Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Review: Hidden by Catherine McKenzie

Hidden by Catherine McKenzie is a good, but not great, women’s fiction novel that deals with marriage, grief, and infidelity.   Hidden is a Kindle First pick for Amazon Prime members for the month of March. 

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.

Hidden is told in the first-person narrative of three characters – Jeff, the deceased, in the past, along with Claire, his wife, and Tish, his lover, both in the present.  The novel begins with Jeff’s untimely demise, and the first half of the novel tells the story of the first few days following his death, along with a look at Jeff’s past. 

We know going in to the novel that Jeff was cheating on his wife with a coworker at the time of his death, and it is slowly revealed how his adulterous relationship came to be throughout the course of the novel. 

Like most novels that start with a huge opening such as this one, Hidden was easy enough to become interested in.  The characters were satisfactory, but not great; Tish and Claire didn’t really stand out from one another, but Jeff had his own unique voice.  The writing is decent, but again, not great; unfortunately, when a novel deals with a topic that is written about a lot like this one is, it has to be fantastic to stand out.  This novel fell a bit short of fantastic.  However, if you haven’t read any books with a plot like this in the past, you may feel differently.  For me, though, nothing about this book was especially unique.

The big reveal at the end was not much of a reveal at all.  I was hoping to like all of the characters despite their obvious flaws (adultery sucks, but it happens to the best of us, after all; no one is perfect), but sadly, at the end, I was left thinking that two of the three characters were assholes.  Also, Jeff’s reason for cheating wasn’t a good reason at all, in my opinion.  Sorry, Jeff, you’re one of the assholes.

Available now for Amazon Prime members.

Expected publication date for non-Prime members: April 1, 2014

Don't forget to check out this month's giveaway:  A hardcover edition of The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski!  Click here for more details.


  1. Eh, yeah, this book doesn't look like a winner..but the cover is freakin' fantastic!

    Thanks for coming by my blog :) I followed you via GFC! and, oh my gosh, I adore your rating system! So fantastic!

    1. Thanks -- I just made and added the rating system tonight! Thanks for stopping by! :)

  2. It would be so difficult for me to read this one. Assholes galore, it seems. Bleh. Anywho, I absolutely love the new rating system you have!! Too cute.


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