All Things Hidden by Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse is an historical Christian fiction novel set in the mid-1930’s. While I loved the characters and the storyline, I was fascinated by the real life setting. The story takes place in Alaska at the site of the Matanuska Project, an experimental program set up by Franklin D. Roosevelt to help families struggling to survive in America’s big cities during the depression. More than 200 families were selected from these cities to move to Alaska where homes and land were provided for them through a low-cost loan so long as they agreed to stay put for 30 years to help establish the new community.
In the novel, Gwyn Hillerman and her father have lived in the Matanuska valley for almost all of Gwyn’s life. Her father serves as doctor to the natives and to those who, like him, have already chosen to move there. Abandoned by her mother and little sister, Gwyn has grown very close to her father and now works by his side as a nurse. When she learns of the expected influx of people, she’s afraid of changes they will bring to her stable life.
At the same time, Dr. Jeremiah Vaughan from Chicago loses his medical license following the tragic death of one of his more influential patients. Though the charges against him are unfair, he decides to escape the controversy rather than fight it and takes Gwyn’s father up on an invitation to help with the new community’s medical needs, hoping he can keep events in Chicago a secret.
Of course, things don’t go smoothly for either Jeremiah or Gwyn, or we wouldn’t have a story to read. I enjoyed the way their story unfolded. I also highlighted several insights they discovered throughout about getting along with others and learning to forgive. But my favorite part was reading about the birth of a new community in a harsh, but beautiful land.
I thank Bethany House Publishers for sending a complimentary copy of this book for my review. I enjoyed reading this book.