Hidden Places: A Novel

by Lynn Austin

Paperback, 2001



Call number



Bethany House Publishers (2001), Edition: Reprinted, 432 pages

Original publication date



A deep yearning for home had led Eliza to Wyatt Orchards ten years ago. Now widowed with three young children, she faces mounting debts and the realization it is all up to her. But she has no idea how to run an orchard alone. When a stranger appears at her doorstep, Eliza guesses he is no different than the other out-of-luck characters searching for work during the Depression. But the familiarity with which Gabe tends to the farm raises unanswered questions. With a vulnerable heart, she is unwittingly drawn to his gentle ways. But Eliza also fears that Gabe hides a past and motives that could jeopardize all she has fought to attain for herself and her children....


Christy Awards (Nominee — 2002)


Original language


Physical description

432 p.; 8.5 inches


0764221973 / 9780764221972

User reviews

LibraryThing member judyg54
This is the story a movie was made off of. About the lady, struggling to run her orchard and raise 2 children and along comes a "hobo" who helps her out and they both end up helping each other and falling in love.
LibraryThing member r0ckcandy
This was my first time time reading a Christian romance and I wasn't disappointed. Very good read.
LibraryThing member cherryblossommj
I watched the movie too. It was good in a historical way, because I haven't read much in that time frame, so that was enjoyable. Overall the story was happy, but it rather dragged for me a little bit. I was left feeling more depressed than happy most of the time.
LibraryThing member cherryblossommj
I watched the movie too. It was good in a historical way, because I haven't read much in that time frame, so that was enjoyable. Overall the story was happy, but it rather dragged for me a little bit. I was left feeling more depressed than happy most of the time.
LibraryThing member praisemusictlp
This is an excellent book. I love the characters and how everything worked out in the end. Very well-written.
LibraryThing member RebeccaGraf
Heartwarming stories of family, forgiveness, healing, and miracles get me every time. Lynn Austin does a wonderful job in Hidden Places where secrets, anger, and hate find a way to heal with God’s power.

Set during the Great Depression, a young woman finds herself alone raising three children and
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attempting to manage an apple orchard. Bitterness from her own past as well as the pain inflicted on those around her cause Eliza to turn her back on God. In her eyes, God is punishing her for the many wrong decisions in her life.

Through the telling of each person’s story, whether dead or alive, Eliza discovers there is more in hidden places than what appears to the naked eye. But is the appearance of a hobo who flirts with death that puts Eliza’s already topsy turvy world into a complete tail spin.

What did I like about this story? I’ll have to list a few for you as there are so many.

· Christian story –This is a story of God’s love and forgiveness and how to apply His Word to our lives no matter how bad it is. There is no foul language. There is no sex. There is love but it is shown as being part of God’s plan and pure. References to sexual sin are ….. references.

· Discusses real pain – I am always saddened when a book either glosses over the pain a person can experience or minimizes the full effect of it. Ms. Austin explores the pain of betrayal, child abuse, hate, rejection, and the absence of love. As a reader, I could feel the pain with the characters.

· Shows how good people can sin – There is a big misconception that good people don’t sin. Ms. Austin shows many good people in her book who sin through lies, omission, and deception. They believe they are doing the right thing but don’t realize they are relying on others or themselves and not on God.

· Forgiveness is not explained as being easy – Too many stories in print or in the movies make forgiveness appear to be easy. The truth is that forgiveness can be hard and painful. It is equivalent to slicing open a severely infected wound and cleaning it out. It has to be done to heal but it can be the worst pain ever felt.

· The characters are endearing – I fell in love with the characters. Eliza is raw in her feelings yet strong and determined. Gabe is full of love for those around him but wants to learn how to reach out to others. My all-time is Aunt Batty who seems a little off her rocker but has more wisdom in her crazy pinky than anyone else around including all the “good” people in town.

This is not a thin book. At 429 pages, it has 19 chapters which means each one is long. There are many breaks within the story in the chapter. You might tear up a few times, but you won’t be bawling. You’ll be feeling so much empathy.

Make this one of your summer reads. You’ll be glad you did.

Note: I purchased this book with my own funds.
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LibraryThing member mom2acat
Eliza Wyatt has been a widow for barely a year when her father-in-law, Frank Wyatt, owner of Wyatt Orchards, where they all live, passes away suddenly. The country is the years of the Great Depression, and Eliza is struggling to raise her three young children and trying to run the orchard all by
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herself. Coming to her aid is her late husband's Aunt Betty (who has been called "Aunt Batty" for as long as anyone can remember), and a mysterious stranger, Gabriel Harper, who appears to be a hobo. Gabe has been injured in an accident, and after Eliza nurses him back to health, he stays on at the farm to help the family in any way he can out of gratitude for Eliza saving his life.

Eliza soon finds out, due to Frank's will, that she may be in danger of losing the only home she has ever known. As she struggles to save the farm and the orchard, family secrets come to light, and she also begins to doubt that Gabe is who he claims to be. She is also in fear of her own past coming back to haunt her.

I really enjoyed this story; it was a page-turner right from the very first chapter. Every time I thought I had one of the mysteries figured out, there was another plot twist that added another layer of richness to the story. The characters were authentic and well written; one of favorites was Aunt Batty, whom once you get to know her through her back story, isn't so "batty" after all.

I've read several of Lynn Austin's books and enjoyed them all, so I knew this one was going to be a good one, but it turned out to be even better than what I had expected; in fact, I think this one just may be my favorite one of hers so far.

This book was also made into a movie by Hallmark in 2006, starring Sydney Penny and Shirley Jones. I haven't seen it yet, but I hope it will air again on TV sometime in the future.
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