Rae's Reviews > The Things We Cannot Say

The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer
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Anyone who has read my reviews for a wee while will know I love Kelly Rimmer’s contemporary family dramas, so I was interested when she shifted genre with The Things We Cannot Say, historical fiction inspired by true events. Set during World War Two, in Nazi occupied Poland, Alina Dziak is a teenager working hard on her parents’ farm, desperate for news of her sweetheart, Tomasz. As the weeks and months pass, and the Nazis’ grip tightens, rumours of camps grow, until one terrifying evening when Alina is forced to make a heart-breaking decision.

This is a dual timeline story where in the present day we meet Alice; a busy mum of two, juggling visits to her gravely ill grandmother, whilst sticking to the rigid routine required by her beloved, autistic son, Eddie. Alice makes little time for herself, and her relationship with her husband, Wade is suffering. But by helping her grandmother piece together her history, can Alice find herself again?

Whether writing contemporary fiction or dual timeline, Kelly Rimmer is brilliant at writing real characters whose relationships are messy and difficult and awkward, but always founded in love. At times, I felt teary when considering the devastating grief and hardship ordinary folks endured. Much of The Things We Cannot Say is connected to voice, those who have it removed through terror; those who lose it through illness; those, like Eddie, who find it impossible to find the words needed to navigate the world.

It is not only Alice who learned from Alina’s story. I learned lots too. The Things We Cannot Say is a heart-breaking novel about secrets, sacrifice, courage and family.
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Reading Progress

August 23, 2018 – Shelved
August 23, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
May 10, 2021 – Started Reading
May 15, 2021 – Finished Reading

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