Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Holiday Blog Tour: Hidden by Catherine McKenzie

I was excited to be asked to be part of the blog tour for Catherine McKenzie’s Hidden.  Catherine has graciously agreed to answer some questions

What’s a “Typical” day like for you?
 I practice law still so a typical day for me right now is being in court. 

What books have most influenced your life most?
 I always find this question so hard to answer! My life has been enriched by so many books; I’ve been a huge reader all my life. As a kid I read L.M. Montgomery and Laura Ingalls Wilder over and over. Growing up as a teenager I was a big reader of detective fiction – Agatha Christie, Rex Stout, Dick Francis, Sue Grafton. I also remember discovering 1984 and Brave New World one summer – a strange summer indeed! I only read Austen in my 20s for the first time and fell in love. I also love pretty much anything by Nick Hornby and Wally Lamb. In the past couple of years, books that stand out include: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, anything by John Green but especially The Fault in Our Stars, Shawn Klomparen’s books, The Banks of Certain Rivers by Jon Harrison and most recently, The Circle by Dave Eggers. You see why I find it hard to answer?

What was the first story you remember writing -- this could even be something you wrote in Grade 1?
I never really wrote stories as a kid, just poetry. Honestly – and this is going to sound weird I know – but the first story I wrote all the way to the end was the first novel I wrote.

How do you deal with negative reviews?
 It’s much easier now than it was in the beginning. I think I take the opposite perspective on this than many authors – I read all my reviews, I seek them out. It was the way I became desensitized to it. I’m not saying that when a particularly bad review appears that it doesn’t bother me, but I’m basically able to shrug it off pretty quickly. No book is for everyone, right? The ones that do bother me, though, are ones that aren’t really reviews, i.e. I’m giving this one star because it was delivered late by Amazon. Um, how is that a review of my book?

What are you working on now?
I can’t announce my next project yet in detail (though stay tuned for an announcement soon!). Hint: it will have something to do with one of my previous books.

If you could be one of the characters in your books, who would it be?
 Huh, tough one. I have a massive crush on Henry from Spin, so I guess I’ll take Katie J

What One book would you bring if you were stuck on a desert Island?
 Can’t bring just one! Oh, wait, yes I can: my copy of the collected works of Jane Austen. I have them all in one book that I found at a second-hand shop years ago.

What are you reading now?
 I just finished The Dinner by Herman Koch (disturbing but good) and am about to start S. by Doug Dorst (it’s based on an idea by J.J. Abrams, the person who invented the TV show LOST, which is a favorite).

 Thanks for the questions!

For those who haven't had the pleasure of reading Catherine's wonderful novels before, check out below for a review of Hidden (and links to my reviews of her other books)
by Catherine McKenzie
ISBN: 978-1-44341-190-5
Buy from Indigo

Description: When a married man suffers a sudden fatal accident, two women are shattered—his wife and someone else's—and past secrets, desires and regrets are brought to light

While walking home from work one evening, Jeff Manning is struck by a car and killed. Not one but two women fall to pieces at the news: his wife, Claire, and his co-worker Tish. Reeling from her loss, Claire must comfort her grieving son and contend with funeral arrangements, well-meaning family members and the arrival of Jeff’s estranged brother—her ex-boyfriend—Tim.

With Tish’s co-workers in the dark about her connection to Jeff outside the workplace, she volunteers to attend the funeral on the company’s behalf, but only she knows the true risk of inserting herself into the wreckage of Jeff’s life. Told through the three voices of Jeff, Tish and Claire, Hidden explores the complexity of relationships, our personal choices and the responsibilities we have to the ones we love.

 The Good Stuff
  •  Natural born storyteller - to me anyone who can write  a novel that has me wanting to ignore everything around me is truly gifted. McKenzie is truly the type of author that doesn't disappoint.
  • Characters are real, warts and all. These are people you know and feel for 
  • Great for book club discussions
  • No black and white, these are realistic characters with real problems that you will relate too
  • Uncomfortable, yet makes you think and want to make changes
  • Feels deeply personal
  • Couldn't put it down, even-though its usually the kind of book I don't enjoy
  • Almost like a mystery at times, you don't know what really happened until the very end
  • Hope and forgiveness main theme of story
  • I felt and understood all of the characters and while not always agreeing with the choices they made, I can see how they would make the decisions they did (even Brian)
  • Makes your heart burst at times
  • Really delves into whether honesty really is the best policy. The truth doesn't always set you free
The Not So Good Stuff
  •  Not a lot of light moments - which is something I seem to need and even more so since McKenzie does this so very well
  • I really didn't like Brian and found him to be pushy and intense
  • OMG I think McKenzie hates Rush - that is soooo UnCanadian ROFL     : )  (Not really a bad thing but had to mention for fun)

Favorite Quotes/Passages

"It itches where it meets my collerbone, but that seems fitting somehow. I don't want to feel comfortable on the day of Jeff's funeral."

"Everyone says that, but we all lie about things. Little things, big things. We all keep stuff hidden. And the longer you're with someone, the more stuff there is like that, I think."

"But how are you supposed to feel, really, when all your worst fears, things you'd never even imagined could happen, acutually do happen, actually do come true?
Hearts don't come with an owner's manua.
Someone should do something about that."

4.5 Dewey's
I received this from the author in exchange for an honest review  

Reviews of other books by Catherine McKenzie



Blog Tour Stops

December 3rd: Literary Treats
December 4th: The Literary Word
December 5th: Brooklyn Berry
December 6th: Freda’s Voice
December 9th: The Book Drunkard
December 10th: Peeking Between the Pages
December 11th: Bookworm’s World
December 13th: Cindy’s Love of Books
December 16th: Misbehavin’ Librarian
December 17th: Feeling a Little Bookish
December 18th: Novel Escapes

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