Hideaway

Hideaway

by Nicole Lundrigan

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Overview

"Authentic, disturbing and unbearably tense, Hideaway will leave you reeling." --Shari Lapena, #1 internationally bestselling author of The Couple Next Door

Gloria Janes appears to be a doting suburban mother and loving wife. But beyond her canary-yellow door, Gloria controls her husband, Telly, as well as seven-year-old Maisy and her older brother Rowan, through a disorienting cycle of adoration and banishment.

When Telly leaves, Gloria turns on Rowan. He runs away, finding unlikely refuge with a homeless man named Carl, with whom he forms the kind of bond he has never found with his parents. After they are menaced by strangers, Rowan follows Carl to an isolated cottage, where he accidentally sets off a burst of heightened paranoia in Carl, and their adventure takes a dark turn.

Gloria is publicly desperate for the safe return of her son while privately plotting ever wilder ways to lure Telly home for good. Her behaviour grows more erratic and her manipulation of Maisy begins to seem dedicated toward an outcome that only she can see. The two storylines drive relentlessly toward a climax that is both shocking and emotionally riveting.

Suspenseful, unsettling, and masterful, Hideaway explores the secrets of a troubled family and illuminates an unlikely hero and a source of unexpected strength.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780735237827
Publisher: Penguin Canada
Publication date: 07/09/2019
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 209,729
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

NICOLE LUNDRIGAN is the author of six critically acclaimed novels, including The Substitute and Glass Boys. Her work has appeared on best of the year selections of The Globe and Mail, Amazon.ca, and Now magazine. She grew up in Newfoundland, and now lives in Toronto.

Read an Excerpt

ROWAN
I could tell by her face. She knew what I’d done. The school counselor had said he wouldn’t tell Gloria, but one glance at my mother and I was sure she’d gotten a phone call. When I walked down Pinchkiss Circle she was standing in front of our house holding a hammer and a piece of wood. As I got closer, I could see she’d painted a single misspelled word right in the middle of it.
 
THEIF.
 
I wasn’t expecting that.
 
The whole meeting with the counselor had been no big deal. That was what I’d thought, anyway. He wanted to talk about the change in my “family structure,” which meant Telly walking out on me and my little sister last month. Gloria had tried to hide it, but once our neighbor Mrs. Spooner noticed Telly’s truck was gone all the time, everyone soon found out. “Rowan, I know school’s almost over,” the counselor had said, “but I want to end on a positive. You’ve been upset, that’s clear, but some people do really construc­tive things with their anger.”
 
I didn’t know what he meant. Was I supposed to build something? Tear something down?
 
Then he asked if I had “good buddies to lean on.”
 
I shook my head.
 
“Boys to pal around with?”
 
I shook my head again. The fact was, I didn’t have a single friend. Besides Darrell, an older kid who lived a few houses up from us on the circle. Sometimes he’d invite me over for a soda, or to see his motorcycle.
 
The counselor leaned forward, put his elbows on his desk. He was wear­ing a skinny purple tie. It matched the purple frame on his glasses. “What about the future? What do you dream about?”
 
“At night?” I asked. I didn’t mention how he’d just ended three of the last four sentences in prepositions. That would really bug Mrs. Spooner. She was also my language arts teacher.
 
“No, in general. What are your aspirations?”
 
I told him I wanted to fix my skin. Maybe that would help me find some “good buddies to lean on.” People were afraid I was contagious. Even the teachers never came too close. Well, besides Mrs. Spooner. The only person who actually liked my spots was Maisy. Ever since she was little she’d thought there was a map growing out through me. That I was the key to some trea­sure. Sometimes when Gloria said mean things, I’d find a tiny note on torn paper under my pillow. “You ar beeutifell.” Even though it was weird for Maisy to say that to her brother, I kept every one.
 
“What other things? What makes you happy, Rowan?”
 
