book review the things we cannot say

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.

I LOVED Before I Let You Go and The Things We Cannot Say is similar with regards to a strong family story, but with a ‘now and then’ historical fiction angle. I wasn’t sure how this would go, and thought maybe one story would outshine the other, but the balance is just right.

The Things We Cannot Say flips between the lives of Alice, a frazzled mum who deals daily with a young son with autism spectrum disorder and her polish grandmother who wants to tie up loose ends and unburden herself of family secrets.

I love the way Kelly Rimmer makes each character, even the main ones, flawed in some way. Alice seemed so tightly wound, I was in fear of her choking the love out of her family and her grandmother seemed incredibly demanding at times.

This style of character building makes me relate to the characters and adds another dimension to a family saga. Nothing is ever black and white when it comes to families! Ultimately, differences and annoyances aside, love and loyalty win and this tale of two women in two very different times will have you reading to the last page.

If you enjoyed The Survivors and Matryoshka, you will certainly enjoy The Things You Cannot Say.

Read my review of Rimmer’s other novel Before I Let You Go

the things we cannot say book review
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