Deeply hidden secrets spark the storyline in Heather Gudenkauf’s second book, and we only gradually come to know them, as they are revealed in snippets throughout the novel.

Told in alternating points of view, we meet each character, one by one, and come to understand their connections to one another and to a little boy named Joshua.

Allison’s horrific crime strikes a chord with anyone who has ever given birth and felt the need for secrecy. What we learn later is shocking and somewhat understandable, given the nature of the other characters and their backstory.

Charm plays a role, as does Claire; Brynn’s role seems more like a supporting one…at least in the beginning.

I loved the pace that gradually defined who the characters were and their relationship to the core plot of These Things Hidden. In short chapters devoted to each character, there is a subtle unfolding in dramatic bursts that leads finally to a satisfying conclusion. Five stars! I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves dramatic stories of family, secrets, and the connections that bind people to one another.