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What We Hide by Marthe Jocelyn


Interests/Topics: secrets, romance, England, boarding school, family relationships, friendship, LGBTQ, war

Curriculum Connections: English

Gender: F/M

Age: 14+

Blurb: I love the television show Modern Family. All of the characters crack me up, but Cam is my absolute favourite. He is so over the top in his mannerisms and emotional reactions, and I love that he has no shame whatsoever in admitting what he is—a total gossip. He just can’t keep a secret. One episode in particular highlighted this character trait: Mitch told Cam that their friend got calf implants but made Cam swear not to spread the news. Cam lasted less than a minute. Calf implants? No my god! The news is so juicy that people deserve to know, right?

Each character in What We Hide has a secret. Whether it’s a lie they’ve told, a romance they’re hiding, or an insecurity hidden by bravado, all characters stand to lose should their secrets be revealed. For some, their secret could cost them their reputation; for others, their love. But one secret, if discovered, holds the greatest threat of all.

Flavour: “Penelope had turned my one little lie into a whole drama. Which was exactly what I wanted, wasn’t it? And so the term began. With me in disguise.” (Jenn 24)

“I skid toward the stairs, knee crunching into the railing—ow!—tear upstairs, career into the bedroom, and dive into bed, sure my frantic heart will crack a rib. Kirsten jolts up like I’m in a nightmare. ‘What the hell?’ ‘Oh, sorry. Sorry.’ What do I say to Kirsten? Oh, crappity crap crap.” (Penelope 85)

“Second Dad shock of the day, he said, ‘You’ve got a hairy handful of secrets, haven’t you?’ He laid a palm on my sleeve, patting ever so gently. ‘Does it hurt, lad?’ He’d never said a word about what happened, not one. Not while he rolled cigarettes beside my hospital bed, or when he fetched me home, or anytime since. He picked a crowded pub on his son’s wedding day?” (Robbie 247)


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