Hidden

( 5 )

Overview

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 Jeffs estranged brother, her ex-boyfriend Tim.

With Tish's co-workers in the dark about her friendship with Jeff outside of the office, she volunteers to ...

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Overview

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 Jeffs estranged brother, her ex-boyfriend Tim.

With Tish's co-workers in the dark about her friendship with Jeff outside of the office, she volunteers to attend the funeral on the companys 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.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
03/15/2014
Jeff is an accountant with a seemingly average life. Married with a young child, he likes golf and lives in the small town where he grew up. Dig a little deeper and you'll find he's always been a little insecure about his wife Claire's feelings toward him, because she was jilted by his brother before they met. When Jeff dies unexpectedly, Claire finds clues that make her suspicious about secrets he may have been hiding from her. But the only woman who has the answers to Claire's questions, Jeff's coworker Tish, is equally determined to keep the truth hidden. By giving the perspective, in alternating chapters, of each of the three main characters (one of whom is deceased), this novel builds suspense as the reader wonders what really happened. VERDICT McKenzie's fourth novel (Spin; Arranged; Forgotten) is sure to please her many fans and appeal to readers who enjoy women's fiction with an element of suspense.—Karen Core, Detroit P.L.
Kirkus Reviews
2014-02-16
An accidental death leads to secrets revealed and second thoughts expressed in McKenzie's latest (Forgotten, 2012, etc.). Jeff Manning is fatally struck by a car when he decides to walk home after firing yet another hapless co-worker at the odious management consultant–dominated company in which he is a reluctantly rising executive. His wife, Claire, is devastated even though it's clear from her very first monologue—as she anxiously wonders why Jeff is late—that there are simmering tensions in the marriage. They might have something to do with Tish, who works in HR for the same company; though she and Jeff are at branches in different towns, they've developed a warm email relationship since meeting at a corporate retreat. But it could also be the fact that Claire was once the girlfriend of Jeff's older brother, Tim, or that she's been emotionally distant ever since she lost a baby four years ago, when their son Seth was 8. Readers learn all this, as well as about Tish's saintly doctor-husband, Brian, and their supersmart 11-year-old daughter, Zoey, via first-person narratives by Claire, Tish—and Jeff, which is odd, since he gets killed on Page 8. In straightforward, realistic fiction like this, a dead narrator should really be explained, but McKenzie simply plows ahead, developing her story via three points of view that follow each other in the same order for the entire novel, adding to the already heavy sense of predictability. The aggravations of corporate life, the compromises and disappointments inherent in long marriages, the processes of grieving are all depicted with reasonable insight, but there's little new here, and what plot development there is may give readers a sense of being jerked around: Zoey faints, twice, but it's just stress; Claire and Tim kiss and Jeff sees them, but when Claire tells him nothing else happened, he believes her. The "truth" about Jeff and Tish's relationship comes much too late and isn't much of a revelation. Readable and forgettable.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780544264977
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 4/1/2014
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 69,025
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Catherine McKenzie is a graduate of McGill University and McGill Law S

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2014

    don't often write reviews for books I have read, but in this in

    don't often write reviews for books I have read, but in this instance I was compelled to write one. Hidden is the first book I have read by Catherine McKenzie. From the first page, I was hooked. This book is about relationships and dealing with infidelity from each person's points of view. There are lots of twists and turns that make it difficult to put this book down. I look forward to reading more from this author.

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  • Posted April 4, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    "But, of course, everyone has regrets. Loose ends. Things t

    "But, of course, everyone has regrets. Loose ends. Things they could do if they had more time." (Hidden, ebook pg 103) Catherine McKenzie has spun a tale that is still resonating with me. She wrote what is was like to have to face a loss and to make life work under a new and uncarted set of circumstances. When Claire loses her husband, Jeff, expectedly her life is turned upside down. But, when she has an encounter with one of Jeff's co-worker at Jeff's funeral her life takes another unexpected detour down a road she may wished she never explored.  "I've spent a lot of time thinking about this, too much probably, and I don't think that bad actions erase good ones. Not really." (Hidden, ebook pg 278) We all too often just go along with life, not wanting to upset the order of things. Not really wanting to discovering what may lie ahead. Hidden explores what happens when people make choices, how each choice affects others in ways we may never had intended. How we, at times, are forces to move ahead and take the reins in our own new reality.  "That I'd been letting life act itself out on me when I should have been directing it." (Hidden, ebook pg 139) How many of us wish we could go back and unlearn something that was completly unexpected and rocks our world to the core. Hidden explores what is the best about literature; human relationships at their best and worst, complexities in marriages, the impact of loss and how every action has a consequence. "Everyone says that, but we all lie about things. Little things, big things. We all keep stuff hidden. And the longer you're with someone, the more stuff there is like that, I think. That doesn't mean he didn't love me, or wasn't good to me in other ways. So it made me think. Maybe honesty is isn't always the best policy. Because him telling me about it was selfish. The only person it was going to make feel any better was him. So maybe if you make a mistake, you have to live with it by yourself, and that's how you fix it." (Hidden, ebook pg 278) 5 stars!!!!

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  • Posted April 3, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Hidden is a story about marriage, loss, and love. I couldn't put

    Hidden is a story about marriage, loss, and love. I couldn't put this book down! I especially liked the alternating points of view; it helped me connect with the characters. Right up to the last page I had to keep reading to see how this story would unfold. This story will keep you thinking about it long after you've finished reading...I definitely recommend!

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  • Posted April 2, 2014

    This is a different style of Catherine Mckenzie. Her books are u

    This is a different style of Catherine Mckenzie. Her books are usually funny and just plain crack me up. This one stepped out of her comfort zone.

    This story is told through three different view points; the wife, Claire, the husband, Jeff and the other woman, Tish. These different voices slowly unravel the tale. It’s amazing how one choice has a snowball effect on so many lives.
    This novel breaks your heart. The grief expressed by both women will keep you torn between the two and will make you wonder “does anybody really know anybody.”
    The complexities of the book are really fantastic. The reader experiences ever-changing emotions all throughout the saga.

    The reader will be guessing until the end…well, did they or didn’t they?????

    There are a lot of life lessons in this book. It is well worth the read!

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  • Posted April 1, 2014

    Another fabulous and heartfelt release by Catherine McKenzie! J

    Another fabulous and heartfelt release by Catherine McKenzie!

    Jeff Manning has died, leaving behind not one but two grief stricken women. Claire, his wife, is shocked when the police arrive on her doorstep with news of Jeff's death. Her family rallies to support her but nothing can truly calm the young widow. Tish lives 500 miles away and has always wondered how she'd find out if something happened to Jeff. Her worst fears are confirmed when she hears the news upon arriving at work the Monday following the accident.

    Hidden is told through three viewpoints - Clair and Tish, obviously, but also Jeff. Chapters alternate between the three providing the readers a glimpse inside all three characters' lives, their families, how they got to where they are presently, and the building of the two relationships.

    Unlike McKenzie's previous three titles (Spin, Arranged, and Forgotten) there's very little humor in Hidden. It's still about family and relationships, featuring the same honest and emotional style of the previous three, just with a more serious tone than the prior releases. It was a bit of a heart wrenching read, to be quite honest.

    Hidden is all of the best things I've come to love about McKenzie's work and I really can't recommend her highly enough!

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