I didn’t tell him my idea of getting on a train and going back to find Gran. Which was impossible now, because Gran was dead. Instead I told the counselor about my dream of hitting a home run. Having that bat in my hands, swinging it as hard as I could, and striking the fat round ball out of the park. The crowd always leapt up from the stands and screamed and roared.
 
“Do you imagine that a lot?” he said.
 
“Yeah. I do. All the time.”
 
“Maybe we should start a team in September. Get uniforms. I could coach.”
 
I stared down at my hands. There was a neat white island over the bottom part of my thumb.
 
“The school might fund it.”
 
“Still,” I said. He thought I was worried about money. “I don’t think it ’d work.”
 
“Why not?”
 
I shrugged. I didn’t mention that in my dream I was the only one on the team. And I certainly didn’t mention that when I looked down at the bat it was often a blur of red. Bits of bone and broken teeth. Sometimes in my imagination the ball was just a ball, but most times it was a head. Sound of a melon smashing as the swinging bat tore it straight off. My stomach filling up with satisfaction.
 
Mrs. Spooner always told me I had a creative mind.
 
“Well,” the counselor said, “at least you’ve got a supportive mom. Even with your dad gone, she’s on your side. We’ve got to count our blessings, right?”
 
“Yeah.” I nodded and smiled. “I’m pretty lucky. You won’t tell her about what I took, right?”
 
“Stole, you mean.”
 
“Stole,” I whispered.
 
“I’ll have to think about it, Rowan. Leave it with me.”
 
I’d thought that meant he wouldn’t call. But as I got closer to home, Gloria was staring at me. One foot up on the steps leading to the front porch. Maisy was nowhere to be seen. She’d already walked home from school with her friend Shar. She could be out playing, or she could be hiding away. She was like that, vanishing at the first sign of trouble.
 
“Get over here,” Gloria said.
 
I dragged my feet.
 
“I’m at the end of my rope with you. Do you know that? The very end of it.” She spoke in a low growl. Gloria never yelled outside.
 
I looked down at my sneakers. They were covered in a fine film of dust from our driveway. “Sorry,” I said.
 
“Sorry? Sorry? That’s all you got to say? I’ve never been so ashamed. Grabbing chocolate bars out of some teacher’s purse? Like you don’t get enough to eat at home? And everyone nosing around in our business. That woman, that, that Mrs. Spooner, and now some school counselor calling me. Talking about Telly running off. Because nothing ever went wrong in their perfect lives.”
 
“I said I was sorry, Gloria.”
 
“Oh, buddy boy. You’re going to be sorry.”
 
I expected her to walk up our driveway and stop at the bottom of Pinchkiss Circle. I thought she’d make me stand beside the rain gutter so our neighbors could see the sign. But instead she went in the opposite direc­tion. She strode across the fresh green grass and stepped into the woods.
 
As I followed behind her I noticed Maisy, tucked into the furthest corner of the deck that was built off the side of our house. Our dog, Chicken, was snoring beside her. She watched me with her blue eyes, her round face frowning. I knew what she was thinking. Don’t go. Don’t go in there. I waved, made a weak attempt at a cartwheel to make her smile. Then I ran to catch up with Gloria.
 
When I entered the woods, my heart sped up a bit. I called out, “Isn’t this the wrong way, Gloria?” As far back as I could remember, Maisy and I had called our parents by their first names. Gloria said it was modern, pro­gressive. Our mother was always Gloria. And our dad was always Telly.
 
She ignored my question, just kept marching forward, her new blond hair bouncing, the sign jammed into her armpit. I had to rush to keep up. One of Gloria’s steps was two of mine. We went further and further into the woods.
 
“This is just dumb!” I yelled. “Someone’s supposed to see me, aren’t they?”
 
She snickered, said over her shoulder, “You know, lots of wolves live in here.” Her voice was cheerful.
 
I laughed. “I’m thirteen, Gloria. That dumb stuff doesn’t scare me anymore.”
 
