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Saturday, July 23, 2016


Hidden by Catherine McKenzie - a book review by Crystal J. Casavant-Otto

I recently had the pleasure of reading Hidden by Catherine McKenzie and I enjoyed it so much I recommended it for our recent book club discussion. I must say a special word of thanks to author Catherine McKenzie who included book club discussion questions at the end of the book and upon hearing that we were discussing her work offered to Skype in to the discussion. We did not take her up on this gracious offer, but isn't that absolutely sweet?

Here's a quick summary of Hidden:
While walking home from work one evening, Jeff Manning is
struck by a car and killed. 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 as well as contend with funeral arrangements, well-meaning family members, and the arrival of Jeff’s estranged brother, who was her ex-boyfriend. Tish volunteers to attend the funeral on her company’s 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.

About Author Catherine McKenzie: A graduate of McGill University in History and Law, Catherine practices law in Montreal, where she was born and raised. An avid skier and runner, Catherine's novels, SPIN, ARRANGED, FORGOTTEN, HIDDEN and SMOKE, are all international bestsellers and have been translated into numerous languages. HIDDEN was also a #1 Amazon bestseller and a Digital Bookworld bestseller for five weeks. SMOKE was named a Best Book of October by Goodreads, one of the Top 100 Books of 2015 by Amazon, and was a #1 Amazon bestseller.

Her sixth novel, FRACTURED, will be published on October 4, 2016.

And if you want to know how she has time to do all that, the answer is: robots.

Visit her online at, on Facebook at, and on Twitter and Instagram at @cemckenzie1.

And now...onto the review!

I generally find it confusing when a book is told in multiple voices. However, McKenzie's writing style has a beautiful flow to it and Hidden was quite easy to follow even though it jumped from voice to voice. This was a quick read because of the underlying suspense as you tried to figure out exactly how the pieces of the puzzle were going to fit together. I enjoyed the surprise ending and even though I knew it was coming, I was still a bit shocked. Since reading Hidden, I have purchased copies of several other books by the same author and must say I am equally impressed with those. McKenzie is an author worth following. I can't wait to see what she has up her sleeve in the future. Hidden is a nice summer read (or anytime for that matter) and you'll find yourself enjoying each of the characters.

During a recent book club discussion about Hidden, we were speculating about what would happen next for Claire and Tish. I think that is such a good sign that the characters were well written. Had we not felt connected to each character we likely wouldn't care about what happens next in their lives. The wee bit of irony, the lovely flow of the writing, and the depth of which McKenzie describes her characters all make Hidden a 5 star book in my opinion.

Special thanks to amazing friends Cathy and Alison for this evening's lovely book club discussion - I'm looking forward to chatting about Forgotten next month!

Crystal is a church musician, babywearing mama (aka crunchy mama), business owner, active journaler, writer and blogger, Blog Tour Manager with WOW! Women on Writing, Publicist with Dream of Things Publishing, as well as a dairy farmer. She lives in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin with her husband, four young children (Carmen 9, Andre 8, Breccan 2, and Delphine 1), two dogs, two rabbits, four little piggies, a handful of cats and kittens, and over 230 Holsteins.

You can find Crystal riding unicorns, taking the ordinary and giving it a little extra (making it extraordinary), blogging and reviewing books, baby carriers, cloth diapers, and all sorts of other stuff at: and Today is Crystal's birthday so be sure to leave a thought or some unicorn poop in the comments on this post - show her some love ya'all!!!!

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Blogger Sioux said...

Crystal--Thanks for sharing this book. I enjoy books told in multiple voices (I love Jodi Picoult books) so I will put this book on my to-read list.

4:26 PM  

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