First, I want to say that the cover on All Things Hidden is the most beautiful I have seen this year.
The whole look of it... the lone girl in her nurse's uniform with the golden-lit mountains rising behind her and the wind whipped grasses all around her.
There are two other views of the girl on the back and cover spine as well. On the back she is standing near a clump of Queen Anne's lace, with the ever-present mountains in the distance, and she's staring off contemplatively. On the spine her face is downcast as if she's somber.
I love that. Those photos capture the personality of Gwyn Hillerman oh so well. She is sunny and outdoorsy, skilled in nursing and loyal with those she trusts, yet she's also a lover of space and silence.
And thereby hangs the tale, because the peace Gwyn had found in her Alaskan village was about to be invaded by 200 new families.
Gwyn and her father didn't have a perfect life. How could they, when Gwyn's mother and sister had left them years before to return to the continental United States? What they had was a steady life, her and Dr. Hillerman. He was the lone doctor and she was his right hand girl. They treated all patients that needed them, and had friends who were like family. Gwyn had a second mother in Nasnana and an adopted sister in Sadzi, and she was content.
The urgent board meeting that begins this book changes Gwyn's world all at once.
The government is sponsoring the Depression-motivated idea of sending colonists to Alaska, and the medical needs will likely overwhelm the small clinic. Dr. Hillerman writes to a friend who is an up-and-coming Chicago doctor and beseeches him to come to their aid and start a practice in Alaska, and soon that man is an integral part of Gwyn's days. Through it all she must continue to work through her hurt over her mother's abandonment and ongoing deceptions about why she left them.
Thank you Tracie and Kimberly for this pioneering story set in a land of legendary beauty, about a girl who would be delightful to know.
The ending... whoa, that is a shocker, but no spoilers! The plot tension that began building made me want to keep reading.
Plus, we discovered a great new expression to add to our family lexicon: "I don't believe in seeing roses where turnips are."
Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than 90 novels. Tracie also teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research. She and her family live in Belgrade, Montana. Learn more at www.traciepeterson.com.
Kimberley Woodhouse is a multipublished author of fiction and nonfiction. A popular speaker/teacher, she's shared her theme of Joy Through Trials with over 150,000 people at more than a thousand venues across the country. She lives, writes, and homeschools with her husband of twenty-plus years and their two awesome teens in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Connect with Kim at www.kimberleywoodhouse.com.