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The Things We Never Said

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  690 ratings  ·  104 reviews
In 1964 Maggie wakes to find herself in a psychiatric ward, not knowing who she is or why she has been committed. She slowly begins to have memories of a storm and of a man called Jack and slowly the pieces of the past begin to come together...In 2008 Jonathan is struggling to put his differences with his parents aside to tell them he and his wife are expecting a baby, whe ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published May 23rd 2013 by Simon and Schuster
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Anne  (Booklady) Molinarolo
I struggled with to say about this novel, because I honestly don't know how I feel about it even though it has been circulating within my brain since this morning. I was intrigued by the premise: In 1964, a young woman named Maggie wakes up one morning in hospital not knowing really who she is or why she is there. She knows that she is physically fine, but her mind is shattered, She knows enough to put her best face forward, because if the nurses believe she is too happy, wary, or sad she'll be ...more
Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
3.5 stars, it would have been an easy 4 stars except I felt the first half of the book was just a touch slow, the second half was a much more interesting read.

The book flits between Maggie's life, a woman who wakes up in a mental asylum in 1964 and can't remember why she's there, and Jonathan's life in the present day.

It takes a while before the two timelines start to intertwine and makes sense but the book is filled with wonderfully honest images of the good, the bad and the ugly of marriage,
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

Unfolding through dual narratives, The Things We Never Said by Susan Elliot Wright, alternates between the past and present.

In 1964, it takes Maggie weeks to remember the events that led to her being committed to a psychiatric hospital. Random flashes of memory, the wild winds of a hurricane...Jack...snow... cold..a crying baby...gradually resolve into a tragic history she would rather forget.

In 2008, Jonathon's comfortable life is slowly falling apart. When his father passes away unexpectedly,
A lesson in pace and planning. At no point did I want to put this down and have a rest from it and, even if I had, there isn't really a suitable point in the novel to do so. I really didn't expect to enjoy this as much as I did. It was a book my wife chose for a book club. I recognised the author's name from my uni so picked it up and started reading. I read it in one sitting. I was completely drawn in by the plight of Maggie and Jonathan. And, although I could often guess what was coming, I fel ...more
Judy Collins
THE THINGS WE NEVER SAID, a captivating debut by Susan Elliot Wright, and narrated by Kate Lee, of mental health issues of the sixties and highly charged topics of pregnancy, marriage, and family secrets.

Set in England, we learn of Maggie of events forty years apart. In 1964, Maggie wakens to find herself in a psychiatric ward and has no relocation of her name or why she is here. There is a man named Jack a storm, a crying baby, and a job in a theatre; however, it is blurred.

Jonathan, a young co
The Things We Never Said is a story told in two voices and during the prologue the reader finds themselves in 2009 on a cold, wet and windy day. This is a gentle introduction, with flash backs to the past that really sets the pace for the story that follows.

The first voice of the story is Jonathan; a teacher, a father-to-be. Jonathan is a complex and worried character, his memories of childhood are not happy, he is struggling to know how to tell his ageing and controlling father that he is to be
I didn't really enjoy this book. The plot is good and I read it to the end because I wanted to see what happened. But I never really connected with the characters, and actually found them quite annoying. There was also a disconnect with the story and the time in which it was set. As a story it could have been just as easily set in the 90's as in the 60's. There didn't seem to be any real elaboration about society's morals at the time and how this intersected with the plot. There wasn't anything ...more
Monique Mulligan
Two tales interweave to form a whole in Susan Elliot Wright's debut novel, The Things We Never Said . It took a little while for me to warm to the book, but once I did, I found myself engrossed as the dual narratives unfolded and then intersected, revealing secrets, lies and a tragedy that changed the lives of the main characters forever. I like the cover; a tired, perhaps confused, woman watches waves break onto the shore - it makes me wonder what she is thinking. Does she see escape in those w ...more
B the BookAddict

What a captivating book from this new author. An enthralling read, this debut novel set in England, deals with many issues relevant in our lives today; parenting, marriage, mental health, pregnancy, families and teaching. Ms Elliot Wright manages two threads, forty years apart, exceptionally well. Maggie and Jonathan both struggle with the issue of their identity. Well researched in the mental health practices of the 1960s; shocking to read (no pun intended) and in the sometimes unjust rules of
This is an absolutely superb read. It is a story told in two halves with each chapter alternating between the two strands of the story, which then eventually dovetail together.

