The Hidden Side is a very difficult book to read. As a mother it was heartbreaking to read Natalie Abbott’s story, knowing that any of us could find ourselves in her position at any time. It made me realize that when I see some of the tragic stories on the evening news that each person who commits a violent crime has family and friends who are devastated by their actions. This was definitely not my favorite book of the year simply because the subject matter is so painful. Yet despite that fact, the author did a commendable job of writing a story most would probably like to avoid.
Another time-slip book, The Hidden Side also features a journal written by Mercy Howard in 1776 that relates an equally tragic story about her loss of two men she loved due to the politics of war. Questions are raised about whether it is ever right to lie, even for a just cause.
Both stories are hard to read and neither has the usual expected happy ending but that’s what helps keep it true-to-life. Despite the difficult subject matter, The Hidden Side is a book that will most likely be remembered long after its covers are closed.
I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Tyndale Blog Network. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
New York, 2016
Natalie Abbott offers answers for hurting listeners on her popular radio program. But she struggles to connect with her teenagers, with her daughter in an unhealthy relationship and her son uncommunicative and isolated. When one member of the family commits an unspeakable act, Natalie is forced to uncover who she truly is under the façade of her radio persona.
New York, 1776
Mercy Howard is shocked when her fiancé, Nathan Hale, is arrested and hanged as a spy. When she’s asked to join the revolutionary spy ring in Manhattan, she sees an opportunity to avenge Nathan’s death. But keeping her true loyalties hidden grows increasingly harder as the charming Major John Andre of the King’s Army becomes more to her than a target for intelligence.
Mercy’s journals comfort Natalie from across the centuries as both women struggle with their own secrets and shame, wondering how deep God’s mercy extends.ross the centuries as both women struggle with their own secrets and shame, wondering how deep God’s mercy extends.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Heidi Chiavaroli began writing eleven years ago, just after Jesus had grabbed hold of her heart. She used her two small boys’ nap times to pursue what she thought at the time was a foolish dream. Despite a long road to publication, she hasn’t stopped writing since!
Heidi won the 2014 ACFW Genesis contest in the historical category. Her debut novel, Freedom’s Ring, was a 4½-star Romantic Times Top Pick and a Booklist Top Ten Romance Debut.
Heidi loves exploring places that whisper of historical secrets, especially with her family. She loves running, hiking, baking, and dates with her high-school sweetheart and husband of fourteen years. Heidi makes her home in Massachusetts with her husband, two sons, and Howie, her standard poodle. Visit her online at heidichiavaroli.com.