She swept past branches and stomped over mossy logs. Gloria had thick legs. “Telly almost caught one once. Enormous ugly thing. Fur all stuck down. They like to hunt when it’s dark.”
 
“So?” I said.
 
“Green eyes show up first. Then you hear them sniffing and scratching.”
 
“Oh.” A squirt of sickness shot through my guts. Around me the shad­ows were long and narrow.
 
After a lot of walking, Gloria stopped. The trees had grown thicker and the ground was spongy under my feet. She turned in a slow circle, then lifted the sign. Dug a nail from her pocket and fixed it to a trunk. Three hard slams with the hammer. “Stand there,” she said.
 
“There?”
 
“That’s what I said, didn’t I? Under your sign.”
I didn’t understand why we were in the woods. Weeks ago, Gloria told us about a girl she saw outside the front door of Stafford’s department store. Apparently, the kid had taken a baby soother because her brother was crying. As punishment, her mother taped construction paper to her T-shirt with a message that read, “Do not trust me. I rob stuff.” I thought Gloria was going to do the same thing. So the neighbors could gawk. “This doesn’t make sense. Nobody lives in here.”
 
“How do you know?”
 
“Because it’s just trees, Gloria. And squirrels.”
 
She looked me right in the eye. “Wait and see, mister,” she said. “No-body don’t mean no-thing. Try not to breathe when you hear one of them. They’ll smell you a mile away.”
 
Then she left me standing under the sign. She wound her way back through the trees, and I could hear her humming a tune. The notes of her music vanished just seconds before she did.
 
I stood there, waiting. My stomach groaned. It had to be dinnertime by now. Gloria was probably cooking noodles or heating up a can of soup. Any moment, she’d be back. She’d find me exactly where I was and realize I wasn’t bothered one bit. And who ’d win then? Wolves? What a joke.
 
But she never appeared. Water from the swampy ground seeped through my sneakers. My feet itched but I didn’t reach down to scratch. I kept leaning against the tree as the afternoon passed and the light changed. I had to pee, badly, but I knew any second she’d be there. Each time I heard a branch snap or leaves rustle I’d squint in her direction, but I didn’t see her. Gradually color seeped away. Shadows expanded and consumed the ground. I watched. Soon, she’d return. The woods turned grayer and grayer. Soon. Then, in a single long breath, all my eyes could see was black.
 
Realization made my skin turn cold. She wasn’t coming back for me. She’d left me for the night. Why would I ever have believed she’d stick me out in the road with that sign? She’d never purposely give the neighbors something to talk about. Not Gloria. She didn’t want me to feel embarrassed about grabbing a few chocolate bars. She wanted me to feel afraid.
 
And she’d succeeded. In the pitch black, I was too scared to twitch. To breathe. To think. I had no idea which way was east or west, or how I’d get home. I patted the gnarly bark of the trunk behind me. Reached up to feel my THEIF sign, just in case I’d accidentally gotten turned around. My heart clacked loudly, but my ears strained to identify every sound. Plants uncurl­ing, insects crawling, small animals under the dead layer of leaves. Burrowing toward me. So much noise inside the silence.
 
The darkness grew darker.

