Carolyn's Reviews > The Things We Cannot Say

The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer
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it was amazing
bookshelves: australian-author, contemporary, ww2, 2020, family

Kelly Rimmer has written a beautifully haunting book about love and resilience in times of unimaginable grief and loss. Written in two time lines, her main characters, Alina a young Polish woman and Alice a middle aged American mother are both strong women who imagine they are not brave but somehow find the inner strength and courage needed to help their loved ones.

Coping with a seven year old autistic son, without any help from her husband, as well as a gifted ten year old daughter, Alice's life becomes even more more of a struggle to cope when her beloved grandmother is hospitalised after a stroke. When her grandmother asks Alice to visit her home town in Poland for her before she dies, she wonders how this could even be possible.

I loved this story of Alice's journey of discovery where she heard for the first time about her grandmother's life in war torn Poland, her enduring love for her fiance Tomasz and the atrocities carried out on the Polish people by the invading Nazis. I loved both the main female characters in the novel. Alina came across as a little spoilt initially as the youngest of three children on a farm but the deprivations of the war and her love for her fiance Tomasz, away studying Medicine soon helped her shake off her self-centredness. I also enjoyed seeing the way Alice's relationship with her husband and son evolved during her search for her grandmother's past and I loved the relationship her son Eddie had with his great grandmother. The depiction of Eddie's autism felt well researched and gave us an insight into what it would be like to be a mother of a child with such a profound disability. Tomasz is also wonderful character, loyal and big hearted who is prepared to sacrifice all to make sure Alina is safe. A wonderful and inspiring story that will resonate with me for some time. Even if you feel you have read too many WW2 books lately, I recommend you read this one.

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Reading Progress

March 27, 2019 – Shelved
March 27, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
March 27, 2019 – Shelved as: australian-author
March 29, 2019 – Shelved as: owned-tbr
March 29, 2019 – Shelved as: contemporary
March 29, 2019 – Shelved as: ww2
February 8, 2020 – Started Reading
February 8, 2020 – Shelved as: 2020
February 9, 2020 – Finished Reading
February 11, 2020 – Shelved as: family

Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)

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Sharon Wonderful review, Carolyn. Glad you enjoyed it :)


Dale Harcombe Great review Carolyn.. I agree it is a terrific book.


Carolyn Thanks Sharon & Dale - it was a very enjoyable read :)


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