All Things Hidden
A Fascinating Setting for a Great Story
"All Things Hidden" by Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse is an historical Christian fiction novel set in the mid-1930Ã¢ÂÂ²s. While I loved the characters and the storyline, I was fascinated by the real life setting. The story takes place in Alaska at the site of the Matanuska Project, an experimental program set up by Franklin D. Roosevelt to help families struggling to survive in AmericaÃ¢ÂÂs big cities during the depression. More than 200 families were selected from these cities to move to Alaska where homes and land were provided for them through a low-cost loan so long as they agreed to stay put for 30 years to help establish the new community.
In the novel, Gwyn Hillerman and her father have lived in the Matanuska valley for almost all of GwynÃ¢ÂÂs life. Her father serves as doctor to the natives and to those who, like him, have already chosen to move there. Abandoned by her mother and little sister, Gwyn has grown very close to her father and now works by his side as a nurse. When she learns of the expected influx of people, sheÃ¢ÂÂs afraid of changes they will bring to her stable life.
At the same time, Dr. Jeremiah Vaughan from Chicago loses his medical license following the tragic death of one of his more influential patients. Though the charges against him are unfair, he decides to escape the controversy rather than fight it and takes GwynÃ¢ÂÂs father up on an invitation to help with the new communityÃ¢ÂÂs medical needs, hoping he can keep events in Chicago a secret.
Of course, things donÃ¢ÂÂt go smoothly for either Jeremiah or Gwyn, or we wouldnÃ¢ÂÂt have a story to read. I enjoyed the way their story unfolded. I also highlighted several insights they discovered throughout about getting along with others and learning to forgive. But my favorite part was reading about the birth of a new community in a harsh, but beautiful land.
I thank Bethany House Publishers for sending a complimentary copy of this book for my review. I enjoyed reading this book.
February 25, 2014
Wonderful book I couldn't put down.
All Things Hidden was a wonderful book in everyway. It was one of those books that I just couldn't put down. The book is about Dr. Hillerman and his daughter living in beautiful Alaska in the depression era. The Doctor's wife and other daughter had left because they couldn't handle the simple life. But Dr. Hillerman and his daughter Gwyn are dedicated to helping people and love everything about Alaska.
The book is about 200 families back in the states who
are moving to the frontier of Alaska during the depression
to make a better home for themselves and their family.The book tells about their hardships and illnesses that they face on the frontier.
A young Dr Jeremiah Vaughan is running away from having his medical license revoked and decides he won't be found out hopefully in Alaska. He ends up working with Dr. Hillerman and Gwyn his daughter who is a nurse.
To make matters worse Gwyn is his former fiance's sister and he is falling in love with her.
How can he ever tell her or her father the truth. He attempts too many times but just doesn't have the courage.
To make matters worse there is a murderer on the loose.
It is one of those books that you can't put down, it was one of the best books that I have ever read, I put it up there in the top 10. I highly recommend this book.
February 22, 2014
New places, old secrets
Tracie Peterson has written several books set in Alaska and I have read and enjoyed them. They give me an opportunity to glimpse into territory that I will most likely never have the opportunity to visit. She writes well in the genre of historical fiction, too. So I was looking forward to Ã¢ÂÂAll Things HiddenÃ¢ÂÂ since it is set in Alaska and is historical fiction. What I did not realize was that I was about to discover an intriguing piece of American depression era history. I learned about President F.D. RooseveltÃ¢ÂÂs plan (or social experiment) to relocate 200 families from the lower 48 States and preferably those states whose climate most closely matched that of Alaska.
They were transported to the Matanuska Valley in 1935. They lived in tents and had only the short Alaskan summer in which to prepare shelter for their families before the brutal cold of winter set in.
The author has fictionalized this story and set it around the lives of those in the medical community (such as it was) in that area. This consisted primarily of a lone doctor, Dr. Hillerman, and his young adult daughter, Gwyn, whom he had trained to be his nurse. An influx of more than 1,000 people into their isolated community could lead to massive issues as far as patient care and infectious diseases. But there were other problems afoot in this fictionalization of depression period Alaska. Things were not as they seemed as far as individuals were concerned. Things were hidden and secrets were kept.
Young Dr. Jeremiah Vaughan relocates to the Matanuska Valley village because he has lost everything back in Chicago Ã¢ÂÂ his license to practice medicine, his fiancÃÂ©, his potential position as head of a flourishing hospital.
Suspense. Murder. Romance. Intrigue. Fear and faith. Racial tensions. Characters shady and characters superb. Characters you love and those you detest.
Come to Matanuska Valley in Alaska and Ã¢ÂÂseeÃ¢ÂÂ the people and problems of colonizing Alaska in 1935 at the height of the Great Depression. True this is fiction. But youÃ¢ÂÂll learn of an interesting social experiment intended to settle Alaska, give relief to hungry and out-of-work Americans, and eventually become a seed to the acquisition of Alaska as a State in the Union.
DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy was provided by Bethany House a Division of Baker Publishing Group in exchange for my review. No compensation was received. Opinions expressed are solely my own.
February 22, 2014
Great historical fiction
All Things Hidden by Tracie Peterson and Kimberly Woodhouse is a well written historical fiction book that takes place in Alaska. In 1935 during the great depression 200 families chosen by the government are sent to Alaska as pioneers to start a new colony. The conditions are rough and many of the colonists face sicknesses and trials that they never expected. Even though the Indian people that are native to the area offer their help, there are a few people that do not trust them and try to stir up trouble.
Gwyn Hillerman and her doctor father have lived and loved the Alaskan territory for years. Gwyn's mom and sister abandoned them years earlier for Chicago and high society. Gwyn also works along side her father as a nurse and she loves to serve others. Even though Gwyn has a strong bond with her father she is constantly worrying and has a fear of being abandoned again. She does not accept change well and the thought of her beloved Alaska becoming civilized brings on a whole new set of fears and worries.
Jeremiah is a young dedicated doctor living in Chicago. When he loses a patient and his medical license is stripped from him, he finds his life turned upside down. The beautiful Sophia whom he is engaged to quickly calls off their engagement when she learns of the loss of his medical license because she does not want it to reflect badly on her. On top of that Jeremiah's parents turn their back on him as well. When he hears that Dr. Hillerman is in need of a doctor to help him in Alaska Jeremiah decides to go. He also decides to keep the fact that his license was suspended a secret. On top of that he decides not to mention that his former fiance was Gwyn's sister.
Then there is the terrible bank robber that also heads to Alaska to hide out and soon sets his sites on Gwyn. There is lots of suspense including murders, natural disasters, prejudices and so much more. The story is a mixture of romance, action
and historical facts that all together make for an excellent book. I loved that the authors included true historical facts at the end of the book and I found it quite interesting to learn about a piece of history that I had no prior knowledge of before reading this book.
I'd love to read more about Gwyn and Jeremiah and hope this book will be the beginning of a series.
***This book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for my review.
February 20, 2014