Thursday 27 June 2013

Book ~ "Hidden" (2013) Catherine McKenzie

From Goodreads ~ When a married man suffers a sudden fatal accident, two women are shattered - his wife and someone else's - and past secrets, desires and regrets are brought to light. 

While walking home from work one evening, Jeff Manning is struck by a car and killed. Not one but 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 and contend with funeral arrangements, well-meaning family members and the arrival of Jeff’s estranged brother - her ex-boyfriend - Tim. 

With Tish’s co-workers in the dark about her connection to Jeff outside the workplace, she volunteers to attend the funeral on the 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, our personal choices and the responsibilities we have to the ones we love.

On a Friday right after firing the man who had hired him, Jeff decides to walk home, gets hit by a car and is instantly killed.  When his wife, Claire, is told the news a couple hours later, she is understandably devastated.  Her friends and family (including Jeff's family) gather around her to help her and her son, Seth, get through it.

Tish and Jeff worked for the same company but in different cities.  They met at a conference, kept in touch and have gotten close through texting, emails and meeting again at other conferences.  Tish wondered why Jeff hadn't responded to her emails and texts all weekend.  She is also devastated when she learns on Monday of his death but, unlike Claire, she has to keep it to herself so her co-workers, her husband and her daughter don't realize the true extent of her grief.

This story tackles an interesting dynamic ... a man with a wife and a close female friend ... and the interactions between the two when he suddenly dies.

This story is written in the first person, with the point of view shifting around between Jeff to Claire to Tish.  This way we get to know each of these characters, what they were thinking and why they've done what they've done.  Each speaks of the past so though the story starts with Jeff's death, we get filled in on their histories.  It was an interesting style when it was Jeff's point of view considering we know he's already dead.  Of the three main characters, I liked Jeff the best and felt sorry that he was dead ... he seemed like a nice guy.  Though I should have been sympathetic, I couldn't warm up to Claire or Tish.


Knit and Purl Mama said...

Even though you couldn't warm up to the women - did you still enjoy the novel?

Teena in Toronto said...