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The Things We Cannot Say

4.55  ·  Rating details ·  881 ratings  ·  324 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
Hardcover, First, 448 pages
Published March 19th 2019 by Graydon House
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Asteropê Amazon US: This title will be released on March 19, 2019.

Community Reviews

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4.55  · 
Rating details
 ·  881 ratings  ·  324 reviews

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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
Lindsay - Traveling Sister
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
(Bern) Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas
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
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, arc, blog-tour
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
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
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
Brenda - Traveling Sister
Mar 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
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

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
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
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
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
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
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
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
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
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
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
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 😊
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“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?”

The Things We Cannot Say is the sixth novel by best-selling Australian author, Kelly Rimmer. On a farm in southern Poland in 1940, seventeen-year-old Alina Dziak lives in hope. Her twin brothers have been sent to work camps by the Nazis. The occupying force takes all their farm produces. Her life has shrunk to the farm and her family
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
Brooke - One Woman's Brief Book Reviews

The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer. (2019).

In 2019, Alice struggles with supporting all of her family while also caring for her son Eddie who has autism spectrum disorder. Her grandmother is dying and has asked Alice to go to Poland to discover what happened to those she held dear. Alice begins to uncover the story her grandmother wants told and a painful family history is revealed...
In World War II, Alina and Tomasz are childhoo
Sep 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love historical fiction especially novels about WWII. There have been so many of them the last few years that it would be easy to keep reading the same story over and over but once again an author has totally put a different spin on the story and it read like a story of a time period that I knew very little about. The book was well written and very well researched with characters that I really cared about and that I cried with during the book.

This is a dual time line novel. Time line 1 is pres
ʚϊɞ Shelley ʚϊɞ
Kelly Rimmer is truly a gifted author and always manages to blow me away. In The Things We Cannot Say she manages to combine historical fiction, women’s fiction, mystery and even a touch of romance— and she does it brilliantly. This novel is captivating, fascinating and most of all, inspiring (and very loosely based on the story of her family). This is the kind of book that stays with you, I haven’t gotten these characters out of my head, a true testament to amazing writing. The compelling and w ...more
Tanja ~ T's Book ~ KT Book Reviews
The Things We Cannot Say is the second book of Rimmer's I've had the privilege of reading. Once again I am transported into another time. Completely immersed and unable to put it down. Past and present converge making this such a beautifully heartbreaking read. Truly, I needed a case of tissues. Two woman, two different decades, two ways to find hope and discover what the soul is capable of. Honestly I was blown away.

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Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-favorites
I am just completely blown away by what I just read. The raw emotion I felt while reading these words was so intense, at times I was a blubbering mess. Kelly Rimmer, you have written a remarkable novel that will defiantly stick with me!

The Things We Cannot Say is a unique combination of historical fiction and modern day life. We have two POV’s, one from Alina which is set during the 1940’s when Nazi was taking over Poland and each of her chapter’s broke my heart, I was so invested in Alina’s sto
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’m going to be honest. This book was not on my radar. I mean, I had seen it through social media here and there, but I read so much historical fiction, I didn’t jump for it as I hadn’t been familiar with Kelly Rimmer. Then my book bff reached out and said look, you have to read this. And assured me I would love it. We tend to have similar tastes save for a few oddballs, so trusted her. Let me just say – I am so glad I did.

This book is written from a different point of view than I’ve seen latel
Tina Woodbury
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh my goodness, I loved my first Kelly Rimmer book! It is an amazing story of love, family, perseverance, and survival.

We have a dual time period in this historical fiction novel. At first glance these two storylines could not be more different, but rest assured they come full circle in this incredibly touching story.

Alice and Wade Davis have two children, Eddie and Callie. Eddie is a sweet, autistic, little boy who keeps his mother quite busy. Callie is extremely intelligent and quickly becomes
Theresa Smith
There are two very powerful stories threaded together within this novel. Kelly Rimmer is well established as a contemporary author of merit, tackling topical issues within the domestic sphere. The Things We Cannot Say is a dual timeline narrative, so we are treated to one of Kelly’s emotionally charged contemporary stories along with a moving and immersive historical one, the two connected strongly by the threads of family. Poland’s history within the context of WWII is a very grim one, with the ...more
Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
"Breathe in. Oh! I found some air!
Breathe out. That will be the last of me. Now I will suffocate.
Breathe in. Oh! There is a little more air after all."

Oh this book. This one pulls at your tear ducts and heart strings HARD.

Present day, we see Alice dealing with her autistic child, her genius child and her extremely busy husband. Caught in a web of her own making but refusing to get help, she is now at the death bed of her Babscia and must do what her grandmother needs as her final wish... but
The book alternates between the stories of two women– Alina and Alice – and two timelines – the present day and Second World War Poland.

For me, the storyline told from the point of view of Alina was the more compelling and powerful. Her experiences and those of her family and community as Poland comes under the thrall of the Nazis are dramatically described. The day-to-day realities of food shortages, persecution (and worse) of Jews, the constant fear of reprisals and the agonies of not knowing
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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.