It gives me great pleasure to welcome the fantastic, Kelly Rimmer, back to TWG today as I review her new novel, The Things We Cannot Say (published 7th March), as part of the blog tour. Many thanks to Anne Cater for the blog tour invite, and thank you to the publisher for the review copy. Here is my review:
2019. Life changed beyond recognition for Alice when her son, Eddie, was born with autism spectrum disorder. She must do everything to support him, but at what cost to her family? When her cherished grandmother is hospitalised, a hidden box of mementoes reveals a tattered photo of a young man, a tiny leather shoe and a letter. Her grandmother begs Alice to return to Poland to see what became of those she held dearest.
WWII. Alina and Tomasz are childhood sweethearts. The night before he leaves for college, Tomasz proposes marriage. But when their village falls to the Nazis, Alina doesn’t know if Tomasz is alive or dead.
2019. In Poland, separated from her family, Alice begins to uncover the story her grandmother is so desperate to tell, and discovers a love that bloomed in the winter of 1942. As a painful family history comes to light, will the struggles of the past and present finally reach a heartbreaking resolution?
What does TWG think?
Be still my beating heart….
Wow – even though I finished reading ‘The Things We Cannot Say’ a few days ago, a lump still forms in my throat whenever I think about it.
I admitted on social media that I had no idea how I was going to write my review, and I still stand by that (no, not in a bad way. Kelly Rimmer’s latest literary gem has a title which takes the words right out of my mouth; ‘The Things We Cannot Say’. There is so much I want to express about the beauty of the storyline and the characters, but for some reason I am struggling to put those thoughts into coherent sentences. I’m trying my best!
Okay so, this storyline is told from the viewpoint of Alina, a young Polish woman who has seen her fair share of heartbreak and devastation courtesy of the Second World War and the Nazi’s, and Alice, a mum who is about to embark on the journey of a lifetime. She just doesn’t know it yet. Both stories are, obviously, incredibly different, yet they are both connected in a way which only makes sense towards the latter half of the book.
Whilst I loved following Alina’s journey and learning more about the devastating effects the war had on Poland in 1942, the reality of the situation absolutely broke my heart. Kelly Rimmer described scenes which no-one should ever have to endure, many of which left me crying my eyes out due to the unfairness of it all. Innocent people. Lives lost. Separated from loved ones. And for what? A power trip? A moment of insanity for the Nazi’s?
The chapters which involved Alina’s journey were hard hitting, emotional, and devastating, yet they were combined beautifully due to the way the author believed in her characters and their love for each other. I genuinely think if Alina didn’t have the love of Tomasz, her life would have had a very different outcome.
Now, where Alice is concerned in the chapters containing ‘the present’, her relationship with her son, Eddie, once again brought tears to my eyes as he seemed like such a lovely little boy who just deserved to be understood. His relationship with Alice’s ‘babcia’ made my heart melt and once again showed the power of love in a different form.
I’m trying my best not to give anything away here, and it’s very hard!!
I adored ‘The Things We Cannot Say’ and the way that the entire storyline showcased the deep routed beauty of love, life and loss. Kelly Rimmer, once again has outdone herself in creating a story which was both beautifully written, and beautifully thought out. The strength of the characters journeys was so powerful, it made the entire storyline have such a wonderful, highly charged vibe to it.
This beautiful, beautiful book blew me away, broke my heart and then pieced it back together again. Babcia showed me that scars are an individual persons battle marks and that they’re something to be proud of. Hell, if Babcia was mine, I would be proud of her as well. Easily my top read of 2019 so far.