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J.W. Kilhey ñ 3 read

Franklin D Roosevelt said “No man and no force can abolish memory” John Oakes and Kurt Fournier are living proof of the truth behind those words Since the horrors of the Second World War John and Kurt have been trudging through existence bleeding from wounds that have never healed Now they’re at the cro. This is a really confronting book It s the story of John a WW2 vet who is suffering from severe PTSD particularly related to his involvement in the liberation of the concentration camp Dachau The constant nightmares flashbacks heavy drinking and suicidal ideation seem to be getting worse instead of better One day John sees a German man playing piano in the university he attends and swiftly becomes obsessed with him The story is told in alternate POV s John s is set in 1951 and follows his relationship with the very introverted and damaged Kurt The other POV s is Kurt s and follows his musical career in Berlin the young love he forms with his fellow musician Peter and their journey into total horror and despair as they are sent to Mauthausen concentration camp for being homosexualI knew practically nothing of the pink triangle prisoners in the concentration camps It s important that such a terrible episode in history is never forgotten and the author should be commended for it It s wonderful that she was able to tell this story in the form of a beautiful love story I hope it gets some recognition in the Lambda Literary awards Having said that this was a hard book to read As Kurt s story neared it s climax in Mauthausen I was really tempted to skim past it I didn t want to read what happened to Peter John s struggle was almost as bad as Kurt s and I probably identified with his shellshock having nursed many Vietnam vets when I was young and worked in war zones myself than with the concentration camp experience I ve cried literally buckets reading this novel BUCKETS But it was worth it These characters and their story will stay with me forever

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Hidden Away

Ssroads of the 1950s the war may be over but the battle to find lasting peace has just begunJohn a PhD student at UC Berkeley and a battle hardened veteran floats through his postwar life until he catches the mysterious Kurt secretly playing a university piano John thinks he may find comfort in Kurt’s compa. It took me a few days to write this review because I had to find a way to put into words the soul deep effect this book had on me Amazing beautiful ugly moving engaging fascinating terrifying nauseating emotionally charged passionate educational eye opening These are some of the adjectives that came to me while trying to describe this work of art I can t believe that this is only JW Kilhey s second published novel The professional uality aside from monor editing errors which I have found common with every e book publisher except Riptide was as impressive as the thoroughly researched historyThe novel follows two parallel story lines It begins in 1941 where we find a gay Kurt in Austria Kurt is an amazingly gifted pianist in love with an eually gifted violinist At first it isn t clear how this plotline will intersect with the second one which shows us John in Berkley in 1951 Then the magic happens Ms Kilhey weaves a story that not only brings these two men together but brings them together in a way that had me going through an entire box of tissuesIn almost all romance novels one or both of the main characters is damaged Hidden Away will teach you a new defininition of the word John suffers from an extremely severe case of PTSD called shell shock at that point and I believe that Kurt does also view spoilerKurt was held in a Nazi prison camp for three years because he was a homosexual He was brutally repeatedly raped tortured and starved right next to the Jews political dissidents criminals Jehovah s Witnesses mentally ill and vagrants The homosexuals got the worst of the treatment in the camps Our history doesn t teach us about the inclusion of many of those groups in the Nazi s terrible reign John was an American soldier present for the liberation of Dachau The sights sounds and smells he experienced and his own actions during that liberation haunt him in ways that I can t begin to describe hide spoiler

