Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Book Review ~ The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer


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Headline Review
17 October 2017

My thanks to the publishers for my copy of this book

2019 Life changed beyond recognition for Alice when her son, Eddie, was born with autism spectrum disorder. She must do everything to support him, but at what cost to her family? When her cherished grandmother is hospitalised, a hidden box of mementoes reveals a tattered photo of a young man, a tiny leather shoe and a letter. Her grandmother begs Alice to return to Poland to see what became of those she held dearest.

WWII Alina and Tomasz are childhood sweethearts. The night before he leaves for college, Tomasz proposes marriage. But when their village falls to the Nazis, Alina doesn't know if Tomasz is alive or dead.

2019 In Poland, separated from her family, Alice begins to uncover the story her grandmother is so desperate to tell, and discovers a love that bloomed in the winter of 1942. As a painful family history comes to light, will the struggles of the past and present finally reach a heartbreaking resolution?

What did I think about it..

Alice's grandmother, Alina, is seriously ill in the hospital when she makes a frantic request for Alice to find her precious memory box. The contents of the box sends Alice off on a journey to modern day Poland in order to discover more more about a man named Tomasz. That this man was once very special to Alina is never in doubt and as their relationship  evolves so a desperate story of survival during wartime starts to be revealed. The story moves forwards and backwards in time so that we get Alina's story during the momentous years of WW2 whilst at the same time getting to know Alice and her own somewhat troubled family challenges.

The Things We cannot Say is a heartbreaking story about wartime and what it was like to live during a time of great hardship and the author makes this feel so much more special because she has used the events of her own family history in order to give the book a very authentic feel and an altogether different perspective on the utter and heartfelt tragedy of wartime separation which captures both your attention and imagination.

To say too much about the way the story evolves would be to do this author a complete disservice as this is one of those special books which needs to be read without spoilers, that way the author's fine attention to detail, meticulous research and skilful story telling can be appreciated to the fullest extent.

There's a very captivating section at the end of the novel which highlights the journey the author made to Poland to see for herself the places where her grandmother once lived, and as is so often the case with this generation who witnessed so many horrific things there are things which cannot be said, however, that doesn't mean that we shouldn't try to hear their words, or forget what they endured for our freedom.


Kelly Rimmer is the USA Today bestselling women’s fiction author of five novels, including Me Without You and The Secret Daughter. Her most recent release is Before I Let You Go. She lives in rural Australia with her husband, 2 children and fantastically naughty dogs, Sully and Basil. Her novels have been translated into more than 20 languages.


Twitter @Kelrimmerwrites #TheThingsWeCannotSay

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