The Things We Cannot Say
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.

The Things We Cannot Say Details

TitleThe Things We Cannot Say
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMar 19th, 2019
PublisherGraydon House
ISBN-139781525831515
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, War, World War II

The Things We Cannot Say Review

  • Angela M
    January 1, 1970
    This is a story of war, of family, of loss, of sacrifice, of the goodness of people trying to save others because they saw each other as human beings, not as Jews or Catholics, and at its heart is a beautiful love story. It’s an important story as all Holocaust stories are because it’s focus is on the importance of remembering the things that happened, the importance of sharing those stories. So many novels these days are comprised of dual narratives, one in the past and one in a more modern tim This is a story of war, of family, of loss, of sacrifice, of the goodness of people trying to save others because they saw each other as human beings, not as Jews or Catholics, and at its heart is a beautiful love story. It’s an important story as all Holocaust stories are because it’s focus is on the importance of remembering the things that happened, the importance of sharing those stories. So many novels these days are comprised of dual narratives, one in the past and one in a more modern time. They don’t always work, but that structure worked here perfectly and when the stories finally converged, even though the connection became apparent to me before that time, I cried. The moment was so emotional for the characters and Kelly Rimmer does a beautiful job of conveying it. I almost always like the historical part better in these dual time frame narratives, and I did this time in the first half, but towards the end I became equally engaged in the modern story. I was immediately taken by Alina and Tomasz, two young people falling in love just as the Nazis began occupying Poland. Their vow to be together no matter what, is challenged by the horrific deeds of the Nazis that seem to work against them and their families at every turn. Alice in the recent story, which alternates with Alina ‘s, has challenges of her own - a marriage that doesn’t seem to be working, a seven year old son on the autism spectrum, a precocious ten year old daughter, a mother who hasn’t approved of Alice’s life choices and a very sick grandmother whom she loves dearly. Alice’s grandmother after suffering a stroke is asking Alice to go to her birthplace in Poland and find some people from her past. She can’t speak but is able to communicate with a communication tool that Alice’s son Eddie uses, an app on an iPad. I loved the relationship that Eddie has with his great grandmother.Alina and Tomasz’s story and what is happening with the Nazi occupation and the affect on the town and these families is heartbreaking . Even though the camps and what is happening there is at a distance, the reader is not spared the horrific affects on the family, on the Jews around them. What happened in Alice’s grandmother’s past is something that she has not been able to bring herself to share until she is close to dying. Alice recognizes the importance of knowing the story. “What happens when stories like these are lost? What happens when there’s no one left to pass your experience on to, or you just can’t bring yourself to share it ?” I have often thought about how few Holocaust survivors are left.This is a heartbreakingly beautiful book and is all the more meaningful when Rimmer tells us in a note that she traveled to Poland to visit her grandmother’s childhood home. She comments briefly on her inspiration for the book here : http://www.betterreading.com.au/news/...At the end of the book there is a list of discussion questions. The last question asks what will you remember most about this book. I will remember how important it is that we don’t forget what happened. I will remember this very beautiful love story, the goodness of people reflected by characters like Tomasz.This was a group read with the Traveling Sisters. I received an advanced copy of this book from Harlequin - Graydon House Books through NetGalley.
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  • Lindsay - Traveling Sister
    January 1, 1970
    5 stars! Kelly Rimmer, you are a writing Queen!I read “Before I Let You Go” last year which was my first book by Kelly Rimmer. I finished that novel overcome with unshakable emotion and a feeling of being forever changed. That storyline and those characters still haunt me to this day. This novel, although a completely different type of storyline, left me feeling the exact same. I was teary during the first page of the Prologue. I felt an intense emotional connection to the characters in the firs 5 stars! Kelly Rimmer, you are a writing Queen!I read “Before I Let You Go” last year which was my first book by Kelly Rimmer. I finished that novel overcome with unshakable emotion and a feeling of being forever changed. That storyline and those characters still haunt me to this day. This novel, although a completely different type of storyline, left me feeling the exact same. I was teary during the first page of the Prologue. I felt an intense emotional connection to the characters in the first few pages of Chapter 1. What does this tell me? The power behind Kelly Rimmer’s writing is undeniably impactful. Her words resonate so deeply within me, in ways I find hard to describe. She has easily earned a spot on my Favourite Authors list.Alina Dziak is fifteen-years-old when this story begins in Nazi occupied Poland during WWII. She is engaged to Tomasz, her best friend who moved away to attend medical school. She dreams of their reunion when the chaos of war is a thing of the past and they can start a family. As the war persists, Alina has the opportunity to flee to safer territory where Tomasz could meet her to live the life they always dreamed of. Told in dual timelines, both narratives and storylines kept me fully engaged. The characters were unique and unforgettable. I read a lot of WWII novels and yet, this story introduced me to a completely different wartime perspective which I truly appreciate learning about. It’s why I love reading historical fiction. This was a Traveling Sister read that we all loved! To find this review, please visit our blog at: https://twosisterslostinacoulee.com/2...Thank you to Edelweiss, Graydon House and Kelly Rimmer for providing me with an ARC to read and review!The Things We Cannot Say is AVAILABLE NOW!
