Hidden Places by Lynn Austin {9/13-15/2013}


isbn: 0-7642-2197-3 (pbk)
released 2001
i believe i got this book at the thrift store because it has a $1.99 sticker on it! score!

i have never read anything by Lynn Austin before so this was just an impulse purchase based on price and cover of the book.

i've had the book sitting on my to read shelf for a while and i picked up a few Friday's ago solely because i was bored and i figured knocking one of my list was as good as ever then.
once i did start reading i was thinking to myself: "why did i grab this of all books!? go grab another one!"
but because im weird about finishing what i start (book wise) i stuck this one out.

im glad i did.

Eliza has just lost the last man in her life that has helped her "survive" this far.
Once Frank Wyatt passes away she is on her own to discover a way to save and survive off of her Farm, or should i say Wyatt Orchards.

At the age of 20 (i believe) Eliza ran away from her home to find a more stable place to live, where she could create a family and finally feel at home. (sort of  like a Water for Elephants kind of vibe!)
That is when she then meets Sam Wyatt and does everything and anything possible to make him the man that will give her the family that she feels she deserves.

Now that her husband and the last man in her life, Frank, have both passed away, she is realizing that she needs an angel, a miracle to help her get everything straight together.

Along with Aunt Batty and the arrival of a vagrant in search of something more than a place to stay and a meal to eat she is realizing what it takes to keep the farm, her family and most importantly her sanity all in tact.

The arrival of Gabe (the vagrant), the stories of Aunt Batty and all the hidden truths push her to really fight for what she believes is hers and her children’s even if there is a will stating otherwise.

This story takes place in 1930, i forgot what state (but im sure this is a made up town!...so, way to break my heart!).
it is told in "sections" from Frank to Sam Wyatt and also including Aunt Batty (and Walter, her husband), Lidia Wyatt (Aunt Batty's sister, mother to Matt & Sam and wife of Frank), Matthew Wyatt, and Gabe Harper (not his real name....tun tun tuuuun!!!) not in that specific order and it keeps going back to present day Wyatt Orchards.

It’s the little bits and pieces from Aunt Batty and Gabe's story that make Eliza start piecing everything together to discover the truth.

What i really loved about this story is that to me at no point was the religion of it forced upon me.
im not one to preach and i wont shove religion down your throat so the fact that it was mentioned here and there and the fact that Eliza fought it for a while made me feel comfortable.
in all honesty, when i purchased the book i didnt see that it was a christian book even though it had an award sticker for the Christy Award right on the cover!

The way that Lynn was able to keep me surprised and guessing what was around the corner was another reason I was so in to the book.
As soon as I got into it (a few pages in, when you read the line: “Those are mittens not kittens, stupid cat!” youll see why!) I wasn’t able to put it down!
All I wanted to do was keep reading so I could see what was going to happen!

Below are a few spoiler pointers for me to reference back to because I'm sure ill forget so if you want to read the book and not have it spoiled by me then stop reading now!


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1. Lidia married Frank Wyatt to save Betty because originally she was supposed to marry him (Betty didnt want to marry him once she met Walter)
 -she was pregnant with Matthew when she tried getting Frank to leave Betty
-she tried killing Frank and when she thought she had done the job she killed herself in the lake. The same one her last-born child drowned in.
-
2. Frank was a very disliked man by all in town (behind his back of course) because everyone had some sort of connection to the original owner (Lidia & Betty’s father) and they felt that he ripped them off.
-he was very two faced. Alive everyone loved him but behind closed doors he was a very rigid non-loving man.
-I forgot why (i think when his wife stabbed him) but he had an argument with the towns doctor so when Sam (Elizas husband, Franks own son) gets really sick over a simple cut on his foot he forbids her to grab the doctor to help him. Its not until its too late that she managed to go for help.
-he burned down the house in the back hoping to kill Betty. He wanted her dead because Walter had bought certain land that he wanted for himself that Betty wasn't giving up. (She states later on how she knew it was him and why she wasn't home and how she agrees to not tell anyone.)
-he dies of a heart attack.  In front of Luke. Elizas child. Which is why he's so quiet. He states to Gabe that he could have saved him but he was so angry for letting his dad die that he never said anything to anyone.
-
3. Gabe actually served in the military where he met Matthew Wyatt.
-his actual name is also Matthew.
-both of them went to war and Matthew W. saved his life but was killed in the process. Before he died  he switched name tags with Gabe which is why he ends up at Wyatt’s Orchards. To clear up his name to his father.
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4. Betty (Aunt Batty) she was to marry Frank because her father had set up the arrangement. Frank actually went after her to secure the farm.
- she fell in love with Walter and they married the 2nd time he comes around even though he is very ill when he returns.
- the night that Frank burned down the house she was out wearing Walter’s clothing  and she notices it all confronts him to which he denies. She then tells him that he can have the land except the lake, which was her gift from Walter.
-when Walter passes, he sets her up for a very wealthy life style. She then hides all of her money in books because she doesnt trust banks, which at this time of the story was a very good idea.

SPOILERS OVER!

well not so much spoilers but just key notes for the characters.
I know it seems like I might have spoiled the book but there is a lot I know I left out!

If you grab the book for a read let me know your thoughts!
Id love to read what you thought of the book!

p.s: there is a movie! It was released in 2006 on the Hallmark Channel I believe. I saw the previews and instantly I was like: no! its all wrong!
haha.

Enjoy! 

-Love Les

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