Judy D Collins's Reviews > Things You Won't Say

Things You Won't Say by Sarah Pekkanen
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A special thank you to Atria Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

THINGS YOU WON'T SAY is Sarah Pekkanen's "best work" thus far; she keeps getting better and better--if this is even possible!

An avid fan for many years, having read all of Sarah's books--she has always had a "thumb" on modern day relationships and parenting, and interjects plenty of wit and humor, wisdom, and inspiration; tackling single life, marriage, extended family, ex-wives, careers, divorce, and other contemporary issues, like no other, appealing to a wide audience of women.

In her latest compelling novel, the ongoing theme is parenting and communication, with three very different women: Jamie, Lou, and Christie; however, as an added bonus, Pekkanen tackles some highly-charged emotional topics, crossing genres with racial, police procedural, a shooting, mystery/crime, firearms, motherhood, teens, family bonds, and emotional human dynamics--making THINGS YOU WON'T SAY a gripping, and thought-provoking suspenseful read, with well-developed characters, keeping you glued to the pages for hours.

Jamie, age thirty-two, is a mother of three children; Sam (age eight), Eloise (age three), and Emily (age six). She is a busy mom and married to a cop, Mike. Years ago, before meeting Jamie, Mike had a relationship with Christie and they have a teenage son, Henry, sharing joint custody. Jamie is a wonderful step mom to Henry, unfortunately, Christie is always in their life and most of the time, not a plus – now she is a character!

Recently things have been stressed as Mike’s best friend and partner, Ritchie was shot in the line of duty, and will never be the same. Mike has much guilt as his friend walked out the door a step ahead of his partner, and he was not hurt.

To further complicate matters, Mike goes back to work after the incident, with PTSD, and now in the middle of an investigation when he shoots a Hispanic teenager trying to protect another fellow cop partner, breaking up a gang fight. However, all fingers and blame at pointed at Mike, since they cannot prove the teen had a gun.

Jamie has always been the protector of the family – her husband, and children; however, now she cannot fix their life this time and her marriage is falling apart. Jamie, the narrator seeks desperately to save her family and her marriage. However, she has to deal with the ex- Christie, who is totally the opposite, dressing provocatively, not a very responsible parent, acts impulsively, and happens to be there to support Mike and believes in his innocence when Jamie has doubts. No one seems to be communicating.

Christie brings so much fun to the book, as you will laugh out loud. She never fits in, and always getting into trouble. She gets a new job working for a PI, and going undercover to help weed out cheating husbands. She is hilarious and at the same time she is the one who steps up to help Mike. Of course, she would like to have Mike for herself and uses Henry, her son sometimes to get close to him.

With much friction from the two different women, readers get to see two opposite women in a realistic situation. Personally, I have been the wife, mother, the ex-wife, step-mom, and had to deal with ex-wives; not fun, so had to laugh at some of the things which were right on—how a lack of communication can lead you to ponder, things are not always as they appear.

Lou, the single sister, of Jamie is another major part of the story. Poor Lou is not a girly girl, and works for a zoo, as a full time animal keeper, and loves her job-she is not cut out to work in an office. She also works a second job at a coffee shop, to pay the bills.

She would rather sleep with the animals if she could. The guy she lives with has dumped her for another girl and all the while she still lives in the same apartment with him. Awkward! You feel so bad for her as she is run out of her own house, and the roommate she hooks up with is horrible, and then she takes time off from her job to help her sister, and at the same time she is there with love, passion, and devotion with her beloved elephant, Tabitha when giving birth. All three women connect in some ways with a powerful motherhood bond, making each woman unique in their own way.

Pekkanen can write chick-lit, humor, and women's contemporary fiction, like a rock star, right up there with Jennifer Weiner and Emily Giffin; however, with her latest, she has moved up next to Jodi Picoult, delivering a complex portrayal and exploration of human emotions with much depth and sensitivity, appealing to fans of all three authors with her latest "must read!."

Fans of Picoult's Leaving Time will enjoy the elephant/human motherhood connection. I enjoyed reading about the inspiration behind the book, and Christie's character was SO MUCH FUN--keeping me laughing throughout the book!

An ideal choice for book clubs and group discussions, with a detailed readers club guide included. Well-done, Sarah, another winner-highly recommend all her books!

JDCMustReadBooks
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Reading Progress

February 12, 2015 – Shelved
February 12, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
March 27, 2015 – Started Reading
March 27, 2015 – Shelved as: 2015-new-releases
March 27, 2015 – Shelved as: sarah-pekkanen
March 27, 2015 – Shelved as: netgalley-arc
March 29, 2015 –
page 100
28.41% "Love it! Have read all Sarah's books- "all must-reads!""
March 29, 2015 –
page 150
42.61%
March 31, 2015 –
page 200
56.82% "Christine is so funny! Loving the character mix and storyline."
April 1, 2015 –
page 275
78.13%
April 2, 2015 – Shelved as: books-read-in-2015
April 2, 2015 – Shelved as: womens-fiction
April 2, 2015 – Shelved as: racial
April 2, 2015 – Shelved as: mystery
April 2, 2015 – Shelved as: contemporary-fiction
April 2, 2015 – Shelved as: cops
April 2, 2015 – Shelved as: crime
April 2, 2015 – Shelved as: parenting
April 2, 2015 – Shelved as: relationships
April 2, 2015 – Shelved as: marriage
April 2, 2015 – Shelved as: chick-lit
April 2, 2015 – Shelved as: humor
April 2, 2015 – Shelved as: elephants
April 2, 2015 – Shelved as: family-drama
April 2, 2015 – Finished Reading

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