Most readers look forward to many new books throughout the year but they usually have that one book they can't wait to get their hands on. For me, the book I was most looking forward to in 2013 was Hidden by Catherine McKenzie. I have read and loved Catherine's previous three novels and am constantly recommending them to others. I was curious to see if her fourth novel lived up to my expectations...it did! I couldn't turn the pages fast enough to find out what would happen next in this fantastic novel.
Here's the synopsis:
When a married man suffers a sudden fatal accident, two women are shattered—his wife and someone else's—and past secrets, desires and regrets are brought to light.One of my favourite things about this novel was that it is told from three different perspectives - Jeff, Tish, and Claire. It's all told in first person and you'd think it'd get confusing but it doesn't. Though, I admit, it did take me until I was about three quarters into the novel before I realized what the (clever) indicator was: different font for the first few words in each chapter. I think it takes real talent to be able to keep each thread both separate and connected, and to know which scenes to repeat from different perspectives and which to only touch on once. I think McKenzie did a fabulous job of telling the story from each perspective and I loved reading the inner thoughts of each character.
While walking home from work one evening, Jeff Manning is struck by a car and killed. Not one but 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 and contend with funeral arrangements, well-meaning family members and the arrival of Jeff’s estranged brother—her ex-boyfriend—Tim.
With Tish’s co-workers in the dark about her connection to Jeff outside the workplace, she volunteers to attend the funeral on the 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, our personal choices and the responsibilities we have to the ones we love.
I really wasn't sure how things were going to end up by the last page and I loved that. What makes this even better is that even when I thought everything was all sewn up, McKenzie threw in a little twist. Admittedly, I'm not sure if I particularly likes how it ended but I know that was the right way to conclude the story.
As with McKenzie's previous novels, she's given us some fabulous characters. They are in no way perfect (hello, this story deals with a possible affair) but that's what makes them so awesome. They're real and relatable and so much fun to read about (er, perhaps fun is the wrong word to use when one of the characters is actually dead...). Even with the potential of a couple of affairs, you'll still fall in love with the characters and want the very best for them.
Catherine McKenzie has, once again, delivered a fantastic novel. Hidden will definitely make my top ten favourites list for 2013 and will be another novel I push on everyone who is looking for a good book to read. Friends, prepare yourselves!
Check back on Wednesday when Catherine stops by with a great guest post!
*Thank you to The Savvy Reader for inviting me to take part in this tour. An ARC of this novel was provided by HarperCollins Canada in exchange for an honest review.*