Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Review & Interview: "Hidden" by Catherine McKenzie

When Jeff Manning suffers a fatal accident on his way home from work after a particularly tough day not one but two women's lives are shattered. The first woman is Jeff's wife, Claire. The second woman is Jeff's co-worker, Tish. Tish's co-workers are unaware of her connections to Jeff outside of the workplace so they are relieved when she offers to attend his funeral on behalf of the company. Only Tish knows how dangerous it is for her to insert herself in Jeff's real life, even if only for a moment.

Told from the perspectives of Jeff, Claire and Tish, Hidden examines marriage, personal relationships, and what we do to protect those that we love.

Hidden is Catherine McKenzie's fourth novel, and it is definitely one of her best. I admired the way that she was able to take a difficult subject, cheating while in a relationship, and make it not black and white but gray. I fully expected to be inclined to take sides from the beginning but as we delved deeper into the story I found that I was unable to fully side with one person or another. McKenzie has created three characters with both sympathetic and not-so-sympathetic aspects.

The character development is part of what made Hidden so compelling. We are presented with these pictures of two women, both far from perfect, but with lives that somehow work for them. The glimpses into their home lives and the challenges that they encounter humanized them for me. Now they were not just two women who loved the same man, but they were mothers and employees and wives with hopes and dreams of their own. Jeff's voice certainly lent an interesting perspective to the situation and I love that McKenzie chose to include it.

Well-written, insightful, and impossible to put down Hidden is another must- read by Catherine McKenzie. My thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy.

I have had the pleasure of interviewing Catherine twice before and thought that it would be fun to get to know her a little better this time around! My thanks to her for taking the time out of her schedule to answer the following questions for me!

The Book Chick: What is your favourite colour?
Catherine McKenzie: Green

TBC: What is your favourite food?
CM: Pasta

TBC: Where is your favourite vacation destination?
CM: It's a tie between Greece and Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
TBC: What is your idea of the perfect day?
CM: I get a good night's sleep. It's sunny outside but not too hot. I'm reading a great book. I get 2,000 words of writing done. I got to dinner with friends and laugh, laugh, laugh. I get a good night's sleep.

TBC:  If you could have dinner with any person, living or dead, who would it be?
CM: Oh, I never know how to answer this question! If I go with say, Lauren Graham (we really should be best friends) do I come off as shallow? Or if I say, Plato, so we can talk about what he was really getting at with his cave analogy in The Republic, do I reveal myself as a total political philosophy geek?
TBC: What is your favourite season?
CM: The fall

TBC: Are you a morning person or a night owl?
CM: I'm a night owl.
TBC: Which one of your books would you most like to see turned into a movie?
CM: Well, luckily, both SPIN and ARRANGED have been optioned for film, so I'll go with both!
TBC:What is your favourite TV show or movie?
CM: The Wire. Best. Television. Show. Ever.
TBC: What is your writing routine like?
CM: Terrible. You couldn't even call it a routine. Except on airplanes. I kick butt at writing on airplanes.

My thanks to Catherine McKenzie and HarperCollins Canada for making participation in this tour possible!


  1. Fun interview. I can't wait to read Hidden!

  2. Thanks so much for the great review and interview, Jonita! - Catherine

  3. Thanks so much for the great review and interview, Jonita! - Catherine

  4. This one sounds good. I'm not familiar with it.