HIDDEN by Catherine McKenzie
Jeff Manning just fired a man who at one time, was the man who hired him. Life… is odd Jeff contemplated as he walked home from work, and while closing his eyes to relax from the tension of the day, he is hit by a car and killed.
Shortly after, Claire, Jeff’s wife melts to the floor as the police deliver the news. His son, Seth runs to his room crying… their family home now broken with grief.
At a meeting at Jeff’s office, the news is somberly delivered of Jeff’s accident and another woman screams “No!” in disbelief as the truth sinks in. Tish, who met Jeff at a company party, has to now decide how to best move forward drawing as little attention to herself as possible. She goes to Jeff’s funeral as the company representative.
Told in the alternating voices of Jeff, Claire, and Tish, HIDDEN reveals what was …. what is… and what will be.
So…. funny thing. I had just finished reading SPUN by this author and in the back of that books was the first chapter of this one, HIDDEN. I read that chapter and was engaged enough to go and grab HIDDEN that has been unread on my shelf and not only start it; but finish it in one reading. If you have ever wondered if those little chapters at the end of a book about another book by the same author work, the answer is apparently a clear and resounding YES.
HIDDEN is an intriguing read. You are quickly hit with the plot and the rest of the book is explaining how things came to be in flashes back for all three – Jeff, Claire, and Tish. Chapters will be in present time and then a comment or a happening will lead to a chapter that takes you back so you can fully understand how things came to be. It is actually an interesting way to write, especially since one of the narrators, who we never get a real chance to know in present time, is dead.
My only struggle with this read was that sometimes I did not know right away who the narrator of a chapter was. I would have to skim ahead on the page to get to the “Oh, this is Jeff speaking”, or “Oh this is Claire.” In the end, the story is not all wrapped up with all things tidy. As I finished the book I was a little bummed about this, yet as it begin to sink in, I started to appreciate the ending more knowing that all things in life do not have the opportunity to be neatly categorized, labeled and put into a cute box.
HIDDEN is a book that will make you think about relationships and what truly can never 100% be known.
- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: New Harvest (April 1, 2014)