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Ny but doesn’t know how to connect with a man who lives a life of such careful solitude Guilt and regret threaten to cripple their hopes for a normal life No man is an island so John and Kurt must risk their hearts to find happiness Unfortunately memories and enduring fears can paralyze even the strongest m. This review contains spoilers10 POWERFUL UNPUTDOWNABLE STARSThere are no words that I have that can give this book justice NONE This book was just so POWERFUL I felt like I got hit by a Mac Truck Like I was watching the collision course I was watching that Mac Truck barrel towards me and there was nothing I could do to alter its path JW Kilhey tackled a really tough subject and did so in such a poetic way It was rough and brutal and so freaking raw ANDIt was beautiful This book was so eye opening for me It s fiction yes but it could totally be a biography for some And that makes me so freaking sad So so sad There were points where I had no breathe left Where I felt every punch every kick every uncalled for assault There were points where I had no breathe left I felt every touch every whisper every caress I wish I could write poetry because I could fill books with the rush I feel at the simple touchThere were points where I wept but most of all I just felt numb all over JW Kilhey wrote this in a way that you FELT like you were there Right there Feeling every single moment in timeKurt Fournier German decent a musician shy uiet awkward and a homosexual in a time when Hitler thought he could rule the world God I felt EVERYTHING for Kurt and with Kurt His strength and perseverance could make a grown man weep The things that were done to him made me sick made my blood boil and made my heart hurt in so many ways that I didn t know what to do with myself Do I cry Do I scream Do I throw my e reader against a wallAnd then he made me breathless Peter and Kurt s love was so special There are still beaches where the waves crash and the little colourful creatures burrow in the sand Water still flows and creates the music of nature Grass still grows It still feels the same way beneath your feet People still touch Still connect Still kiss The whole world is something to smile about Just open yourself up to itThey were over before they even really started But their love would be eternal Bright golden and shining in such bleak and dim conditions The author portrayed the concentration camps in ways that movies I have watched could not It was all so vivid and heartbreaking The coloured triangles This broke me Peter s demise OH GOD Still can t even think about it without chocking up Kurt survived I am lonely In the camp I was surrounded by people Thousands of them Five or six men to a bunk near the end But I was aloneBeing alone in a crowd is harder than isolation I say John Oakes American Army PTSD bold charismatic smart and a homosexual fighting against a tyrant When John meets Kurt the ray of emotions that he goes through will give you whiplash Is he a Nazi Did I almost kill him Kurt brought John right back to Dachau Its just as heart wrenching to watch John get eaten by guilt Guilt for killing soldiers that were thrown into the camp while all the wrong party SS are gone running scared My thoughts are that he saved lives that day But I wasn t there to witness all the dead bodies and the skeletons of men I can t even wrap my mind around the mistreatment of woman and men because they didn t fit an image of a tyrant I also had so much grief for John because I didn t know if he would ever measure up to a Ghost Cause essentially Peter was a ghost in his relationship with Kurt and it hurt him What would I say to him anyway What did I think would happen He isn t ready for any of this He isn t willing to be a part of any of this He is a broken man and I can t fix him As I get lost in alcohol and cigarettes I realize I can t even fix myself The story is told between alternate POV s Kurt s is the past while John s is in the present with disturbing dreams that brings his past to light It is absolutely heart breaking 90% of the time The beauty I found in this book was in the love So blessed was my Kurt to find such love not once but twice And for me who needs to know that everyone in this world gets a HEA my heart just nearly burst from my chest The sentences ate my heart out Good The fact that I that we have to live by a silent rule book should infuriate him It infuriates me that he is so uick to accept that our lots in life are the be hidden away never allowed to express love openly I know the way of the world uite well I know I can never hold his hand as Jules holds Flori s but that doesn t mean I am content to accept itI have to say that the world has taken great strides to become a better place since Hitler tried to rule it Slavery segregation women voting Interracial marriagesrelationships GAY MARRIAGE have become a norm for us and I have to say that I m so happy to have grown up with a generation that has so much love in their hearts for EVERYONE Yes we still have racism and bullies and bigots but they are getting to be few and far between And when my 10 year old daughter tells someone what does being gay have to do with you anything we have done something right Because no one should ever be treated so brutally just because they love The ending was so good Soo good I don t think I would have wanted it to end any other way Kurt and John are still slightly damaged they always will be You don t survive stuff like WWII and concentration camps seeing that much death and so much fucking WRONG and come out completely healed You just don t But you can lay some demons and start a healing portion and start living the rest of your life somewhat less scared and open As we step through the doorway so close our shoulders are pressed together I get the sense that we both understand this brief sojourn into the past is the only avenue into the future We move to the side letting anyone behind us pass After a minute I feel him take my left hand in his right Although I am still not comfortable with these types of public affection I accept it There are other vetrans here clutching the hands of other men family members war brothers sons Nothing about us sets us apart today Soon we will embark on our exploration and I hope that in confronting that day it brings John the freedom he needs but for now for this moment we are content to stand together hands linked no longer hidden MareSlitsread


10 thoughts on “Hidden Away

  1. says:

    This historical novel tackles a difficult subject the concentration camps of WWII loom large in the past of both MCs For John because he saw and did horrible things when he liberated a camp as part of the American

  2. says:

    Note This is by far the hardest review I have written yet Forgive the haphazardness of it please I am still uite a mess I consider my self a pretty smart gal I am not saying that to be conceded I have this OCD tendency to NEED to know everything If I am interested in it I just have to know Having this need I love it when I am challenged with what I do NOT know A new piece of information that gets into my head bounces a

  3. says:

    This is a really confronting book It's the story of John a WW2 vet who is suffering from severe PTSD particularly related to his involvement in the liberation of the concentration camp Dachau The constant nightmares flashbacks heavy drinking

  4. says:

    WowJust WowThis was one amazing story I have such mad respect for this author Easiest 5 star rating I've ever given This was beautiful and haunting and so damned authentic and respectful of the subject matter I truly am just trying to catch m

  5. says:

    It took me a few days to write this review because I had to find a way to put into words the soul deep effect this book had on me Amazing beautiful ugly moving engaging fascinating terrifying nauseating emotionally charged passionate educational eye opening These are some of the adjectives that came to me while trying to describe this work of art I can't believe that this is only JW Kilhey's second published novel The professional

  6. says:

    Is it possible to give than 5 stars? I wish I could this book deserves itHow to write this review totally eludes me I will try to do my best to put some thoughts down about this amazing story but I'm sure I can't come close to doing this book justice and I know nothing I write will make me happyIt was especially hard for me to read as I’m sure it was for others because I had family members that lived through WWII and ones that didn’t

  7. says:

    This review contains spoilers10 POWERFUL UNPUTDOWNABLE STARSThere are no words that I have that can give this book justic

  8. says:

    Once I heard in a movie that it’s not a good idea to put together a sad boy with a sad girl I think there is some truth in that like Peter Bruegel’s picture “If a blind man leads a blind man both will fall into a pit”Too much pain together can’t be good But then we meet John’s thoughts Kurt understands him there is not need of words I don’t know yet which is the winning belief maybe it depends on the pers

  9. says:

    REVIEW WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED AT REVIEWS BY JESSEWAVE WHERE I RECEIVED THE BOOK AS FREE REVIEWING COPYWarning book contains explicit physical and sexual violence “The older inmates told us the average life expectancy of a ueer or a Jew in Mauthausen was only a few months Six at most “Yet you survived three years How d

  10. says:

    Hidden Away by JW Kilhey deals with the dramatic and very sensitive topic of gay persecution during the Nazi regime Told in two separate POVs and from two different points in time 1941 onwards and 1951 52 the novel follows the heartbreaking stories of Kurt a young German musician living in Vienna before being deported to the Mauthausen concentration camp and John a war veteran suffering from PTSD and haunted by nightm

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