Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Things We Cannot Say” as Want to Read:
The Things We Cannot Say
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Things We Cannot Say

by
4.51  ·  Rating details ·  33,078 ratings  ·  3,737 reviews
In 1942, Europe remains in the relentless grip of war. Just beyond the tents of the Russian refugee camp she calls home, a young woman speaks her wedding vows. It’s a decision that will alter her destiny…and it’s a lie that will remain buried until the next century.

Since she was nine years old, Alina Dziak knew she would marry her best friend, Tomasz. Now fifteen and engag
...more
Hardcover, First, 448 pages
Published October 17th 2019 by Graydon House (first published February 26th 2019)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Things We Cannot Say, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Ev I did, i must say the fake accents were quite distracting as they were inaccurate. The pronunciation and translation of certain terms was sometimes, w…moreI did, i must say the fake accents were quite distracting as they were inaccurate. The pronunciation and translation of certain terms was sometimes, which made some of the "facts" inaccurate ". ( I am fluent in Polish)(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.51  · 
Rating details
 ·  33,078 ratings  ·  3,737 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of The Things We Cannot Say
Angela M
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing

This is a story of war, of family, of loss, of sacrifice, of the goodness of people trying to save others because they saw each other as human beings, not as Jews or Catholics, and at its heart is a beautiful love story. It’s an important story as all Holocaust stories are because it’s focus is on the importance of remembering the things that happened, the importance of sharing those stories. So many novels these days are comprised of dual narratives, one in the past and one in a more modern tim
...more
Nilufer Ozmekik
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Five remarkable, epic, tear jerking stars!
The title gives us a clue that something kept secret in this family. But this poetically written, heartwarming, amazing story is not about the family secrets , it’s about the words we keep inside and it’s about the emotions we hide. It’s about the reconnection of the family by reaching their roots and discovering their ancestors and an epic, unconditional, never ending love story defeats the time, dead and war.

Our two heroines Alice, Alina are coming f
...more
Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
5 stars! Kelly Rimmer, you are a writing Queen!

I read “Before I Let You Go” last year which was my first book by Kelly Rimmer. I finished that novel overcome with unshakable emotion and a feeling of being forever changed. That storyline and those characters still haunt me to this day. This novel, although a completely different type of storyline, left me feeling the exact same. I was teary during the first page of the Prologue. I felt an intense emotional connection to the characters in the firs
...more
BernLuvsBooks
In The Things We Cannot Say Kelly Rimmer has penned a heartbreakingly powerful and hopeful love story set amidst the backdrop of war, loss and the unimaginable atrocities of WWII. Simply put this is the kind of book that grabs hold of you, envelopes you within it pages and holds on long after you have finished reading.

I thoroughly enjoyed the way Rimmer told this story via a dual narrative - effortlessly weaving historical fiction with a modern day story. Alina's story is set amidst the harrow
...more
KAS
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing

4.5 stars

I am having a hard time coming up with the words to describe the beauty and the heartbreak of this story. When it leaves you practically speechless and continually thinking about the significance of what you just read, that pretty much ‘says’ it all.

There are dual narratives within the storyline. One told in the past and one in the present. One a grandmother, the other her granddaughter.

The past takes you back to WWII and what the grandmother and her fellow countrymen endured during th
...more
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of my 2019 favorites! A can’t miss if you love powerful historical fiction! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Told in two timelines, we hear from Alina Dziak in 1942 just as she gets married in a Russian refugee camp. Her decision to marry will change her life and bury a lie for decades.

Young Alina Dziak grows up in Poland falling in love early with her best friend, Tomasz. She is engaged at fifteen, around the same time Nazi solders arrive at the border. Tomasz is away at college in Warsaw, and she waits for
...more
Berit☀️✨
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This beautifully crafted story weaves together the present and the past seamlessly with threads of heartbreak, sacrifice, and love!

Two strong women, two unique voices, two different times, one stunning tale! Kelly Rimmer has spun a story Full of survival and love that you won’t soon forget! Miss Rimmer has poured her heart, her hope, and her own personal family history into these pages. No matter how many books I read about WWII I am always deeply impacted by the horror of war and the power of
...more
Christine
May 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Christine by: Angela M
5 Glorious Stars!!

I mightily attempted to damp down my expectations going into this one, as just look at those overall ratings—4.55 average from over 1600 readers on Goodreads. I needn’t have worried however, as this book delivers all the goods and in a big way. It is one of the two best novels I have read all year, and I have read some outstanding books!

This novel is long, but there is never a spot that drags. It is filled with fear, sacrifice, agony, tragedy, death, strength, loyalty, forgiven
...more
Erin
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, netgalley
Thanks to Netgalley and Harlequin-Graydon House Books for a digital galley in exchange for an honest review.

Well, this was such a great WWII era dual narrative that I am sure that it is going to be nominated for a Goodreads Choice Award later this year. In the contemporary storyline, you have Alice, a stay at home mother of two, who finds herself disconnected from her husband, criticized by her mother, and every day fighting on behalf of her special needs son. When her ailing grandmother, Han
...more
Sharon
LOVED IT LOVED IT LOVED IT!!!

