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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

The Ways We Hide

By: Kristina McMorris ISBN: 9781705019082

Publisher: RB Media Recorded Books

Narrator: Cassandra Campbell

Pub Date: 09/06/2022

Format: Audio

My Rating: 5 Stars 🎧

From New York Times bestselling author Kristina McMorris, and inspired by stunning true accounts, a story about the wars we fight—between nations and inside ourselves—and the courage we find in unexpected places.

Fenna Vos has learned to focus on her own survival—even now, with the Second World War raging in faraway countries. She works on-stage as the assistant to an unruly escape artist—behind the curtain as the mastermind of their act. After all, her honed ability to control her surroundings and elude entrapments, physical or otherwise, reliably suppresses the trauma and tragedy of her youth.

For all her calculations, however, Fenna neglects to foresee being called upon by British Intelligence. Tasked with creating escape tools to thwart the Germans, MI9 seeks those with specialized skills for a war nearing its breaking point. Fenna reluctantly joins an unconventional group of inventors—but delving deeper into the fray means a confrontation with her past and stakes more treacherous than she ever imagined.

My Review

From the author of Sold on a Monday, author Kristina McMorris delivers a gripping tale of love, loss, sacrifice, and family.

Inspired by actual events, THE WAYS WE HIDE is a story of an unforgettable heroine, beautifully written and meticulously researched, a mix of WWII spy story, mystery, magic, illusion, a little romance, and historical fiction rolled into one intriguing novel.

A perfect title with many meanings. Ideal for book clubs and further discussions.

Included in the Book:

  • Author's Note (behind the book/inspiration)

  • Recipes from Fenna

  • Reading Group Guide

  • Images from Fenna's Journey

  • Further Reading

  • Her website includes a very extensive fun Book Club Kit.

From the Italian Hall Disaster and its parallel tragedy at Bethnal Green Station to the efforts of M19, Houdini, and the Dutch Resistance, plus those of the Engelandvaarders, The Ways We Hide highlights myriad stunning pieces of history.

Initially from Michigan's copper mining region, told from Fenna Vos' POV from 1928 (Michigan), 1942 (Brooklyn, NY), 1943 (London, England), Epilogue 1945 (Chicago)— Fenna is a successful illusionist and assistant in a magical show. She is the person in charge. The one teaching, envisioning, solving. Both the composer and the conductor virtually unseen at center stage.

From past to present the narrative shifts from the many traumatic events of Fenna and Arie's youth to the present day. As the story begins to unfold, we get some backstory of her childhood tragedies and her happier moments with her father and childhood best friend, Arie.

Major Christopher Clayton Hutton recruits her to M19 with the creation of hidden gadgets to help aid in the war efforts for British allies. He believes her unique and innovative skills should be utilized for a grander purpose than amusement on a stage.

Excellent storytelling, and the characters come alive on the page. Strong themes of family, love, loss, and sacrifice are apparent throughout the novel and the driving force behind Fenna's and Arie's actions.

Highly relatable characters, and a strong protagonist, I enjoyed Fenna's story and all the historical events and learning more about M19, Monopoly, the game boards, cards, and others that helped aid war efforts, and the fun facts of Houdini's history.

While I do not read a lot of historical fiction (preferring suspense, mystery, thrillers, domestic, psychological, legal, and literary fiction); however, since I read Sold On A Monday and enjoyed it, there are select authors I read in this genre. For fans of the author and historical fiction lovers.

I listened to the audiobook, which was narrated by Cassandra Campbell (one of my favorite narrators), and the reason for requesting it, with a superb and engaging performance!

A special thank you to #RecordedBook #RBMedia and #Negalley for an ALC in exchange for an honest review. I also purchased the e-book, which I switched back and forth with audio.

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

My Rating: 5 Stars

Pub Date: Sept 6, 2022


  • A Globe & Mail Historical Fiction Bestseller

  • September 2022 LibraryReads Top-10 Pick

  • Booklist Starred Review

  • BookBub Best Reads of Fall 2022

"Just like her heroine, Kristina McMorris works magic in this twisting tale of James Bond's Q meets World War II. I love this book!"

—Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Rose Code and The Diamond Eye

"The Queen's Gambit meets The Alice Network in this epic, action-packed novel of family, loss, and one woman's journey to save all she holds dear—including freedom itself."

—Kristin Harmel, New York Times bestselling author of The Forest of Vanishing Stars

"A riveting tale of intrigue and illusion, danger and historical mystery, but at its heart the story of one woman's struggle to escape her own past. While using her remarkable skills to help captured soldiers, Fenna finds herself face-to-face with what she loves most and what she fears most, trapped in a place where each decision she makes could unlock the paths to freedom and a future... or death."

—Lisa Wingate #1 New York Times bestselling author of Before We Were Yours

About the Author

© Holland Studios

Kristina McMorris is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author published by Sourcebooks Landmark, Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Harper Muse, and Kensington Books. Her novels have garnered more than two dozen prestigious awards and nominations, including the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, RWA's RITA® Award, and a Goodreads Choice Award for Best Historical Fiction.

At age nine, she began creatively expressing herself when she embarked on a five-year stint as the host of an Emmy® and Ollie award-winning kids' television program. Being half Japanese, Kristina jokes that she discovered a genetic kinship with the camera early in life and continued to nurture that relationship by acting in many independent and major films while living in Los Angeles. Later, as the owner of a wedding/event planning company, she served as the six-year host of the WB's weekly program Weddings Portland Style.

Kristina's extensive experience in media and events led her to becoming a professional emcee and contributing writer for Portland Bride & Groom magazine. Her previous writing background also includes ten years of directing public relations for an international conglomerate.

In 2001, deciding sleep was highly overrated, she compiled hundreds of her grandmother's favorite recipes for a holiday gift that quickly evolved into a self-published cookbook. With proceeds benefiting the Food Bank, Grandma Jean's Rainy Day Recipes sold at such stores as Borders and appeared frequently in regional media. It was while gathering information for the book's biographical section when Kristina happened across the letters her grandfather mailed to his "sweetheart" during his wartime naval service—a collection that years later inspired McMorris to pen her first novel, a WWII love story titled Letters from Home.

Since her debut released in 2011, in addition to her novellas in the anthologies A Winter Wonderland and Grand Central, Kristina's published works have expanded to include the novels Bridge of Scarlet Leaves, The Pieces We Keep, The Edge of Lost, the million-copy bestseller Sold on a Monday, and her fall 2022 releases, The Ways We Hide and the collaborative novel When We Had Wings. Her books have been translated into multiple languages and appeared in compilations by Readers Digest, Doubleday, the Literary Guild, and more.

A frequent guest speaker and workshop presenter, McMorris holds a B.S. in International Marketing from Pepperdine University. She lives near Portland, Oregon, where she's a proud mom of two teenage (going-on-forty) boys who keep her on the run and make her laugh daily. WEBSITE







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