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No Place to Hide: A Novel by Susan Lewis

No Place to Hide: A Novel

by Susan Lewis

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book started out with Justine in America. Her marriage is failing and she is starting over. As you progress in this book you start in present day and then go back 18 years to England. As you keep doing this the past goes from 18, 15, 10, etc. until you find out what happened to cause the turmoil in Justine's life.

I enjoyed the book even when you learn what happened and the tragedy was significant. I just didn't care for Justine and the way she would feel or talk about the problem. I felt she was very self centered and was angry that her son would do what he did. I didn't feel that she looked at everything or even at herself and how she was towards both her children.

I do feel that this book has many underlying meanings. There is bullying, intimidation, and the love of family. To see how her son was treated by his sister, cousins and 'friends', just because he wasn't like them or as talkative as them. I truly felt that he was asking for help. The parents were so wrapped up in their lives that they never noticed.

As a mom and reading about how Justine leaves England because she cannot deal with people looking at her or even talking about the incident. And supposedly doing this to protect her youngest daughter. I felt that Justine was running away. He is your son. Even though he is being mean to you; really look at him and listen to his words. He wanted you there and he needed you there. You proved to him that you really didn't love him. Even now I am tearing up as I think of the letter he wrote her in the end.

This book also has religious undertones but nothing that was too pushy. I didn't feel like I was being preached too. ( )
  crazy4reading | Apr 1, 2016 |
What an experience it is to read this novel by Susan Lewis. She is able to enter into the thinking and actions of a family that is going to experience a tragic event. The characters are well thought out and become known to us and the plot is one that more than keeps your interest through the whole book. She is able to enter into the relationships between the characters and show how the tragic event has changed their lives. There are redeeming factors in the story as well. Enjoy, I know I did. Received from a Goodreads Giveaway.

J. Robert Ewbank author "John Wesley, Natural Man, and the Isms" " Wesley's Wars" "To Whom It May Concern" and "Tell Me About the United Methodist Church" ( )
  whoizme8 | Nov 20, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I really enjoyed this new book by Susan Lewis! Justine Cantrell leaves her home in England to start a new life for herself and preschool daughter after something horrific happens to her family, which is unknown to the reader. She tries to start over in a small town in Indiana. The book follows both her present life and what happened in the past to force this drastic move to Indiana. I did not mide the back and force from present to her past life. The characters were easy to follow in both worlds. Overall, I did enjoy this book and am looking forward to her next one. This book would be an excellent choice for a book club book. ( )
  Nebraska_Girl1971 | Sep 25, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
No Place to Hide by Susan Lewis is a 2015 Ballantine Books publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher as a part of The LibraryThing Early Review program.

No Place to Hide is a powerful, emotional, and stunning novel.

I had no idea what to expect when I started the book but I was under the impression it was a suspense mystery novel. Well, it is that, but is also a riveting drama that held me in it's grip from start to finish.

“Hope is the thing with feathers

That perches in the soul,

And sings the tune without the words,

And never stops at all.

-Emily Dickinson

Justine has moved from England to Culver, Indiana, a place where her grandmother once owned a lake house. Justine remembers spending summers here as a child and is positive her deceased grandmother is compelling her to live in Indiana instead of settling down somewhere else.

Justine has been forced to begin her life over again with her three year old daughter, leaving her husband behind. She's changed her name, keeps her past a secret, confides in no one, not even her current best friend. She's constantly worried about the press, about someone finding out who she really is, she's jumpy, emotional, and seems very fragile.

But, why is Justine hiding? What is she running from? Why is she starting over and leaving behind a husband she obviously loves and misses dearly?

All we know is that Justine and Matt agreed that living separate lives was the only way their three year old daughter could have a normal life and that whatever has driven them to this unorthodox arrangement is something truly sinister.

Via flashbacks, we learn that Matt and Justine had a pretty charmed life for a while. They had purchased their dream home, were surrounded by good friends, were both happy with their careers, and had three healthy children. But, as the past begins to merge with the present the shocking truth will leave you shaken to the core.

The pacing in the first half of the book is slow, but tantalizing, as the author builds the suspense and mystery to crescendo. I could not begin to fathom why Justine and Matt would take such extreme measures to protect their daughter, agreeing to avoid contacting one another even. Why were the media interested in them? I tried to puzzle it all out, coming up with a plethora of scenarios, but never, ever would I have guessed where the story was headed.

Once the shocking truth is revealed the second half of the story take on an entirely new dimension as everything we learned before now makes sense. But, the atmosphere is so taut by that this time I was nearly breathless.

The secondary story in which Justine discovers some puzzling information regarding her grandmother, is paralleled to the situation Justine is in, certainly not to the same extent or context, but does add another layer to story that has it's own twist and surprises.

The themes explored in this novel are multi – layered, such as family secrets, running from the past, family bonds, parental mistakes, prejudice, cruelty, blame and guilt, but also the promise of forgiveness, a testament to power of love, of forgiveness, and of hope.

While there are other books that have tackled some of these issues, none have been presented in such a way as this, and I can not stop praising the author's ability to create such intense emotions, create doubts, touch on our worst nightmares, but still, despite such grim circumstances offer us a renewed hope and leave us with a sense of peace.

None of the characters in the novel will ever be the same, they will bear crosses all their lives, will have moments of confusion, pain, guilt, regret and remorse, will second guess all that came before and all that will come next, but these are remarkable people in unbearable circumstances who will no doubt soldier on and make the best possible future with what and who is left to build it with. ( )
  gpangel | Sep 12, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
An interesting book. I found the beginning not slow exactly, but frustrating, as you jump back and forth between present day and past for, in my opinion, far too long before the secrets start being revealed. Had I not been given the book to review, I may have stopped before getting to that point, though I did end up thinking it was a worthwhile read. It explores some pretty dark topics, but not in a gratuitous way. Unlike the drawn out start, I thought the ending was too abrupt, and would have liked another chapter or two to more fully explore that (trying to write this without spoilers, so thus the lack of specificity). Perhaps a sequel is in the works? Thanks for the Early Reviewers copy! ( )
  Christiana5 | Sep 7, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345549554, Paperback)

Perfect for readers of Jodi Picoult, Diane Chamberlain, and Heather Gudenkauf, No Place to Hide is an intimate and deeply moving story of one woman’s desperate attempt to escape a troubled past—and the haunting mystery she’s forced to confront.
Fleeing her native England with her three-year-old daughter, Justine Cantrell gives herself a new name and a new life in America. In a quiet midwestern town on the shores of glittering Lake Maxinkuckee, Justine hopes to recapture the fleeting days of happiness in the long-ago summers she spent with her grandmother. And though her memories of that time are scant, Justine knows they must have shared a special bond. After all, the power of her grandmother’s love has pulled her back to this haven in search of a new beginning.
But fate has other plans. The more Justine gets to know the small town and its people, the more she realizes that her grandmother had her own devastating secrets—secrets that will soon threaten Justine just as surely as her own dark memories.
Praise for Susan Lewis
“A master storyteller.”—Diane Chamberlain

“This emotionally charged story keeps you at the edge of your seat.”—RT Book Reviews, on Behind Closed Doors
“[A] moving and piquantly beautiful novel of friendship, family and the power of love.”The Gazette (Blackpool, UK), on Never Say Goodbye

Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader’s Circle for author chats and more.

(retrieved from Amazon Wed, 01 Jul 2015 15:01:01 -0400)

Giving herself and her infant daughter a new identity in America, Justine Cantrell hopes to find the tranquility she remembered as a girl in her grandmother's hometown, but she soon discovers that her grandmother had devastating secrets of her own.

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