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These Things Hidden [Kindle Edition]

Heather Gudenkauf
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
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Book Description

Imprisoned for a heinous crime when she was a just a teenager, Allison Glenn is now free. Desperate for a second chance, Allison discovers that the world has moved on without her…

Shunned by those who once loved her, Allison is determined to make contact with her sister. But Brynn is trapped in her own world of regret and torment. 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…

Praise for Heather Gudenkauf

'A great thriller, probably the kind of book a lot of people would chose to read on their sun loungers. It will appeal to fans of Jodi Picoult' - Radio Times

'Deeply moving and exquisitely lyrical, this is a powerhouse of a debut novel' - Tess Gerritsen

'Beautifully written, compassionately told, and relentlessly suspenseful' - Diane Chamberlain

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Product Description

About the Author

Born with a hearing impairment, Heather became a voracious reader as a child and the seed of becoming a writer was planted. She lives in Dubuque, Iowa, with her husband, three children and German Shorthaired pointer.

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More About the Author

Heather was born in Wagner, South Dakota, the youngest of six children. At the age of three, her family moved to Iowa, where she grew up. Having been born with a profound unilateral hearing impairment Heather tended to use books as a retreat. Heather became a voracious reader and the seed of becoming a writer was planted.

Heather graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in elementary education, has spent her career working with students of all ages and is currently a Literacy Coach, an educator who provides curricular and professional development support to teachers.

Heather lives in Dubuque, Iowa with her husband, three children, and a very spoiled German Shorthaired Pointer named Maxine. In her free time Heather enjoys spending time with her family, reading, hiking, and running. She is currently working on her third novel.

Heather's first novel The Weight of Silence was a TV Book Club pick.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The curse of the Kindle sample strikes again and I am suckered into buying a book on the strength of the first few pages - only to find the writing goes downhill from there. As another reviewer mentioned the whole premise of the book is flawed and myself I doubt in the circumstances Alison would have done any jail time at all - but I told myself that perhaps things are different in the US and I was interested in how she would handle her release from prison and rekindle relations with her parents and sister.

Unfortunately the book hardly deals with that at all - she is released to a halfway house full of unconvincing stereotypes and her parents/sister cut her out of their lives. She starts working for Claire, bookshop owner who has a young son - clearly this is in some way related to her past life in ways we can only guess (none of my guesses were as ridiculous as the reality though). I found it hard enough to swallow the coincidence that brought them together let alone the fact that Claire - having been the victim of violent robbery decides to employ an ex-con who has just gotten out of prison - because it is cheaper ??? (Personally if I was employing a girl who had just gotten out of prison and was going to spend time with my precious son I wouldn't be satisfied by knowing she had committed a 'serious' crime I would want to know exactly what she did!).

As the novel progresses, the plot developments become increasingly hard to swallow as is the cold uncaring behaviour of Alison's parents and Charm's awful mother.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended 14 Mar. 2011
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I galloped throught this book, unwilling and unable to put it down. I read the authors debut novel, The Weight of Silence, last year and enjoyed it enough to want to get my mitts on any subsequent books published by the same author. I enjoyed this one more - much more.

The story is told from the perspective of four different women. Allison Glenn has just been released from jail for a shocking crime committed when she was a teenager, despite her being the school golden girl; great at sports, grade A student and pretty to boot. Brynn is Allison's sister (younger by just one year) and the two sisters haven't spoken since Allison was sent to prison, despite Allison's relentless attempts. Between them, Allison and Brynn narrate the story of what happened to bring them to where they are today. Two other women also contribute their side of the story - Claire owns a bookshop in the same town that the sisters are from and has a husband and adopted child and Charm is training to be a nurse and caring for her dying step-father and between the four of them they dip in and out of the past to help us piece together what happened. The way that the stories are linked become apparant as the book progresses but I don't want to give too much away as books like this are much more powerful if you don't know what's coming - and, trust me, there is a twist at the end of the book that I did not see coming and made me shout "No!" out loud.

Great narrative drive, plenty of cliff-hanging moments and a shocking central plot line made this book a winner for me. Highly recommended.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Didn't really win me over 14 May 2011
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is the only book by this author I have read, though if what the back cover declares "Fans of Jodi Picoult will love this" were true I should in theory be awarding this 5 stars. Sadly though, this book didn't really work for me for a few reasons.

The novel has an interesting premise, Allison, a young woman is released from prison following a terrible crime she has committed, having spent 5 years in prison being the model inmate she is to go to a halfway house, where she can come to terms with her feelings and start to make a new life. In the town we also meet Claire and Jonathan who have struggled with their own infertility but now devote themselves to their adopted son Joshua, and Charm and her fractured family who lives with Gus who is slowly dying of lung cancer, and Allison's sister Brynn who is haunted by the night that lead to her sister's imprisonment. If the plot seems heavy with difficult topics, it is, as the book progresses we will find out what connects what seem to be a set of disparate characters.

The difficulty of the subject matter was not what I struggled with in terms of liking this book. Though it was well written, for some reason I never really warmed to the characters even when it felt like I should have done. Something about them, but more importantly about the suspension of belief required to make the plot work just didn't cut it for me and I didn't find the ending very satisfactory either. I didn't really ever fully believe in the setting and it's not a book that will stay with me or that I will read again I don't think. Slightly disappointing.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easily worth 6 *'s... 31 Mar. 2011
By LittleReader VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
For me, this beat HG's debut novel hands down... And I really enjoyed that one!
Narrated by all the central characters in turn (a style I love as it often lends itself to superb characterisation), this is a tale of murder, guilt, relationships and, ultimately, secrets...
Allison is released from prison following an horrendous crime commited when she was just 17 and is desperate to make amends with the family that abandoned her following her conviction. A twisty, fast paced read, I was hooked from the first chapter and read it in two days!
HG writes with flair and grace while at the same time remaining utterly human in her observations. 'These Things Hidden' (and there's a fair few surprises...) comes highly recommended. For me, HG is certainly riding high amongst this genre...
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