Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Hiding Places by Erin Healy

I like getting a new book by Healy. She is such a gifted writer, I know her book will be entertaining and thought provoking, ranging from magical realism to suspenseful thrillers.

This novel is yet again different from what I have read from Healy in the past. This novel centers on a young girl, eleven year old Kate. She and various members of her extended family live in a lodge that has been in the family for a couple of generations. Originally a lavish get away house for an eastern couple, it is now a lodge and restaurant in the hills above Denver. It is also the place where good and evil meet in a deadly confrontation.

This is a story about family. I really like Kate. She is an amazing young girl, protecting family members by keeping secrets. I liked Pearl too, a savvy elderly woman with such a treasured history, that she is not afraid to put her life on the line to save others. There are also other family members that are not so valiant. Like the lodge and cottages, they have hiding places where they keep their secrets.

Interwoven into that family story are three others. One is a “family” of homeless people. We see what kind of a family that is when loyalty is tested. And another family, a father who is part of a gang and his twelve year old son who is being inducted into the fold. The gang members call themselves brothers and we see their family loyalty to each other too.

All of these “families” come together at the lodge for a suspenseful meeting. It is during this time that truth comes to the surface and family loyalty is ultimately tested.

I liked this novel just for its suspenseful conclusion. But I also liked it for the investigation into family and just what that means. I liked the characters, the strong Pearl and Kate, and the flawed men. I liked learning a bit about the incarceration of the Japanese in U.S. camps during WW II. I had no idea some sympathetic to American Japanese acted to protect them.

I recommend this novel to those who like suspense. I also recommend it to those who like to think through characters' actions and motives, for there is much to think about. Those who like to see flawed characters find new meaning for their actions will appreciate the novel too. There are good Discussion Questions dealing with the meaning of family and family member interaction, so it would be a good book for a reading group as well.

My rating: 5/5 stars.

Erin Healy is the bestselling coauthor of books with Ted Dekker. She is also an award-winning editor for numerous bestselling authors and has authored several books herself. She and her family live in Colorado. Find out more at http://www.erinhealy.com/.

Thomas Nelson, 358 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
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