A Joy To Be Hidden is set in a vividly recreated late-90s New York City. The protagonist is Alice Stein, a graduate student whose father died a year before, and who has now lost her grandmother. In the process of sorting through the grandmother's belongings, Alice unlocks a family secret. In addition to its wisdom and rich humour, the novel is full of memorable characters. We can never quite forget the title quote--"It Is a joy to be hidden, and a disaster not to be found" (D. W. Winnicott)--and we discover, over the course of the novel, that it applies to all its characters.
"Ariela Freedman writes with elegance and dark grace about family history, identity, and the human ache for connection. I loved this mysterious and engrossing story, and her beautiful rendering of how the past can both haunt us and help us move on."--Alix Ohlin