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What We Hide by Marthe Jocelyn

What We Hide

by Marthe Jocelyn

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I loved the way the characters were written. Their stories were compelling and engaging, and while parts of the book took me out of the story (primarily frustrations with character's actions), I really did enjoy it and feel it was well written. My concerns lie mostly in the fact it felt very disjointed at times; as though things were happening here and there, but could have been strung together a bit more. I would have liked to go deeper, and have had more of a sense of completion. As a glimpse into these personal lives, it was very good, but I felt it was not quite your traditional narrative with climax and closure. I think this is more of a personal preference than anything, though.
  foldedleaves | Jun 10, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
What We Hide is quite different to Marthe Jocelyn’s earlier novels. The story is set in an English boarding school in the late 1960s, and is told from multiple perspectives using a few different writing forms.

The novel is a compelling read, and certainly holds the reader’s interest, but I did feel as though it was awash with British slang (I grew up in the UK, and still had trouble with keeping up with the amount of new vocabulary introduced throughout the book). I also wonder if the eight different perspectives was too many; it was difficult to keep track of the characters when reading. Despite these criticisms, the author is to be commended for focusing on an interesting period in our recent history; the plot strand about Jenny’s brother avoiding the draft and his best friend serving in the military was particularly well done. ( )
  chazzard | May 29, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I was distracted at the beginning by the constant explanation of what British words meant.
Told from the point of view of multiple teenagers, mostly residents of a Quaker boarding school in England, What We Hide is essentially a story that shows that everyone has secrets that they hide from others or themselves. It starts with Jenny & Tom moving from the US as Tom tries to dodge the draft. It then moves on to tell bits of the stories of Penelope, Oona, Nico, Brenda, Robbie, Luke, and Percy using various styles of writing.
Overall I feel that Jocelyn could have focused a bit more on a couple of characters and developed them better. But the story did suck me in.
  Deedledee | May 18, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This story centers around the lives of a group of private school students in an English boarding school. Jenny and her brother Tom are sent to study in England so that Tom can avoid the Vietnam War draft in the United States. We are introduced to a cast of characters and how their secrets and decisions impact each other's lives. I enjoyed the story but felt that it could have gone deeper and ended too abruptly. Still, a recommended read for intermediate and high school students. ( )
  SheilaCornelisse | May 9, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
It starts with Tom, wanting to dodge the Vietnam draft back in the 60’s-70’s. It is agreed that his sister, Jenny will also attend school in England.

Jenny is the new girl at the boarding school, feeling the need to “belong”. In order for them to accept her, she accidently blurts out about having a boyfriend. She has had a long friendship with Matt for many years. Who will know that he isn’t a “real” boyfriend.

There are eight characters that make up the story of the drama that happens in schools. Every character is dealing with their own insecurities, their secrets, their feelings, their challenges, trying to fit in. The teenagers have their own chapters in the book told in their point of view letting us in on their private thoughts.

At the end of the day, it was a good book. It didn’t have me wanting to get back to the book every chance I could. There wasn’t one thing that was happening that I felt I had to know the outcome. There was no building up to the climax. It was everyday situations that would take place at any school.

Many times I felt lost. I turned back the pages to see if I could find something that would help trigger the memory. It was hard for me to follow each of the characters stories, within the story.

Although the ending wrapped things up, I felt it wasn’t a strong way to end the story and leaving me satisfied. ( )
  callmejacx | Apr 30, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385738471, Hardcover)

Americans Jenny and her brother, Tom, are off to England: Tom to university, to dodge the Vietnam draft, Jenny to be the new girl at a boarding school, Illington Hall. This is Jenny's chance to finally stand out, so accidentally, on purpose, she tells a lie. But in the small world of Ill Hall, everyone has something to hide. Jenny pretends she has a boyfriend. Robbie and Luke both pretend they don't. Brenda won't tell what happened with the school doctor. Nico wants to hide his mother's memoir. Percy keeps his famous dad a secret. Oona lies to everyone. Penelope lies only to herself.
   Deftly told from multiple points of view in various narrative styles, including letters and movie screenplays, What We Hide is provocative, honest, often funny, and always intriguing.

(retrieved from Amazon Sat, 04 Jan 2014 02:30:19 -0500)

Told from multiple viewpoints, this is the story of high school junior Jenny of Philadelphia, who spends a semester at a Quaker boarding school in Sheffield, England, near where her brother's avoiding the Vietnam draft, and where everyone carries close-held secrets.… (more)

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