I’m not sure what I can say about this outstanding book that hasn’t already been said. I like many other readers absolutely LOVED this book and found it extremely hard to put down. This was a dual timeline story and Aussie author Kelly Rimmer has done an exceptionally well job in constructing this part of the book as the story flows so smoothly between the two time periods making it not only an easy story to follow, but also a very enjoyable one.

Things We Cannot Say
...more
Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
The Things We Cannot Say is a heartbreaking, heartwarming hopeful story that explores love, loss, hardship, sacrifice and the relationships that bond people together. Through duel timelines, we see the bonds between a family and the things they cannot say and the things that bring them together.

What really stood out for me and what I really loved about this story was the compelling and emotional layered duel timelines and how they connected the story and the family. We see the historical side to
...more
Elyse  Walters
Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Audiobook....
....voices by Ann Marie Gidean and Nancy Peterson

It’s rare that I ‘listen’ to Historical Fiction/WWII/Holocaust, books.
My thinking is usually I need to visually read the text for this genre - but this was offered up as an Audible daily special - so took a chance - and WOW... the narration read by ‘both’ women, ( Ann and Nancy), is outstanding.

A highly memorable WWII-audiobook-favorite!

...Extremely engaging!!!!!EASY - ADDICTING LISTENING...the type of story that involves readers
...more
Kelly
Mar 19, 2019 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: my-books
It's live! The Things We Cannot Say is available NOW. This is a story I dreamed of writing for years, and I'm so excited to finally share it with you 😊 ...more
Jennifer
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kelly Rimmer has done it again. If you haven’t read anything by this woman, I urge to pick up a book, any book, by her. She has a way of making you feel all the feels and leaves you with a pile of tissues beside you, but she doesn’t just rip your heart out, she sews it up and puts it back in its place.

This story is a little bit of everything; historical fiction, women’s fiction, domestic drama and a love story, all rolled up into one. The story alternates between Alice, in the present day and h
...more
Brenda
Alice was devastated when her grandmother, her beloved Babcia was hospitalized after a stroke. She and her mother were both aware Babcia was in her nineties and wouldn’t have much longer to live, and since Alice’s Pa had died, Babcia had become much more frail. When Babcia indicated to Alice that she wanted her to go to Poland to unearth the secrets from her past, Alice at first knew she couldn’t possibly make the journey. Her husband Wade was extremely busy with work, their seven-year-old son E ...more
Sally Hepworth
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Kelly Rimmer has raised her already high bar with this unforgettable novel. It is that rare author that takes the reader so deeply into a world that you smell the smells, feel the hunger, see the devastation.

Alina and Tomasz’s story is one of bravery, resilience, and the lengths we will go to for the ones we love. It felt so real to me that last night, when I finished reading, I cried for them. Not for myself, but for Alina and Tomasz. Also for the millions of people who lived this. Honestly, I
...more
DJ Sakata
Favorite Quotes:

There was nothing to bury, no body to conduct a service over. Instead, we heard that he was gone, and that was that… Nothing had changed, except that nothing was the same anymore, because once I had two brothers, and now I had one… Our oppression was loss without reason, and pain without a purpose.

I didn’t yet understand the horrific depths of the evil of the Nazi agenda— but somehow in the moonlight that night, I felt the loss of humanity, a very pause in the heartbeat of our sh
...more
Esil
Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
The Things We Cannot Say is told in two timelines, like many historical novels these days. The earlier timeline is set during WWII, and told from Alina’s perspective. Alina is in her late teens, living on a farm in Poland, where she and her family are trying to survive after the Nazi occupation. The second timeline is told from Alice’s perspective. While Alice tries to juggle a complicated family situation, her 95 year old grandmother Hannah asks her to go back to Poland to find Tomasc. This doe ...more
Karen
Aug 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5
A family’s powerful story told in two timelines. One of the stories is in modern day America told by Alice and the other told by Alina (her beloved grandmother), taking place in America and her past inside occupied Poland during WW11.
Alina’s story was heartbreaking, she and Tomasz are childhood sweethearts.. the night before he leaves for college, he proposes.. shortly after their farming village falls to the Nazis. For quite some time she doesn’t know if he is alive or dead. We actually se
...more
Jeanette
Jun 13, 2019 added it
Shelves: abandoned
No rating. This has me listing as a DNF and putting on my abandoned shelf at page 87. It's Hallmark stereotype hyperbole crisis to switching crisis. Just exactly what I call Chick Lit. Effusive judgment and emotive volcanoes that I just fail to desire to climb. Victim hood stereotyping and the sanctimonious judgments twice as heavy as the stereotyping, coupled with virtue signaling both directions. Others tend to love a good cry?

Regardless, these characters do not have any depth or reality. I'v
...more
Jean
Oct 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a World War II story. I guess you can call it a historical novel. The book grabbed me right from the start and kept me engaged through-out the story.

