To Go: 62
31. The Dressmaker — Kate Alcott
32. Spin — Catherine McKenzie
33. The Elegance of the Hedgehog — Muriel Barbery
34. Anna Karenina — Leo Tolstoy
35. A Necessary End — Peter Robinson
36. Envy — Sandra Brown
37. The Preacher — Camilla Läckberg
38. Hidden — Catherine McKenzie
Finished reading: July 12, 2013
Walking home from work one evening, Jeff Manning is struck by a car and killed. And not one but two women are shattered by the news: his wife, Claire, and his co-worker, Tish. While dealing with her own loss, Claire must comfort her grieving son, make funeral arrangements, and prepare for the arrival of Jeff’s estranged brother—and her ex-boyfriend—Tim. Tish prepares to attend the funeral, volunteering to go as a representative from the company, knowing the risk of inserting herself into Jeff’s life.
Hidden was a bittersweet novel about grief, secrets, and trust that lacked a driving force. It had a vague sense of momentum, but not enough to really hook me, or to propel the story forward. Perhaps it was the sense of stasis that grief creates, or the reflective nature of the novel, but Hidden didn’t seem to really move.
The story is a marked deviation from what I know of Catherine McKenzie’s work—funny, sweet, smartly-written love stories—and while she creates beautiful, heartbreaking characters in Claire and Tish, the nature of the plot presented a challenge it was difficult to overcome: stagnation.
Next book: Ricochet — Sandra Brown