Book Review: Hidden by Catherine McKenzie

Hidden by Catherine McKenzie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Publisher:  Lake Union Publishing

Summary: 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.

I’ve read all of Catherine McKenzie’s books so when I saw this one, I was definitely going to read it. It was a pretty quick read and the topic of marital infidelity was interesting. I can’t say that I loved any of the characters but they were interesting to follow. Jeff and his co-worker Tish are both married but we learn about their affair over the course of the book. I won’t spoil here but the thread of whether it was solely an emotional affair or had a physical component too was played well. I didn’t know what to believe but I liked the journey that Claire (Jeff’s wife) takes in reconciling what happened and finding peace with knowing or not. I didn’t agree with Claire’s sister Beth that not knowing for sure is better because I’m just a bit too pragmatic and prefer to deal with reality, unvarnished, but I saw her point and thought it was a worthy view to have and explained well. I must admit that I was feeling that this was going to be a solid three star read for me but the last 20% of the book and the epilogue especially, pushed me to a four star. I honestly didn’t see that coming and as I was surprised and it felt honest, I really liked it. I’d recommend this one for fans of the author or anyone looking for a good read while travelling or the weekend.

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