Hidden Away

Hidden Away - J.W. Kilhey **Note: This is by far the hardest review I have written yet. Forgive the haphazardness of it please. I am still quite 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 around until I quiet it with research. Why do I say this? I learned something new with this book. Something I am truly ashamed I was unaware of and feel very naïve about that fact. I plan to remedy that soon. The title of this book has so many meanings to me. The relationships of gay men being hidden, the reality of homosexuals in concentration camps “the pink triangle men” and the horrors, the secrets the both John and Kurt have deep inside that will tear them apart if they keep them Hidden Away. What’s the point of living if we can never feel love?Told between dual POV’s of John and Kurt we learn their pasts and how it will shape their relationship today. John was a soldier in the war and ordered to do unspeakable things that haunt his days and nights which begin to blend in a frightening way. He drinks himself into a state of mind to try to forget, wrestling with the guilt for lives he took, forget for the lives he cannot save and all he wants is a quiet life. I need a quiet man. One who can understand simple human emotions. One who does not try to overpower or lesson those emotions by talking loudly or by use of physical bravado. If I let myself – if he pushes me to – I would spill my guts and let him help me.Kurt, I have to say his back story tore my heart out. From a promising young pianist finding his first love with the violinist Peter Waldenheim to being arrested and thrown Mauthausen, a concentration camp and marked with a pink triangle for being homosexual…I ached for him. The sweet yearning he felt with Peter; every tentative, careful word that came from his mouth to the freedom he finally felt by falling in love was torn from him. The horrific treatment inside the camp was endured with the hope of release from the hell he was in but with a few words whispered in his ear, You are my sanity. You do what’s needed to survive, he will endure for his love. Hidden Away is a very emotional read and to be honest I am having a difficult time writing this. I cannot stop the tears as I go over this story. I am not sure this review is even coherent. Not only is this a story about two men trying to figure out their role in a decade where Leaver it to Beaver was the norm but they are dealing with the after math, the “shell-shock” of being involved in a war. Both men have secrets from their role on the front lines of horror during the Nazi regime. This book has stirred so many emotions in me. It hits upon issues that are relevant today and ones I cannot let go of the horror the Pink Triangle Men faced in the camps. It horrifies me, it breaks my heart and there is no way I will forget it. The story is not easy to read, it is a difficult subject matter but the author delivers in a beautiful and amazing way. Nothing is shoved down your throat; nothing is glossed over or made to look like it is something it is not. This book is honest. The story is real and it makes you feel. I dare you to read this, even if it’s not your normal genre and not feel anything. It would be impossible. I am thankful I read this though it was tough and still hurts to think about it. The story in the camps was awful but the story of Kurt and John finding each other is so sweet, so tender and so full of hope. The struggle the both have to find the peace they need, to let one help the other pulls at my deepest emotions. I cannot get them out of my head or let them go. All forbidden things will be accepted. Goodness and rightness will always win; we just need to be patient and smile at the beauty that is present.