Rating: 5/ 5
I’ve seen a lot of wonderful reviews singing the praises of THE THINGS WE CANNOT SAY by Kelly Rimmer and it made it onto my TBR. When I pulled the challenge prompt for a history or historical fiction, this was the title that came up in suggestions, so I downloaded the audiobook.
THE THINGS WE CANNOT SAY follows two timelines. In 1942 Poland, Alina is a young girl i love with her best friend Tomasz. As the Nazis begin to take over the country, Alina is left at home with her parents to keep up the family farm and struggle to survive the occupation. In the present day, Alice is mother to two children, one a highly intelligent daughter in need of constant stimulation and a nonverbal young son on the autism spectrum. On top of this, her beloved grandmother has had a stroke which impacts her language, but it is clear that there is some mystery back in Poland that she wants Alice to find out!
Everyone who recommend this one and gave it all the praise did not steer me wrong – I loved this book! Though I had some idea of some of the twists and connections the author was building to, the story of these strong women and the beautiful narrative kept me hooked throughout. I thought that the audio was really well done. I had hoped that my hold on the ebook would come through as well, but I was so engaged with the narration that I finished the audiobook in less than a day!
There are a lot of World War II novels out there, but this one really felt new and fresh. Getting the perspective of Alina in Poland, the author really focused well on what would be seen and felt by a young girl in her position. Alina was forced to grow up quickly, but still she was somewhat sheltered to the extent her parents could do so. There are still certainly plenty of atrocities that Alina did witness, so not all of the novel was an easy read.
If you haven’t had a chance to pick this one up, I would highly recommend it. I will absolutely be adding more by Kelly Rimmer to my TBR!
#AroundTheYearIn52Books – a history or historical fiction