These Things Hidden
By Heather Gudenkauf
When teenager Allison Glenn is sent to prison for a heinous crime, she leaves behind her reputation as Linden Falls’ golden girl forever. Her parents deny the existence of their once-perfect child. Her former friends exult her downfall. Her sister, Brynn, faces whispered rumors every day in the hallways of their small Iowa high school. It’s Brynn—shy, quiet Brynn—who carries the burden of what really happened that night. All she wants is to forget Allison and the past that haunts her.
But then Allison is released to a halfway house, and is more determined than ever to speak with her estranged sister.
Now their legacy of secrets is focused on one little boy. And if the truth is revealed, the consequences will be unimaginable for the adoptive mother who loves him, the girl who tried to protect him and the two sisters who hold the key to all that is hidden.
This Blonde’s Review:
Allison is getting out of prison. She is still so young in age, but she grew up quick when she became a hated person for her crime. She doesn’t even have the love of her family left. Her parents would like to pretend she never existed and her sister refuses to speak to her.
Brynn grew up as Allison’s sister and she continued to be known as Allison’s sister after she went to prison. The comparison bothered Brynn when her sister was perfect, but once Allison went to prison things got worse for Brynn.
Charm is a young girl who loved a baby boy enough to give him up. She still keeps track of him by visiting the bookstore his adoptive mother owns. Charm is happy to know that the boy is safe and loved, even if she can’t tell him who she is to him.
Claire is a kind woman who believes in second chances. She was given a second chance to have a child and adores her son Joshua. She knows Charm as a student who spends a lot of time in her store and is unaware of the connection they share. When Allison is brought to her attention and is interviewed for a job at her store Claire is happy to give Allison the opportunity to make something more of her life.
All four women are connected. Some know their connection, but none of them know the whole story. When they all come together things change in ways none of them could have anticipated.
This one was slow to come together for me, but by the end my heart was racing and I needed to know what happened. At the start of the story we don’t know what Allison’s crime was and we have to learn it in pieces. What happened, how she could have become that girl, and how it ended the relationship between Brynn and Allison.
I love that in this story we are able to see from all of their points of view. Yet even seeing things from their point of view doesn’t always give us a clear view of what happened. Especially when all of our characters aren’t mentally stable. We can’t always judge something based on what it appears to be, and this story was a fantastic representation of that. These Things Hidden was also a wonderful love story. Not romantic love, but love of a child and love of a sibling. It made me think how I would react if I were in the shoes of any of those women.
These Things Hidden is an emotional journey that will slowly take over your heart and make you want to know what you’ll find out next. If you enjoy books about people who make bad choices and people who will do whatever it takes for love, then you should read this one.