Dear Fellow Reader,
The new year is around the corner waiting to bring us surprises. What will you be reading? One of the things that I find very helpful is that I set a reading goal at www.Goodreads.com. Not only do I see how many books I’ve read during the year but also, if I can’t remember if I read a book, I can check there. That happened just last week. I was reading the new book by Anne Patchett (These Precious Days) and I could not remember if I had read The Dutch House. I was sure that I had but I just checked with Goodreads, and I had read it. Goodreads also tells you the longest book you have read for the year (Fresh Water for Flowers) and the shortest (The Beautiful Struggle). I find it interesting to see my stats for the year.
I was given a copy of this week’s book in exchange for my honest review. (Yet another free book in exchange for a review.)
Hidden Treasures is about Francis (although we never meet her in current time), Harry, and Tabitha. Francis is Harry’s mother. She had left him on a park bench when he was 4 years old. This desertion by his mother has affected Harry throughout his life. When he sees her house one day, he knows it is the house he grew up in and goes to the door. And there she is. He moves in with her and walks away from Tabitha, who he loved. He wants his mother to tell him two things. Why did she leave him and who is his father?
As the story opens, ten years have passed since he moved into his mother’s house and she has just died. Harry must clean out the house and move. There is no money for him to be able to stay in the house. He is lost as to how to start to clean out the house. His mother was a hoarder and the house is full to the brim with things. As he is sitting contemplating what to do, there is a knock on the door. When he opens the door, there is Tabitha. She has received a letter from his mother asking her to come and help Harry find an antique jewelry box that is hidden in the house. She is intrigued by finding the lost jewelry box and comes to tell Harry about the letter. After looking around in awe of the job ahead of them, she announces that she will help Harry find the box.
The story moves back and forth between Harry and Tabitha and Francis. How did Francis end up in this house with all this stuff? Why did Francis leave Harry behind and who is his father? Will Harry and Tabitha find the love they had previously? They both have secrets that will be revealed that might break apart any re-kindling of their romance.
And then another knock on the door brings in a surprise character that will lead to most of Harry’s questions being answered.
Communication was apparently not a big deal in these relationships. Does Harry ask Tabitha what she has been doing for the last 10 years? Does Tabitha ask Harry about how he “found” his mother and why he didn’t know about her before? Of course, the lack of communication causes problems between the characters.
I like the premise of the book. I found it to be a little slow from time to time and the characters’ lack of communication was frustrating. How does Harry not ask Tabitha what she has been doing for the last 10 years? How does Tabitha not know anything about Harry’s life – like that he was in foster care? And poor Francis. If only she had known that she was being protected and not hunted, what a difference it would have made in her life.
This is yet another book with chapters that switch back and forth in time. Are there books that don’t do that anymore? It is easy to follow whose story is being told.
So, do they find the box? I’ll let you find out for yourself.
Thanks for reading.