Paige's Corner - The Things We Cannot Say Review

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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.

*Summary from Goodreads.

*Note: this is the first time I have ever written a review (no seriously, ridiculous right?). So please bear with me as I learn to navigate this new blog thing.*

I go through phases where I am addicted to historical fiction, and they generally relate to the WWII era. Having read many in my short life, only 2 books have made me cry, and The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer is one of them.

Now, it wasn't exactly a tragic story, at least in my opinion. It takes place in 2 perspectices: One of them is Alina, taking place in the past, and the second is her granddaughter, Alice, taking place in the present. At first I struggled as to why we have Alice's POV at all because it didn't really feel important, up until you get probably in the middle of the book (I was listening to this on Audible, so it is hard to guage exactly where in the book, page wise). But then as things start to come together, even though you as the reader know exactly what the outcome is, going on the journey with these characters as secrets are revealed is heart wrenching. I felt so sorry for them the closer the big reveal got, even though I had predicted it pretty early in.

Overall, I was very pleased with how it was written, and I must add that the 2 narrators they had for this were amazing. They brought so much life into the story, and, frankly, their performances were so good that it made the book that much better. For all I know, I could have had a totally different feeling had I read the physical copy.

I rate this one a 4.5 out of 5. If you are a fan of historical fiction, this is high on my recommendation list.


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