Hiding Places

Hiding PlacesHiding Places by Erin Healy
Genres: Suspense
Published by Thomas Nelson on September 8, 2015
Pages: 368
Also by this author: Motherless

 

The Harrison Lodge has a storied past that goes back to World War II. Filled with hidden rooms and secret passages, the lodge was once a refuge from persecution and a place of compassion. But the original vision has been lost and it seems as though the family that once sought to protect those in need are no longer sensitive and willing to help. Eleven year old Kate is different though. With a tender heart, she consistently seeks ways to protect her family’s secrets. From her granddad’s hidden candy stash to her sister’s marijuana habit, every secret is safe with Kate. So when a stranger shows up needing help, Kate agrees to hide him and not tell anyone that he’s there. However, her act of kindness leads to a string of horrifying events that threatens the lives of those she’s tried so desperately to protect. In a complex tale of forgotten roots and emerging hope, Hiding Places brings the past to the future with a strong storyline, nice suspense, and loveable characters.

 In a complex tale of forgotten roots and emerging hope, Hiding Places brings the past to the future with a strong storyline, nice suspense, and loveable characters.

I was a little disappointed when I heard that Hiding Places would be Erin’s first book without a speculative angle. I realize the market is shifting and speculative is fading, but I truly love Erin’s creativity and integration of speculative themes. While I am a bit sad that Hiding Places has no supernatural elements, I will admit that the story works exceptionally well just as it is.

Though there are a wide range of characters in this book, eleven year old Kate is the star. I’m not at all surprised that Kate shines as the driving force behind this book. Erin has always written exceptional characters, but her children and teens are some of her best. Their internal thoughts and uniqueness have always made her young characters feel very much alive. Kate feels a little younger than eleven, but this adds to the story rather than distracts.

While I am a bit sad that Hiding Places has no supernatural elements, I will admit that the story works exceptionally well just as it is.

I love history in my fiction and the backstory for the Harrison Lodge is particularly intriguing. The piece of history that is included in Hiding Places is not one of the more talked about parts of World War II. The backstory works quite well in this book and combined with Pearl’s character and background opens the doors for all types of discussions. In fact, I think this would be an excellent story for a book club as it touches not only on lessons from our country’s past, but also paints a vivid picture of a family’s decline as they drift from their faith.

There are many parts of this story that are excellent and not the least of which is the ending. It’s not completely tidy nor is it 100% happily every after. There are consequences to each character’s actions and I like that. However, it doesn’t leave the reader depressed and looking for a fluffy book next. Instead it strikes a good balance between realism and hope.

 I love history in my fiction and the backstory for the Harrison Lodge is particularly intriguing. The piece of history that is included in Hiding Places is not one of the more talked about parts of World War II

Even without the speculative aspect, Hiding Places still has many of the features readers expect from Erin’s books. It has a lovely tone and elegant writing style combined with excellent characters and strong suspense. The spiritual themes are well integrated and the family drama is the perfect compliment to those themes. Overall I very much enjoyed Hiding Places, and as always am looking forward to Erin’s next book.

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