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Reviewed by Deborah Lloyd for Readers' Favorite
Only seventeen years old, Marilyn VanHoosen, a victim of tuberculosis, was confined to the Trudeau Sanitorium for months. Her mother, Mildred, had refused to have her vaccinated and then seemed angry that Marilyn contracted the disease. Marilyn had recently discovered that her father, Pierre, had the name of Paul Sledge earlier in his life; she thought both her parents were frauds. Her days in the sanitorium were spent mostly in bed, although she had frequent “cold cure” outings on the porch. Her parents did not visit, but her best friend Maggie made a few trips from Philadelphia to upstate New York to see her. When Henry Winters, another adolescent with tuberculosis, was admitted, she found a compassionate, and trustworthy new friend. In All That We Hide, written by Karen Buscemi, Marilyn’s convalescence, marked with adolescent uncertainties and family secrets, a fascinating story is told.
This story takes place in the decade following World War II. The author captures the era well – from the prevalent medical diseases; to adolescent lives; to fashion; to life after the war; and accepted prejudices. The effects of these prejudices are at the core of this work. The writing style flows smoothly, making this book an easy read. The characters are intriguing, and the history of Mildred and Pierre’s relationship is compelling. There are many twists and turns in the story and the epilogue reveals more interesting connections. Author Karen Buscemi has written a captivating story in All That We Hide, it's a wonderful way to gain insight into this era.