Customer Reviews

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Hideaway 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
amandainpa 22 days ago
One thing this author is extremely skilled at is writing multi-faceted characters...characters that evoke real feelings for the reader...feelings of empathy, disgust, sadness, and rage (at least, in my experience). This was not an easy book to read...it centers around a missing teenager and the circumstances that led to his disappearance...throughout the book the reader follows Rowan, the missing teenager, so they know where he is, which I found soothing as I sometimes become very anxious when reading stories where the missing person's whereabouts are completely unknown. A slow burning mystery, I found myself sometimes struggling to pick it up because I really despised some of the characters. Normally, despicable characters don't bother me but I think I was in the mood for a "happier" book when I read this one...I'm going to go with the "it's not you, it's me" theory on this one. Overall, this was a solid story with vivid descriptions and very real characters. I highly recommend it to fans of the gritty, dark genre of books. I received an e-arc of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
amandainpa 22 days ago
One thing this author is extremely skilled at is writing multi-faceted characters...characters that evoke real feelings for the reader...feelings of empathy, disgust, sadness, and rage (at least, in my experience). This was not an easy book to read...it centers around a missing teenager and the circumstances that led to his disappearance...throughout the book the reader follows Rowan, the missing teenager, so they know where he is, which I found soothing as I sometimes become very anxious when reading stories where the missing person's whereabouts are completely unknown. A slow burning mystery, I found myself sometimes struggling to pick it up because I really despised some of the characters. Normally, despicable characters don't bother me but I think I was in the mood for a "happier" book when I read this one...I'm going to go with the "it's not you, it's me" theory on this one. Overall, this was a solid story with vivid descriptions and very real characters. I highly recommend it to fans of the gritty, dark genre of books. I received an e-arc of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Twink 5 months ago
Oh Nicole Lundrigan, you have a frightening imagination! I simply could not put down your latest release, Hideaway! Start to finish on a recent day off. Gloria is a devoted wife to her husband Telly and mother to her teenaged son Rowan and young daughter Maisy. That's what you would see from the outside looking in. But inside it's a different matter. Gloria's moods swing from high to low with little warning. She either loves her children or 'disappears' them by banishing them to a room or a place and not speaking to them. When Telly leaves Glow for another woman, it tips her over the edge. One night Rowan has had enough and runs into the woods. And there, under a bridge, he meets Carl - a kind man who is battling his own demons - and Rowan decides to stay. And Gloria? I just don't want to say any more and spoil your discovery of the lengths a jilted (and unstable) woman will go to to get her husband back. (But he too is, as my gran used to say, a piece of work) Yep, this is where things get downright terrifying....... Lundrigan's character building is so very good. I don't even know how to describe Gloria. She's a master manipulator, devious, cunning and cruel. We see her actions, but don't really get a look at her inner thought processes. Instead we see them - and the aftermath - through the eyes of Rowan and Maisy. And yes, these are heartbreaking to read. It was the 'what is going to happen to Rowan and Maisy ?' that kept me reading for the whole day. Lundrigan takes her story places I couldn't have imagined .The tension was unbearable in parts and I really had to fight myself to not skip to the last chapter to make sure things turned out the way I needed them to. It seems a little off for me to say how much I enjoyed this book given the darkness it explores. But there are patches of light as well. An easy five stars and one of my most addictive reads this year.
Shelley-S-Reviewer 8 months ago
Another Canadian author who, I am pleased to say, wrote an incredible read. I wanted something different and got it. From the moment I began reading I was so engrossed in this disturbing novel that I felt I was there with Maisy and even Rowan. There are two narrative perspectives and the chapters alternate between the two, Maisy and Rowan. The author did an amazing job putting a voice to a seven year old girl and a thirteen year old boy. I was really impressed. I don’t know how she does it, but each book Nicole Lundrigan writes is better than the last. The characters are complex, the plot is engrossing, the pacing and tension are masterful, and the final act is absolutely stunning. This book has some disturbing content but really holds your interest. The story is so moving and intense that I wanted to do nothing more than read it to the end, but there came a part of it that was so suspenseful that I had to stop and gather some fortitude to continue. I found this book to be totally captivating. Each time I had to put it down, I could not wait to get back to it. The underlying situation is revealed from the view point of the children experiencing it. It is a horrifying story and yet gentle in its child-like approach. Ms. Lundrigan’s characters are easily recognizable as people in your everyday life. They look like and live like us and this is what makes Hideaway so effective. The dialogue is smooth, the prose is subtle and the tension continues to build for over 320 delectable pages.
