Secrets rarely stay hidden forever, especially in this coming-of-age story filled with baseball, mountain lore, and Southern culture in 1968.
Back cover copy: Are secrets worth the price they cost to keep? Ten-year-old Tina Hamilton finds out the hard way.She always knew her father had a secret. But all of God’s earth to Tina are the streams for fishing, the fields for planting and harvesting — a world snugly enclosed by the blue-misted Smokies. Other than the seasons, nothing ever changed.
Until the summer of 1968.
Tina’s life changes forever. Trouble erupts when northern exploitation threatens her tiny southern Appalachian town.
Some folks blame the trouble on progress, some blame the space race and men meddling with the moon’s cycles, and some blame Tina’s father.
A past he has hidden catches up to him as his secret settles in like an unwelcome guest. The clash of progressive ideas and small town values escalates the collision of a father’s past and present.
My review: Life is always full of secrets, and we don’t always think about how far-reaching a secret might be or how widespread the repercussions — whether the truth eventually comes out or stays buried. We also never know when something unexpected might bring the secret to light.
That’s the place Tina finds herself when some truths about her father rock their mountain town to the core. It all begins when a developer wants to build a theme park just outside of town and Tina’s dad is seen as the only man able to block the change and protect their quiet, family-focused way of life. Events quickly snowball until every aspect of Tina’s life — from her love of baseball to her attempts to retaliate against a bully, from mounting questions about her father’s past to middle-of-the-night escapades with her brother Nick — is affected. She grapples with questions related to faith, family relationships and how to begin understanding life beyond sandlot baseball and old mountain tales. And aren’t those things we all have to face? Even adult readers can learn some lessons along with Tina.
Faith content: Christianity and faith are strong elements throughout All That Is Hidden, from family prayers and church services to questions Tina is struggling with. One of her biggest questions — and one that isn’t answered until toward the end of the book — is why her father has suddenly stopped taking Communion at church. She can’t imagine what sin he might have committed to put that kind of barrier between himself and God. Tina’s questions aren’t necessarily answered right away or to her satisfaction, but she’s reassured that asking questions is OK — and a normal part of growing as a Christian. That’s an important thing for us all to remember.
Who should read it: Although All That Is Hidden is written from a 10-year-old girl’s perspective, it’s not a children’s book. Some topics are better for an older reading audience and adults will be more likely to enjoy the references to national and world events happening during that time period (politics, the space race, and baseball greats such as Denny McClain, to name a few). If you enjoy baseball, small town mountain stories, and a healthy dose of Southern culture, All That Is Hidden could be a good choice for you to try.
Title: All That Is Hidden
Author: Laura DeNooyer-Moore
Genre: Southern fiction
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Publish date: 2012