The Ways We Hide Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
From New York Times and bestselling author of Sold on a Monday comes a riveting tale of a woman whose recruitment to British intelligence during WWII leads to a harrowing journey of love, betrayal, and a deadly game of chance
Haunted by an unfathomable tragedy in a Michigan copper-mining town, Fenna Vos has learned to focus on her own survival, even as World War II rages on. Now, she performs with an escape artist. Her honed ability to control her surroundings and elude entrapments, physical or otherwise, helps her run from the trauma of her youth.
Then, Fenna is recruited by British intelligence. Tasked with creating escape tools to thwart the Germans, MI9 seeks those with specialized skills for a war nearing its breaking point. Though reluctant, Fenna joins an unconventional group of inventors and proves herself worthy of the cause. But for Fenna, delving deeper into the fray means a pivotal confrontation with her past, and the stakes are more treacherous than she ever imagined.
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|Listening Length||17 hours and 8 minutes|
|Audible.ca Release Date||September 06 2022|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #59,868 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#3,979 in Historical Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#177,068 in Literature & Fiction (Books)
Top reviews from Canada
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Its WW II and Fenna is the brains and talent behind an illusionist act and she herself is disillusioned.
Her talent is recognized and she is recruited by British intelligence to use her skills in for one designing gadgets.
It is a fascinating read to see behind the scenes and the gadgets and other means that are put to use by M19.
You cant help but cheer ,cry and admire Fenna.
The book is fast paced, suspenseful and a great read that I wont soon forget.
Kristina McMorris never disappoints in her storytelling and The Ways We Hide is no exception.
Time passes, and due to Fenna's skill of designing magic tricks and performing the art of deception, , Fenna finds herself recruited to join MI9 in Great Britain during WW2 as an inventor of gadgets and escape aids to assist members of allied forces.
Soon, Fenna is called upon to assist allied forces in finding a member of their team who they suspect of being a traitor. The suspect turns out to be none other than Arie himself.
Kristina McMorris' writing is hypnotic as she weaves the threads of this story together. Inspired by true encounters , it is easy for a reader to envision these events unfolding during war time, and maybe beyond.
If one chooses to listen to the audio version, narrator Cassandra Campbell does a stunning job of telling the author's story with incredible tone, inflection, and care. It is well performed.
Top reviews from other countries
The Ways We Hide stands out for me mostly because the plot blew me away more than the characters. I am a huge character girl; if your characters don't feel real, chances are you're getting a critical review from me. And to be honest, the action-packed nature of the setting does make Fenna, Arie, Charles, and others feel a shade two-dimensional. However, I knew enough about their inner workings and inner lives to root for them. I stuck with them precisely because I got to see almost every facet of their lives in real time. I didn't get the hazardous "telling over showing" issue I often find with first-person narration. Instead, Fenna's relatable voice let me know not only her, but the life she lived, the people in it, and why she cherished that life.
Indeed, some novels are "slice of life" stories. The Ways We Hide is more like, "Here's my life story," which would ordinarily turn me off, but here, kept my pages turning late into the night. Kristina dived headfirst into her homework, not only concerning the war itself, but concerning civilian life in the years before. I loved her exploration of locales and people groups WWII stories don't usually cover, from Dutch immigrants to Michigan mining country, from Catholicism to spiritualism, from the world of magic to the world of spying and codebreaking.
I often dedicate a section of reviews like this to the little scenes that "pop," or stick in my head. Here, I can't do that, because Kristina expertly crafted so many. In fact, I could say almost every chapter had a "popping" scene. Fenna and Arie's wooden train, Fenna's heartbreaking rivalry with Ingrid, the Monopoly board, the questioning of Arie's motives, Mrs. Van der Meer and the sleeping drugs, too many close calls to count... WHEW! Every scene drives the plot forward. Every scene makes you care about the characters more, especially Fenna. Every scene drives home not only the physical stakes and catastrophes of WWII, but the emotional fallout, most of which occurs off the battlefield. I'm not exaggerating when I tell you, a few scenes in particular gutted me, once to the point that I almost didn't finish.
I loved Fenna and Arie's friendship so much--in fact, they were the ones who gutted me, more than once. In Fenna and Arie, Kristina gives readers an example of platonic male and female friends done absolutely right. I know I said the characters were two-dimensional, and again, they can veer into that territory. But together, Arie and Fenna play off each other great. They help each other grow. You can feel and experience how much they care, not just in a romantic way but in a way that truly says, "I love this person more than myself." That kind of friendship, never mind love, is so rare these days in real life and fiction, you can't help feeling uplifted.
I also want to applaud Kristina for tackling not only emotional fallout, but the deeper ethical questions of war. Sometimes I think authors get so caught up in the action of war stories, they forget these, or touch on them but don't necessarily leave them in the best place for impact. I particularly liked Kristina's placement of Fenna's revelation that war is just one impossible decision after another. I also loved the way Kristina tied the current war into Fenna's past trauma and made her question her ethics, and ethics of others, in light of both. Plus, I have never seen an author have a protagonist go through almost the exact same type of trauma twice, and pull it off without stooping to emotional manipulation. Bravo!
So with all of these praises given, why four stars and not five? Well mostly, because I can't go into why I docked a star without dropping an extreme spoiler, so I won't do it. All I'll say is, I understand Kristina's choice in that, her other options might have read as too unrealistic. But I can't support it, because everything else in the novel is set up to go against that choice. That's the part that hurt so much, I almost didn't finish.
Additionally, while The Ways We Hide was worth the 573 pages, I think Kristina could've cut the last 100 and it would've been just as strong. By that point, there's too much going on, Fenna in particular has been through so much trauma I'm questioning how she will continue functioning, and that above-mentioned choice has left her in a position that for me, feels awkward and clunky in its handling. I'm a published author myself, and I found myself asking: "How did this book go to print as it was? It's starting to feel way too crammed." Then again, I was racing to finish at 11:00 at night, so maybe I was just exhausted.
Anyway, those flaws aside--and I totally understand if you know that spoiler and choose to criticize the book because of it--I'm glad I took a deep dive into The Ways We Hide. It made me think, it made me care, it made me cry, and above the other books of its kind I've read, it took me inside the hearts and minds of WWII. Snag a copy, snag some Kleenex, and get ready for a literary ride!
It’s because of this, she’s recruited for the mysterious MI-9 agency of the UK in World War II, to create spy gadgets to help soldiers escape POW camps. During this time, she gets called on to go on a spy mission that has special meaning for her and makes the stakes even higher. This book is filled with chock of interesting facts about two less historical events and the MI-9 . The author does an amazing job on her research to bring this events and the agency to life. There is also a big mystery that Fenna is involved in this book. I also deeply fell in love with the main characters. I highly recommend this book.
From her humble beginnings as a young girl in a copper mine town, being involved in a horrific false fire in an Italian hall which ended up with many lives lost, almost her own to the loss of her only relative, her Papa. Her stay in an awful orphanage and running away to the only friend she had in the world and becoming an illusionist and an inventor. Finally, going undercover to discover where her best friend was in the Netherlands and getting him out alive.
Kristina did a marvelous job of taking all these different elements and combining the best of all of them to create this amazing story.