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Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Hidden Places ~ Lynn Austen


Setting:  USA 1930’s.    Christian fiction with an underlying mystery: who is Gabe Harper?

Love, honesty, and, forgiveness forge a conglomeration of characters into a family. I usually do not like USA depression era book, but I really appreciated how the author had Christ and His love as the epicentre of hope in this story; and, I enjoyed how Austen showed of the abiding love between Aunt Batty and Walter Gibson - powerful and poignant.
This didn’t quite make 5 starts for me as Austen doesn’t have Eliza’s character as developing, or as multi-dimensional as she could have been. (A few too many hands on her hips while she loses her temper scenes.)
Others may, but I don’t like books with steamy and passionate kissing scenes – this book included scenes that were right on the edge of that for me.  As an older woman once said, she’d rather be passionately kissing her own man than reading about two people doing that in some work of fiction. I concur with that sentiment.
Authors that refer to other writer’s works, literature or poetry, in their own books add extra reading value for me, and Austen’s skill in this area shines throughout the story.  She has me wanting to try and, finally, read through all of Walden ~  Henry Thoreau,  and, to hunt out my beloved poetry books to revisit Christina Rossetti’s work.  I’ve ordered a printed copy of Hidden Places so I can highlight all the portions I delight in, including gems like this:

Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you plann'd:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.
~ Christina Rossetti ~

Extras for others who like to things like this too before reading:   Alcoholism & prostitution are dealt with euphemistically: and, though penned with care and discretion the story has mature adult themes and is not a book I’d just hand to Daisy to read without discussion first:
sexually aggressive girls – they ‘pimp’ themselves to get the man they think they want as an answer to their own needs at the time,
adultery between a young woman and a married man resulted in a pregnancy,
narcissistic/abusive parents (with one father a religion spouting “monster”),
domestic violence,
attempted murder, and,
suicide.

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The number beside each book is my personal rating for the book, or audiobook, at the time of reading with the range being:

(1) = would not recommend,

(2) = some interesting aspects but not one of my recommended reads,

(3) = would recommend.

(4) = Really good, enjoyable, (or worthy) read, would definitely recommend

(5) = Excellent book, highly recommend