Book Review: The Hidden by Candida Baker

The Hidden Candida Baker
Knopf 2000

Hmm. Some readers will give up on this after the first few pages, because Baker’s narrator Caroline is very self-consciously writing a book (could it be the very book we are reading – yes it could), and wrapping in thoughts on memory, photography, identity, history. Every chapter starts with an epigram/quote from either luminaries like Susan Sontag or the narrator’s own lecture notes. And, it all can seem like an antipodean Rebecca/Jane Eyre (young woman along way from home. Check. Brooding man with a past. Check. Past involves dead wife. Check.)

But readers should persist, I reckon. This is no life-changing masterpiece, but Baker achieves what (I think) she sets out to do. Is it wrapped up too neatly? The wife thinks so, but I was happy enough with it.

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Below the surface...
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