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(Review) Hidden Places by Lynn Austin

Publisher: Bethany House, July 1, 2001.
Genre: Fiction.
Format: Paperback.
Pages: 436.
Rating: 5 Stars for excellent.
Source: Self-purchase.

Link @ Amazon for the book: Hidden Places. 

Eliza Wyatt is a young widow with three children. Her surly father-in-law has recently died. Her beloved husband died a year before.
The Wyatt Orchard is the source of income for her family. It is their home. It is her source of security. It is the future hope for her children. It is a legacy she had planned to pass on to her children.
Bad business decisions have left her in a bad state.
Meanwhile, a stranger arrives at her door asking to help work the place in exchange for a meal. Eliza's daughter believes him to be an angel. An angel disguised as a hobo.
Meanwhile, Eliza's late husband's aunt Batty, has come to live with them.
The time period is the early years of the Great Depression.

My Thoughts:
This is one of the BEST Christian fiction books I've read.
I had a difficult time laying the book down to do other things. I read the book in two days.
The main characters in the story are Eliza and her three children, aunt Batty (Betty), and Gabriel Harper. What gives an added dimension to the story is chapters devoted to the history of these individual characters. The chapters define their individual life's journeys.
Aunt Batty, or Betty. Is an eccentric personality. When the story began, I wondered if she had an imbalanced mind, or if she was saner than the other characters. On one page her statements were both odd and yet prolific. Some of my favorite quotes in the book came from the sage words of aunt Batty.
It is refreshing for a Christian fiction story to have heroines who are both average looking (not a Miss America) and yet have a special quality to their personality that sets them apart.
Gabriel's identity kept me guessing. It was difficult to not realize his arrival was not by chance.
I have always loved strong characters in stories. Hidden Places has characters that are torn by choices they've made and by others. They wrestle with decisions. I've read fear is one of the greatest motivators. Fear is behind many of the character's anger and unforgiveness.

Favorite Quotes:

"We all see what we want to see...." 

"Oh, we didn't pray that the angel would get better-only that God's will would be done, and that we could accept it."