Saturday, June 2, 2018

The Hidden Side by Heidi Chiavaroli

Book description:

New York, 2016
Natalie Abbott offers answers for hurting listeners on her popular radio program. But she struggles to connect with her teenagers, with her daughter in an unhealthy relationship and her son uncommunicative and isolated. When one member of the family commits an unspeakable act, Natalie is forced to uncover who she truly is under the façade of her radio persona.

New York, 1776
Mercy Howard is shocked when her fiancé, Nathan Hale, is arrested and hanged as a spy. When she’s asked to join the revolutionary spy ring in Manhattan, she sees an opportunity to avenge Nathan’s death. But keeping her true loyalties hidden grows increasingly harder as the charming Major John Andre of the King’s Army becomes more to her than a target for intelligence.

Mercy’s journals comfort Natalie from across the centuries as both women struggle with their own secrets and shame, wondering how deep God’s mercy extends.

Book review:

  This was a new author for me. The book sounded good, and I had not reviewed anything from Tyndale Publishing for a while, so I requested it. My review will be a mixed one.

 There are two stories in the book. One centers on Natalie in modern day, and the other on Mercy in 1776. To be honest, I found the historical part of the story distracting. The modern day story was so moving and riveting, I would get frustrated when the author would switch to the historical one. I found the same to be true of Francine River's Scarlet Cord that released several years back......maybe that should have warned me. But that is the only negative thing I have to say.

 The rest of the book was very good, yet sad. I don't want to give any spoilers away, but the main character's teenage son does something terrible.....we are talking something newsworthy, prison for life, the ripping apart of a community. It was an interesting experience to see the side of a horrible act from the view of the parents of a kid who did it. The book stirred up several emotions in me, including sympathy for the kid who did it......while at the same time recognizing what a horrible thing he had done and his need for prison for life.

 Though fiction, this is a story that could be ripped from today's headlines. And it is a reminder that God can help people through very tough times. It was very interesting and well written.

 I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

About the author:

Heidi Chiavaroli is a writer, runner, and grace-clinger who could spend hours exploring Boston's Freedom Trail. She writes Women's Fiction and won the 2014 ACFW Genesis contest in the historical category. Both her debut novel, "Freedom's Ring" and her sophomore novel, "The Hidden Side" are Romantic Times Top Picks. "Freedom's Ring" was also a BOOKLIST Top Ten Romance Debut, 2017. She makes her home in Massachusetts with her husband, two sons, and Howie, her standard poodle. Visit her online at

The Hidden Side is available from Tyndale House Publishing.

Thanks to Tyndale for the review copy.