These Things Hidden by Heather Gudenkauf

Allison Glenn was the perfect daughter. She made good grades, played soccer, and had a bright future ahead of her. The future her parents wanted and expected her to have. One night changes all of that. In an instant, Allison finds herself in the back of a police car. Her life left shattered, her future uncertain.

Now, five years later, Allison is leaving prison and returning home to start over. While in prison, she has attempted to reach out to her sister Brynn over and over.

Brynn has spent the last five years trying to escape that night. With Allison gone, her parents expected her to step into the role of perfect daughter. When it all became too much, Brynn escaped her parents’ house and went to live with their grandmother. Brynn wants nothing more than to put the last five years behind her and forget her sister even exists.

What follows is a story with unexpected twists and turns, leaving you wondering just how you might go to protect someone else.

Heather Gudenhauf’s tale is compelling from start to finish. It was very hard to put down, and I finished it fast enough to read it a second time before writing the review. I spent the entire time both wondering how Allison could keep such a secret and how Brynn could let her.

What surprised me most is that while reading, I could empathize more with Allison than be angry at her. That was probably the most confusing emotion of all. I wanted to be completely appalled at her actions. Instead, I found myself heartbroken due to the difficult position in which she found herself. The story will draw you in and keep you guessing until the very end.

Gudenkauf writes a tale that few would dare. Her voice is unique and captured me from the very beginning. This book obviously stays on my read again list, and I will be looking for her other novel as well.


Robin Gwaro is a founding book review blogger at Bookgateway.com and has generously supplied this review. She describes herself as “a woman just trying to keep it all together. Most days, I have the juggling act down! Others, I have the broom and dustpan handy to clean up the mess. My life is not always easy, it is not always neat, but it is always worth every minute!” Her personal blog is Just Wandering. Not Lost.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

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