Judith D Collins
By Erin Healy
Publication Date: 9/8/2015
My Rating: 4 Stars
Family means safety. Family means protection. Until it doesn't.
Eleven-year-old Kate Whitby leads an invisible life, the youngest member of her odd family. They live in their historic small-town hotel, where she is an expert at keeping everyone’s secrets: her sister’s a thief, her great-grandmother isn’t as crazy as people think, her mother lives in the past, and her beloved grandfather might have killed his best friend.
Devoted to the people she loves—more than they have ever been to her—Kate vows to protect each one.
Charlie Fuse has lived on the streets since his alcoholic father threw him out. When Charlie’s powerful street family tests his loyalty by demanding that he kill the son of a rival gang leader, he refuses. They frame him for the murder, forcing Charlie to run.
When Kate finds Charlie injured and penniless, she hides him from his enemies and her uncharitable relatives, unaware that he has a connection to her family as old as the hotel itself.
The murderous gang tracks Charlie down. To flush him out, they take the clueless family hostage and threaten young Kate. Even then, Kate keeps Charlie hidden, putting all her childlike faith in one terrible hope: that the family who has never been able to protect her before might learn how to do it now.
About the Author
Erin Healy is the bestselling co-author of Burn and Kiss (with Ted Dekker) and an award-winning fiction editor for numerous bestselling authors.
Erin is the owner of WordWright Editorial Services, a consulting firm specializing in fiction book development, and she is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and the Academy of Christian Editors. Her novels include such thrilling stories as Never Let You Go, The Baker’s Wife, and Stranger Things.
She lives with her family in Colorado.
A special thank you to Thomas Nelson--FICTION and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Erin Healy delivers captivating and adventurous HIDING PLACES, a world of intrigue, suspense, and mystery surround the multi-layered story and a Nancy Drew type young girl, named Kate – as she tries to make sense of this world of crazy adults, her family history, danger, secrets, and treasures. Set in a resort mountain town of Evergreen, Colorado-- Kat, eleven-years-old seems to be the protector of the family. The youngest, she is caught in the middle of all her family members and grandparents. Her family operates The Harrison Lodge, a historic mountain resort, and has done so for many generations. Years ago, the lodge was a private mansion a summer getaway for rich businessmen. However, before Kate was born, someone had turned the mansion into a hotel. The resort consists of a popular restaurant on the first floor and well -appointed guest rooms and a library on the second, and a third story event center, and spacious detached cottages, and grounds. As with most grand hotels, and resorts of this grand nature; there is always drama with the guests, and oh so many secrets, passageways, hidden treasures, and stories buried beneath. If the wall could speak. We meet a variety of eccentric, strange, dangerous, and funny characters: Great- Grandma Pearl, Gran & Grandy, her mother, Janet, and two older sisters, Alyssa and Olivia. Great-Granma Pearl is quite the character! In addition to the secrets and a safe haven for the guests, Kate finds the family members are keeping secrets. Told primarily from Kate’s view, she likes to play detective and suspects one of her family members is involved in a murder. She has seen and heard things. In addition to all the drama surrounding the entire family, readers are introduced to other families, from different walks of life— from a homeless man who sees a robbery gone wrong . . . runaways living under a bridge, a gang member who seeks revenge for the death of his son . . . and Charlie, a boy who has lived on the streets, with no money, and an alcoholic father. Someone wants him to kill someone, someone is being framed and Kate plays the Good Samaritan by hiding him; not realizing the danger. However, she has no clue how he may be connected to her family’s history. How can three different families’ lives connect? How can Kate protect them all --and keep them from harm’s way? A complex, heartwarming, redemptive, and coming-of-age story of an innocent and trusting young girl, and her altruistic need to take the burdens of the world upon herself. To protect and be protected. (Loved the front cover)! There are so many elements to the story, and Erin does a fabulous job connecting all the storylines, building with mystery and intrigue, with nice character development. Kate loves to hide out, intuitive-- reminding you of a Nancy Drew; readers will fall for her charm and Pearl, the one everyone thinks is crazy. Loved the relationship between the two, with a nice takeaway. “Don’t you play hide-and-seek? Hiding places are only good for as long as they stay hidden.“ HIDING PLACES was my first book by Healy— have heard so much about Motherless, I just purchased the audiobook. Look forward to reading/listening, as well as her previous books. On a personal note: Was attracted to the book initially, due to the hotel, as a consultant for historic hotel properties— they (former owners and guests) all have history, mysteries and secrets of the past. I love writing the research for the web, and digging up its past, naming the rooms, connections, and capturing earlier times and eras. Fascinating!