Book Review: These Things Hidden

September 20, 2012 audiobook, book review 6

Written by : Heather Gudenkauf

Published by: Recorded Books 2011/ Print:: Mira Books

Narrated by: Ali Ahn, Angela Lin, Angela Goethais

Length: 9 hours and 12 minutes

Source: Purchased from Audible

Allison Glenn is being released from prison as this book begins.  She is happy to be being released after just five years, and she is anxious to attempt to start her young life again, she is just 21 years old.  She must move to a half way house, as her parents want nothing to do with her.  Her shocking crime has left everyone in her hometown of Linden Falls to gossip and speculate about what happened to the girl who had everything.  Her younger sister Brynn knows all the secrets of what happened to Allison that night when it all went wrong.  Brynn has never talked to anyone about it, she left after her own high school graduation and is now living with her grandmother and hoping to remain anonymous.  Allison knows she must talk to Brynn, to learn more about the secrets they have both been keeping.

This book was so very well done, I was eager to pop in my ear buds or drive in my car so I had time to hear more about Allison and what was going to happen next.  Yes her crime shocked me, and yes the twists just keep coming.  While I thought I had much of it figured out I was never quite right about the truth.  My heart went out to Allison, trying so hard to make things right despite her past.  I also understood why her sister might want to stay removed from the past.  I thought her parent’s harsh treatment a bit extreme, but I also know that some offenses are difficult to forgive.  Allison is lucky to have an outstanding young lawyer, and the woman who runs the half way house is really in her corner too.  Those relationships gave me a warm feeling.  There are other characters in the book that are key to the secrets, but I was unable to complete the puzzle until the very shocking end.

Allison the once golden girl in this book is the key to everything.  I loved how Gudenkauf took a much loved star in her small town and turned her into a villain.  I think our culture and society are quick to judge, often without all the facts.  Allison plead guilty and there was no trial, so no one really knew the truth.  As in life this story showed other people trying to do good and selfless things to help or protect innocent victims.  Relationships between parents and their children were twisted in all sorts of ways, with Allison, and another character, Charm.  We meet adoptive mother Claire Kelby who could not be more caring and loving of her young son.  So many interesting circumstances that bring all these people together.  

The audio narration used three voices to give unique characterization to each key role.  I think this really helped make the production better.

I had been meaning to read or listen to this book since last year, the synopsis sounded very good to me and I wasn’t disappointed.  I’ve given this book a 4 out of 5 stars and if you are a mystery or suspense lover I think you would really enjoy this one.  I’m planning to read Heather Gudenkauf’s other two books as soon as I can. 

6 Responses to “Book Review: These Things Hidden”

  1. Zibilee

    I bought this book some time ago, and my son immediately grabbed it. It wasn’t for him, but I think it would be perfect for me. I love it when there are secrets hiding in the narrative, and when the plot twists are doled out in good proportion. Excellent review today, Anita. I think I am going to go searching for this one, or perhaps try it on audio!

  2. Jenny

    This one really surprised me! I wasn’t sure what to expect but I got drawn into the mystery. I read the print… the audio would have probably been cool with the different narrators.

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