Review: The Hiding Game by Naomi Wood

Naomi Wood is a very skilled writer – her prose flows like a river, beautiful sentences with wonderful word choices. Her words are lyrical, beats pulsing through the page, all playing in harmony to make the reading a joy. I suspect I’d get pleasure reading her to-do list.

When I finished The Hiding Game, I put it down and decided I enjoyed it. I read it fast, ‘cover’ to ‘cover’ (doesn’t work with e-books) in a couple of days, which is very quick for me (certainly helped by being on holiday!). The problem is that when I considered why I enjoyed it, it was all entirely down to the writing. When I reflected on the story, my main thought was, “Is that it? Not much happened there.”

The basic story is six friends meet at the Bauhaus during the rise of the Nazis. I knew it was abolished by the Nazis as the contemporary, degenerate, style conflicted with their preference for the neoclassical. However, this didn’t come across strongly – the thrust of the book was on the friendships – and as things turned sour, it seemed Naomi hardened on those friendships instead of pursuing what it must have been like living in fear of those days; I never got the sense of being in that period, the tensions and distrust. My main complaint was when that fear was ratcheted up, the book ended abruptly – the conclusion seemed rushed, the betrayals insignificant.

I did enjoy the art descriptions, that was very nicely done, even the story was well executed, but I felt the plot needed more tension, stronger betrayals, and more sense of time&place. I’ll definitely look out for future books from Naomi, she’s got a strong future ahead of her.

3 for the plot, 5 for writing – 4 overall – a very enjoyable read with a few flaws.

Book supplied by Netgalley for an honest review.

See review on Goodreads.