The first story is that of Maggie, who we first meet as a mental health patient in 1964. Maggie has no recollection of her life before entering the hospital and her story is divulged as she slowly starts to remember when we find out that she has had to make some very brave decisions which will affect her and others for a l
Brilliant! Connected with the story in so many ways as a mum, wife,and from having family members who have experienced Ill mental health. The best bits apart from the very engaging and believable story lines are the writing style of two stories integrated one started in 1962 coming forward and the other in 2008 going backwards, the suspense, level of detail and description on places in London I know well! And how the author does a very good job of making you feel you were there in 1962 during Ma ...more
Marguerite Kaye
One of those books that I liked, I read quickly, I enjoyed, but don't have much more to say. It was a good story, it was well written, it kept me turning the pages, it had a satisfactory ending. It made me want to find out a lot more about the treatment of women for mental illness in the 1960s.
Lynda Kelly
I enjoyed this and would certainly read her again but it lost a star for me due to a few niggling mistakes and the oft-repeated descriptions of fires and fireplaces which grew tiresome for me !!
Weirdly the gorgeous cover doesn't copy across to either my Kindle or tablet, only on the tablet's carousel. That's a shame. The girl on the cover made me picture Lady Mary from Downton Abbey !!
She spelt discernible as discernable which I've seen done every time I've spotted it written in an e-book. Not s
Yvann S
If it’s not an unfaithful partner, it’s a fraught pregnancy. Why, oh why, are we as readers condemned to these miserable renditions? Why can there not be a happy marriage? A simple pregnancy? Children who are well-behaved and intelligent? I suppose none of that makes for much drama, but still. These recurring slow personal tragedies exhaust me.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Maggie awakes in what is undeniably a mental health facility in the 1960s, back in the day when mental health facility wa
Cleo Bannister
This great debut novel tells a poignant story which deals with serious issues sensitively and without being melodramatic about it. Split between the early 60's narrated by Maggie, a young woman who leaves home to follow her dream to make props for a theatre company, and 2008 - 2009 by Jonathan a teacher at a secondary school. Both tales are well written and successfully authentic.

If anything I enjoyed Jonathan's story more than Maggie's which is an accolade to the author's ability to bring his s
I dithered over the stars for this one. Two seemed harsh, three seems quite high in comparison with other books I've rated this year. Still, there are some very nice parts to this book (love Maggie's story, particularly in the asylum). It has everything but the kitchen sink thrown in in terms of plot points, like a 60s/noughties Catherine Cooksopn epic, all neatly resolved with a Disney ending. Only dramatic tension it didn't have was a murder. Easy read, if not particularly riveting.
Jane Butterworth
I loved this book. Was so captivated by Maggie. Can't wait for her next novel
A quote on the front cover promises: 'If you love Maggie O'Farrell, you will love this'. Well, I do love Maggie O'Farrell and I loved this book. Wow! Brilliant! Probably the best novel I've read this year (and I get through one a week, as a rule). I read this book in the space of 24 hours. I couldn't put it down. Heartbreakingly sad, but with an uplifting ending. It shows that we can go through seemingly unbearable difficulties and tragedies in life yet still survive. I loved the characters. I w ...more
Aunty Janet
I enjoyed this book very much as is beautifully written and very thought provoking, however it is quite dark and there are not many lighter moments. Two stories intertwine, coming together at the end following deeply held secrets. Nevertheless I do recommend it even though it is at times quite grim!
''In 1964 Maggie wakes to find herself in a psychiatric ward, not knowing who she is or why she has been committed. She slowly begins to have memories of a storm and of a man called Jack and slowly th
„Ich habe dich immer geliebt“ von Susan Elliot Wright hat leider nicht das gehalten, was ich mir vom Klappentext her versprochen habe.

Die Geschichte wird abwechselnd aus der Sicht von Jonathan und Maggie erzählt. Zudem gibt es einige zeitliche Sprünge in der Geschichte. Es sind also zwei Handlungsstränge, die am Ende miteinander verwoben werden und ein Bild ergeben.

Leider hat es die Autorin zu Anfang nicht geschafft, der Geschichte Leben einzuhauchen. Sowohl die Charaktere als auch der Plot war
I don't normally read adult fiction but I got this super cheap at a book outlet and I am weak in the face of cheap books.

