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.