Book Review: The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer


Title: The Things We Cannot Say

By: Kelly Rimmer

Genre: Historical

Pages: 448

Release Date: February 26th, 2019

Publisher: Graydon House

Rating: ★★★★★


Summary from Goodreads:

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 engaged, Alina is unconcerned by reports of Nazi soldiers at the Polish border, believing her neighbors that they pose no real threat, and dreams instead of the day Tomasz returns from college in Warsaw so they can be married. But little by little, injustice by brutal injustice, the Nazi occupation takes hold, and Alina’s tiny rural village, its families, are divided by fear and hate. Then, as the fabric of their lives is slowly picked apart, Tomasz disappears. Where Alina used to measure time between visits from her beloved, now she measures the spaces between hope and despair, waiting for word from Tomasz and avoiding the attentions of the soldiers who patrol her parents’ farm. But for now, even deafening silence is preferable to grief.

Slipping between Nazi-occupied Poland and the frenetic pace of modern life, Kelly Rimmer creates an emotional and finely wrought narrative that weaves together two women’s stories into a tapestry of perseverance, loyalty, love and honor. The Things We Cannot Say is an unshakable reminder of the devastation when truth is silenced…and how it can take a lifetime to find our voice before we learn to trust it.


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I am a sucker for emotional reads. A good cry never heart anyone and this book is sure to make you cry.

The author has written a wonderfully intricate story that bridges time with part of the story in the here and now and the other half in the past. This doesn't always work well, but Kelly Rimmer pulls it off and I love it.

The title of the books has many meanings from a deep family secret, to a married couple unable to communicate and say what needs to be said, to a young autistic boy who has no voice(Oh be still my heart.) All these aspects are important to the story and bring a new depth to the typical WW2 genre.

This was a heartfelt story. Bring a tissue box.

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