17 Feb 2020

#Review: THE THINGS WE CANNOT SAY by Kelly Rimmer


Author: Kelly Rimmer
Series: N/A
Source: Purchased from Audible
Publisher: Graydon House
Publication Date: October 17, 2019
Overall Rating:
Diversity Rating:

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.
Amazon | Chapters | TBD
I liked this one as a romance novel but it really didn't feel all that historical imo. I liked the dual narrative and seeing how they connected but I am meh about the historical aspects of it.

I think the synopsis is a little misleading because it focuses so much on Alice's life and the modern setting. The historical aspect felt like an afterthought. In all honesty, it could have easily just been a romance novel of like a grandmother telling her story and a granddaughter living her life and it would have had the same impact, but probably resonated better.

I was waiting for the WW2 aspects to be more fleshed out and really truly delivered to us but they just weren't there. It felt like there was a war in the background and while that made the characters move around and do what they did, it didn't really impact them. We knew that nothing too bad was going to happen and while a lot of it was heartbreaking, it wasn't a war love story but a love story with a background war.

I didn't really like or connect to a lot of the characters but I definitely hated Alice's husband and I hated that she conceeded to him so often, especially at the end. He was a terrible father, supporter, and provider and straight women shouldn't have to deal with shit like that.

Overall, I'm not sure if I would recommend it if you're looking for historical fiction, but if you want a heartbreaking love story with some modern aspects, this is definitely the book for you!

Have you read this one? What was your favourite part?

1 comment:

  1. Such an important book about history, sacrifice and the many faces of adoration. I wish I could place this volume in everybody's hands. The genre "women's fiction" sells it short. This is literary fiction at its finest, weaving a chilling tale of fearless resistance in WWII Poland with contemporary descendants in present day Florida. The plot carries readers through a granddaughter's desperate race to solve the mysterious last wishes of a precious Grandmother who has lost communication skills after a stroke. A perspective changer that will stay in your heart long after you've turned the last page.


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