The Hidden Side by Heidi Chiavaroli is two stories wrapped into one. There is the historic tale of Mercy Howard during the Revolutionary War and the modern story of Natalie Abbott and her family. Both are set in New York 240 years apart.
Mercy's story, which is in a library book that Natalie's son has checked out for a project, becomes a common bond for Natalie and her daughter. All three women are struggling with pain and heartache that ultimately draws them closer to God.
I don't want to give away the "unspeakable act" that's referred to on the back cover of the story. But I will say that the situation and darkness that surrounds it is not glossed over by Chiavaroli. It was difficult to process all the emotions that the characters went through, though it did not make the book any less enjoyable.
Overall, the book asked the question of where is God when we can't feel or see God's presence in our lives. How long can we continue on our own strength to make it through each day? The answer discovered here is that we have to let go of ourselves and who we believe ourselves to be in order to accept how God sees us. We have to be in community and to rely on God and those he places in our lives. God is watching over us even in our darkest moments.
I would recommend this book, though if you struggle with depression, as I sometimes do, take it in small doses on sunny days and not some dark lonely night, though in the darkness you might just find the true light.
A copy of this book was provided to me by Tyndale House Publishing for the purpose of review. I'm never required to give a positive review but I'm always thankful when I can!