It's an intercutting story between two characters: Maggie in 1964 and Jonathan in 2004. This is always a tough thing to pull off as you have to get the storytelling balance right. It starts off really messy - the character is confused so this made me confused. And to then change to a different character in a different time made it worse. It took me 5-6 chapters to really conne
Jacquie Denton
Two stories that eventually come together. A sad story of a young girl who is rapped, tries to get rid of an unwanted pregnancy but is unsuccessful. Then has twins, one of which dies tragically, which sends the poor girl over the edge and is hospitalised and has a mental breakdown. She is then talked in to having the surviving twin adopted. Then there is his story being brought up not knowing he is adopted and having a non existent relationship with his father. He is a teacher and happily marrie ...more
Laura Wilkinson
Wonderful story, great characters and fabulous writing. It says on the cover: 'If you love Maggie O'Farrell you'll love this'. Well, I do love MoF and I loved this. Could hardly put it down. Great.
Amanda B
This was one of those novels that you don't want to end. It's leisurely pace draws the reader in, from the onset and every paragraph paints an emotional landscape. Two stories run in parallel throughout the book, coming together in an inevitable conclusion at the end, but one that nonetheless satisfies and feels authentic. The characters are beautifully etched, and their pain and sorrow palpable. Reviews draw on the similarities between Susan Elliot wright and Maggie o'farrell ( of whom I'm a hu ...more
3.5 stars for this one (good reads you need to start doing half stars!)

I enjoyed this one, especially Maggie's story from the 1960s and exploring the issues for women at that time. The reasons it doesn't quite reach the 4 star mark for me are that the story was a little predictable, although that wasn't helped by the publisher giving away major plot twists on the back cover - why do they do that? I found it hard to identify with Jonathan and his wife and their behaviour as they seemed to deal wi
This is an amazing read, it's brilliantly written. It had me on a real emotional roller coaster all the way through this book and the ending actually made my eyes well up.

It's written in 2 parts, one is Maggies part set in the 1960s and 2009 and then Jonathons part which is set in the present time - 40 years on.

As the story unfolds we start to learn of the links between Maggie and Jonathan in alternating chapters. How Maggie came to be pregnant with Jonathan and how when we start Jonathans sto
Bev Taylor
the past was hers to forget - the future was his to uncover

jonathan has lost his father for whom he felt no love and now is to become a father himself

a teacher he is then suspended for allegedly attacking a pupil. this leads a detective to his doorstep who links his dna to that of a serialist criminal. though in what?

many decades ago maggie wakes in a mental asylum with no idea of who she is or how she got there. h/e it slowly returns to her

these two characters are finally linked together an
I found this book rather irritatingly slow although I enjoyed it, but it was fairly predictable. Soon-to-be-father Jonathan discovers that he is adopted, and there are a few flashbacks of his life 'before'. Interspersed with Jonathan's scenes are those with Maggie, obviously his mother, although that's not made clear until about half way through the book, who has given him up for adoption when he's about 17 months old. I don't think there was anything new on the 'take' but it was well put althou ...more


The Things We Never Said by Susan Elliot Wright

Review by Amanda Donovan

The Things We Never Said by the talented Susan Elliot Wright is an emotional roller coaster from the attractive cover to the last page.

Chapters alternate between the present day and the past. In 2008, the story is centred on Jonathan’s family life, his frightening nightmares and his personal problems with his Father which affect his relationship with his pregnant wife, Fiona. His life changes when he discovers a shocki
J.B (Debbie)

Its 1964 and Maggie wakes up in a mental hospital with no recollection of why she is there. Her memories are fuzzy and she is desperate to put all the pieces of the puzzle together and get some answers to this mystery. In the present day however, Jonathan and his wife are expecting their first baby. All is not well and Jonathan feels panicked and unsure of the type of father he will become. He has difficulties also in his job as a teacher. His relationship with his own father is fractured and a
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Sep 20, 2015 01:29PM  
  • After the Fall
  • What Have I Done? (No Greater Love #2)
  • Bay of Secrets
  • In Her Shadow
  • Set in Stone
  • Lost and Found
  • Someone to Watch Over Me
  • Whatever It Takes
  • Summer of '76
  • The Night Rainbow
  • Fractured
  • The Cry
  • Coal Creek
  • Forgive Me
  • Always You
  • Someone Else's Wedding
  • The Flavours of Love
  • Dear Thing
I was born at an early age...
I grew up in South East London, left school at 16 and married at 18. At the age of 30 I took my two children, left my unhappy life and started again, reinventing myself with an education and a new surname, which I chose by drawing up a shortlist from the telephone directory and sending off for brochures so I’d receive mail in those names. I settled on Elliot; Susan Ell
More about Susan Elliot Wright...
The Secrets We Left Behind The Secrets We Left Behind: A Novel Segreti inconfessabili Ich habe dich immer geliebt: Roman Untitled Book 3

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