story progresses, the viewpoint switches back and forth between new characters that are introduced - Charm, Claire, and Allison's sister, Brynn.
These Things Hidden is a tale of sibling love, and what a sister will do to protect her own. It's a tale of a mother's instinct, a tale of family relationships. Gudenkauf tells a story that is so compelling, you feel like you know the characters. As I read, I identified with Brynn, and could think of someone just like Allison, Gus, and all the rest of the people involved.
I think my favorite character in this whole story would be Brynn, and not just because (as stated above) I empathize with her. There was something just so enchanting about her. Reading from her viewpoint, I found myself wondering why she viewed what she was doing as helping. But, I also found myself loving her, as a little sister. I'm the oldest child, and have a younger sister, who is four and a half years younger than me, but she is my best friend. Throughout this book, I was reminded of many instances where my sister covered for me, had my back, and fought with (as well as for) me. Everyone thinks it's the older sibling who does the protecting, but in many cases, it's the younger.
I also really enjoyed Gudenkauf's writing. Different viewpoints can be tricky, especially ones that are all close in age and Gudenkauf did it really well. I was always able to tell who I was reading as, which is great with a book like this.
All in all, I'd definitely recommend this book