The book is well written and researched. It switches back and forth from the past to present. The characters are interesting. The past part of the story takes place in 1942 Poland. Alina Dzink is fifteen. She is in love with Tomasz who is away at collage in Warsaw. Then the Nazis come to her village. The present has Alice taking care of her
...more
DeAnn
Mar 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
5 outstanding historical fiction stars

This is a sweeping family saga that includes a poor farming community in Poland (very near to Auschwitz), a refugee camp in Soviet Russia, and the United States. There are all my favorite elements in this book: richly drawn and engaging characters, an historical backdrop that adds to the story, relationships that you are invested in and cheer for, and an ending that brought me to tears.

The main characters are Alina, a young woman when WWII breaks out, and Al
...more
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
*https://mrsbbookreviews.wordpress.com
Over a decade ago, Kelly Rimmer, the author of The Things We Cannot Say, started thinking about a novel set in occupied Poland about a young couple, along with a modern day woman grappling with the challenges of everyday family life. After a period of 18 months of continued writing, Kelly Rimmer has published her latest book. The Things We Cannot Say is a double timeline narrative, it is set both in the present day and in WWII Poland. It follows the lives of
...more
Dean
Jul 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a heartrending love story embeded in the tumultuous events od WWII..

This time in my review I will not give names or especific details..

Let me only say this:

The scene and focus of the story is in occupied Poland!!

A jewish family hidden from the Nazis..
Betrayed and handed over to their murders..

We have a hero, sacrificing himself for the woman he loves so dearly..
A promise that he desperately wants to fulfill..
At this junction I must confess that I had to let my tears flow and weep..
Indeed
...more
Kat
Aug 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-2
Kelly Rimmer always writes books that ask thought-provoking questions. In this one, we are shown through dual narratives the theme of being “silenced.” In present-day life, Alice cares for her son on the autism spectrum, and deals with troubles in her marriage, a critical mother, as well as the stress of her beloved grandmother suffering a stroke. In a WW2 timeline, Alina is in Nazi-occupied Poland as the world slowly grows darker. Tomas works with the resistance. Other friends in her circle are ...more
Amy
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Within one chapter this beautiful book had me weepy. ONE chapter. I have to start with that because I want to explain to you guys just how deeply this book affected me. Because that first chapter was not the only time I was moved to tears while reading, it happened more times than I could count and touched a place deep inside me that I don’t often share with the world. That piece inside of me belongs to my own son, Jackson. He’s the baby of our family of five and the only boy. He’s fiercely love ...more
Jamie beauty_andthebook_
This book was so incredibly amazing, it took my breath away and it has taken me 8 days to think about how to put into words a review that truly encompasses what I felt about this book. Dual timelines that are equally as powerful in their own right and even more so when the two come together quite literally floored me. In present day, Alice is dealing with a stressful family life including a special needs autistic son, a gifted daughter and a husband who is more devoted to his work life than his ...more
Dale Harcombe
Nov 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The story starts with a prologue of a wedding in 1942. Then Chapter 1 moves to 2019 where we meet Alice. Life for Alice changed dramatically after her son was born and diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Much of her life revolves around trying to organise his activities and habits so that it keeps him from having a meltdown. This is put to the test when Alice’s beloved grandmother is hospitalised. But it is nothing compared to what happens when her grandmother begs Alice to go to Poland and ...more
Fareya
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review-copies
Life has a way of reminding you that you are at the mercy of chance, and that even well-thought-out plans can turn to chaos in an instant."

The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer is easily going to be one of my favorite books of this year, possibly one I’ll keep recommending to people for a very long time. Historical fiction, particularly those centered around and impacted by the atrocities of war are often times desperately tragic and distressing. But it’s the little acts of bravery and kindne
...more
Andrea
Apr 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 STARS
Apparently, I can only handle one WWII Holocaust novel per year. No matter how beautiful an author portrays heroic efforts on behalf of others, the suffering shatters me...which I suppose is the point. I ached for these characters. Although the dual timeline/ flashback format is nothing new here, it’s executed flawlessly. Very well done and certainly a gorgeous choice if your tender heart must also limit you to one Holocaust heartbreak per year.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Giver of Stars
  • Cilka's Journey (The Tattooist of Auschwitz, #2)
  • The Book of Lost Friends
  • American Dirt
  • The Dutch House
  • The Winemaker's Wife
  • Dear Edward
  • This Tender Land
  • The Huntress
  • The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek
  • Ask Again, Yes
  • The Lost Girls of Paris
  • All the Ways We Said Goodbye
  • The Henna Artist
  • The Wives
  • Lost Roses (Lilac Girls, #2)
  • Resistance Women
  • In Five Years
See similar books…
1,918 followers
Kelly Rimmer is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author of ten novels, including The Secret Daughter and The Things We Cannot Say. She’s sold more than one million books, and her novels have been translated into more than 20 languages. Kelly lives in the Central West of New South Wales with her family and fantastically naughty dogs, Sully and Basil.

Related Articles

The must-read summer beach book is a kind of American tradition. The crash of the waves. The glare of the sun. The sand in the pages. Is t...
48 likes · 25 comments
“What happens when stories like theirs are lost? What happens when there’s no one left to pass your experience on to, or you just can’t bring yourself to share it?” 5 likes
“Life doesn't work that way, Alina. Hatred spreads - it doesn't burn out with time. Someone needs to stand up and stop it.” 5 likes
More quotes…