Anonymous 9 months ago
it+was+a+page+Turner+I+could+not+put+it+down+until+I+finish+reading+the+whole+book
writertoreader 9 months ago
It takes someone of immeasurable cruelty to force their child out into the dark woods come midnight as a form of punishment. That is the kind of person Gloria is, a woman who never should have become a mother. She's more monstrous than anything one might find out in the forest. Gloria's treatment of her two children, Rowan and Maisy, is the nexus of Hideaway, a gloomy, tragic, adventure story about a child who finds comfort in a mentally unstable man who lives under a bridge. Hideaway is not an easy book to read. Stories about child neglect and abuse never are, especially because we know people like this exist in the real world. I wish I liked this novel more. I think it has something to say and a compelling story to tell, but, I found myself unable to make it past the half-way mark. Telling the story from the perspective of the children was a smart move, yet I often felt bogged down by long passages winding nowhere. Carl was a frustrating character too, the overuse of the "urh," sound became grating after a while. Hideaway is a great novel for some, the book has high reviews on Goodreads and other platforms, but for me, it felt too long and too bleak. It wasn't to my liking, unfortunately. I would still recommend it to anyone who finds the premise intriguing. It's unlike many novels I've read, and its uniqueness makes it an excellent story for some. Be aware of the dark subject matter beforehand. Thank you to NetGalley and Viking for allowing me an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
Anonymous 9 months ago
Rowen and his little sister Maisy are left in the care of their erratic mother Gloria when their father Telly leaves them for his new girlfriend. Gloria's erratic moods result in Rowen running away from home where he meets an unusual friend named Carl. Carl appears to be an eccentric but seemingly harmless homeless man who agrees to let Rowen stay with him. Rowen, excited about his new adventure, begins to have doubts about his safety when Carl's paranoia turns dangerous. Hideaway is an unusual tale in which we get to experience the lives of Rowen and Maisy two young children from a poor dysfunctional family. I'm tagging it as thriller but it would probably be closer to the suspense genre. The novel changes POV throughout the chapters so that the reader can experience the events unfolding from the eyes of a child. Carl, a homeless man with mental illness, is seen by Rowan is the one adult who finally understands him. Maisy is left in Gloria's care where she is rewarded only when she does exactly as she is told. Two parallel stories that will result in Rowen and Maisy having to make a life or death choice in who to trust. This book has some pretty unsettling topics throughout (child neglect and maltreatment) but it takes a very dark and disturbing twist towards the end. I really enjoyed this novel and found the characters to be complex yet relatable, definitely one to check out.
Alfoster 9 months ago
This was a heart-wrenching and difficult book to read, not because of the writing but the subject matter--parental neglect and abuse. Thirteen-year-old Rowan and seven-year-old Maisy live with their mother Gloria whose husband Telly has recent left them for another woman. On the surface Gloria seems to be a loving mother but she appears to only have affection for one child at a time and in Maisy's words can make either one of them "disappear" when the other is in her favor. When Rowan is forced to stand in the woods overnight for a minor incident, he meets Carl, a homeless man with mental illness; later forced to stand outside in a storm, Rowan will seek him out for solace. And now we see a dysfunctional family at its worst; Gloria manipulates things in an attempt to win Telly back and Maisy is told an alternate truth about events. As a parent and grandparent, this was painful to read, and my heart broke a little with every selfish move Gloria made to rewrite the story of their lives. I just kept taking deep breaths and reminded myself it was fiction--though I know it exists too often in real life. So if you want an emotional book that will tug at your heartstrings, this is the book for you! Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC!
MKF 9 months ago
Hard to read at times, this is the tale of an incredibly dysfunctional family and two highly resilient kids. Gloria is a monster. No two ways about it. She puts on a good show but her family- her husband Telly and worst of all her children Rowan and Maisy suffer regularly. Telly leaves her and moves in with another woman, which only leads her to redouble against the kids. Rowan finally runs away, finding solace, he thinks, with Carl, a homeless man. Carl, however, has problems of his own and this doesn't go quite as Rowan hopes. Twisted and twisty, you will be disgusted with the parents and want to hug the kids. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. A disturbing but good read.