“On the outer edge of a struggling small town in North Carolina lives a long-married-- in name, if not in fact -- couple, Frank and Wendell. For all the decades they have been together they have hidden from the world to protect themselves, but now Frank's health is failing. The poignancy of Wendell's struggle to keep Frank safe is heartbreaking. These are not characters we see often in fiction -- poor and rural and gay and old -- but Griffin draws them so honestly and well that we quickly know them and come to care deeply for them.”
— Michael Barnard (M), Rakestraw Books, Danville, CA
Set in a declining textile town in North Carolina, Hide is the love story of Wendell Wilson, a taxidermist, and Frank Clifton, a veteran of World War II. They meet after the war, in a time when such love holds real danger. But, severing nearly all ties with the rest of the world, they carve out a home for themselves on the outskirts of town and for decades the routine of self-reliant domesticity - Wendell's cooking, Frank's care for a yard no one sees, and the vicarious drama of courtroom TV - seems to protect them. But when Wendell finds Frank lying motionless outside at the age of 83, their carefully crafted life together begins to unravel. As Frank's physical strength deteriorates and his memory dissolves, Wendell struggles in vain to keep him healthy and to hold onto the man he once knew until, faced with giving care beyond his capacity, he must come to terms with the consequences of half a century in seclusion, the sacrifices they made for each other, and the different lives they might have lived - and most especially the impending, inexorable loss of the one they had.
Impossibly tender, gently funny, and gorgeously rendered, Hide is a singularly powerful debut.