Lustbader’s enticing debut novel is a multi-generational family saga that pulsates with life. Hidden spans the years 1917 to 1925 in New York City, a time and place of great turmoil and change. We are introduced to the Gates family, a wealthy, powerful dynasty led by the family patriarch and mogul Joseph Gates, and the Warshinskys, a family of Russian Jewish immigrants struggling to survive in the poverty-ridden Lower East Side. Jed Gates and David Warshinsky meet as they are enlisting in the army in 1917 and form a lifelong bond through the traumas they suffered during the Great War. After the war, the Gates “adopt” David into their clan. This is where the drama really begins.
Hidden is a story of secrets. Everybody has one. It is a story of loves lost and found, of passion, betrayal, treachery and redemption. Strong, well-defined characters, evocative sensory descriptions, layers of political and social drama intertwined with the characters’ personal dramas, and unpredictable storylines all amount to an immensely absorbing, pleasurable, and satisfying read. I am eagerly anticipating this gifted author’s next creation.