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On television and in movies, actors are pretend heroes in make-believe stories. But in HIDEAWAY, Nora Roberts’ new suspense novel, a young actress takes on the role of a true heroine in her own real-life drama.

Set against the glamorous backdrop of old Hollywood intrigue, the story centers on a multi-generational family legacy. The Sullivans are a prominent and successful film industry dynasty, admired and loved by their fans. When the patriarch Liam Sullivan dies, the family reunites for a celebration of his life at their Big Sur estate. But as his wife Rosemary, their children, his grandchildren and his great-grandchildren mourn his passing, young Caitlyn Sullivan is kidnapped. The family is in a state of shock and dismay. How? Why?

"This tale of individual resilience and hope despite difficult circumstances is especially powerful in today’s uncertain times."

While her loved ones scramble to meet the kidnapper’s demands, smart and capable Cate escapes. Exhausted, scared and injured, she makes her way to a nearby house where a young boy resides with his mother and grandmother. The Coopers are quick to help with food and first aid. Soon Cate’s father and the police arrive, and as she tells her story, it becomes clear that her abductors had inside help. Shockingly, the evidence points to her mother. 

With Cate’s mother and her accomplices in jail, her father and great-grandmother decide that a change of scenery is necessary. They travel together to the Sullivan ancestral homeland of Ireland, a place of recovery and healing for the young girl. When she and her father return to Big Sur, Cate continues in the family tradition and auditions for a part in a movie. She begins filming and makes new friends, but her life is never far from the spotlight of the press. Her name and her past follow her everywhere. And when her mother is paroled from jail, Cate’s life becomes unbearable. An encounter with her mother at a restaurant where Cate is dining brings back the trauma of the kidnapping, and she decides to move to New York City and start over again.

But for Cate, the past is never far enough from the present. Soon she begins to receive threatening phone calls, and a boyfriend is attacked in a random assault. A true survivor, Cate does her best to move on, embracing all the new opportunities that come her way. As her grandfather always said, “Life is a series of turns.” 

Eventually, life turns Cate back toward California, and she returns to Big Sur. A remodeled guest house that includes a studio for her voice work becomes her new home. She revisits the one place that has always offered her serenity and kindness in her life --- the Cooper home. They still live in the same house, and the boy, Dillon, has grown up to be an outstanding and attractive young man. Cate begins to hope that the past is finally behind her and that love may be in her future. However, the seeds of vengeance have had time to grow, and danger lurks in the shadows. It won’t be long before Cate’s life is upended once again. 

HIDEAWAY delivers a story of family love and endurance in the face of trauma, tragedy and life’s unexpected turns. Through the loss of innocence and betrayal, a heroine emerges, one with the strength and skill to rescue herself. This tale of individual resilience and hope despite difficult circumstances is especially powerful in today’s uncertain times.

Reviewed by Jennifer McCord on May 28, 2020

by Nora Roberts