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  • (Bern) Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas
    January 1, 1970
    In The Things We Cannot Say Kelly Rimmer has penned a heartbreakingly powerful and hopeful love story set amidst the backdrop of war, loss and the unimaginable atrocities of WWII. Simply put this is the kind of book that grabs hold of you, envelopes you within it pages and holds on long after you have finished reading. I thoroughly enjoyed the way Rimmer told this story via a dual narrative - effortlessly weaving historical fiction with a modern day story. Alina's story is set amidst the harrow In The Things We Cannot Say Kelly Rimmer has penned a heartbreakingly powerful and hopeful love story set amidst the backdrop of war, loss and the unimaginable atrocities of WWII. Simply put this is the kind of book that grabs hold of you, envelopes you within it pages and holds on long after you have finished reading. I thoroughly enjoyed the way Rimmer told this story via a dual narrative - effortlessly weaving historical fiction with a modern day story. Alina's story is set amidst the harrowing timeframe of Nazi occupied Poland. Through her narrative we experience unimaginable atrocities of war, loss of family and friends and the heartbreak and joy of true love. I was completely drawn in by Alina's story. Her strength and capacity to love and remain hopeful in such a dark time was as heartwarming as it was heartbreaking. The second narrative is set in present day. Alice is dealing with a stressful homelife - an autistic son, a gifted daughter, a marriage in crisis and her beloved Babica's (grandmother) stroke. Knowing her time on this earth is coming to an end, Babica tasks Alice with returning to her childhood country of Poland to find people from her past. The journey Alice embarks on for her Babica was so poignant. As she uncovered her story, a story her Babica could never share, she not only uncovered her grandmother's truths but also discovered her own truths along the way. This story was filled with amazing relationships. Rimmer is not afraid to explore family and all the complications that come with it. This is not about perfection. It's messy, complicated, filled with arguments, strife and doubt but at its core its solid and founded on love. This is my second book by Kelly Rimmer (the first being Before I Let You Go ) and she has unequivocally captured me as a fan. She captures human emotion with such heart and unflinching honesty. I urge you to add this one to the top of your must read list. You will not be sorry. A huge thank you to Kelly Rimmer, Harlequin, Graydon House Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review an arc of this amazing book.
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  • KAS
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 starsI am having a hard time coming up with the words to describe the beauty and the heartbreak of this story. When it leaves you practically speechless and continually thinking about the significance of what you just read, that pretty much ‘says’ it all.There are dual narratives within the storyline. One told in the past and one in the present. One a grandmother, the other her granddaughter. The past takes you back to WWII and what the grandmother and her fellow countrymen endured during th 4.5 starsI am having a hard time coming up with the words to describe the beauty and the heartbreak of this story. When it leaves you practically speechless and continually thinking about the significance of what you just read, that pretty much ‘says’ it all.There are dual narratives within the storyline. One told in the past and one in the present. One a grandmother, the other her granddaughter. The past takes you back to WWII and what the grandmother and her fellow countrymen endured during the Nazi occupation of Poland. The present is how the granddaughter helps her grandmother find the answers she seeks and reconcile with the events of that horrific time in history.This is one of those remarkable, and unforgettable reads. One that still leaves you stunned the Holocaust ever occurred. It is also about hope, family and sacrificial love.
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  • Berit☀️✨
    January 1, 1970
    This beautifully crafted story weaves together the present and the past seamlessly with threads of heartbreak, sacrifice, and love!Two strong women, two unique voices, two different times, one stunning tale! Kelly Rimmer has spun a story Full of survival and love that you won’t soon forget! Miss Rimmer has poured her heart, her hope, and her own personal family history into these pages. No matter how many books I read about WWII I am always deeply impacted by the horror of war and the power of This beautifully crafted story weaves together the present and the past seamlessly with threads of heartbreak, sacrifice, and love!Two strong women, two unique voices, two different times, one stunning tale! Kelly Rimmer has spun a story Full of survival and love that you won’t soon forget! Miss Rimmer has poured her heart, her hope, and her own personal family history into these pages. No matter how many books I read about WWII I am always deeply impacted by the horror of war and the power of hate. I am also humbled by the sacrifice, generosity, and love of so many.This book jumps between 1940s Poland and today. Both stories completely captivated me seemingly disconnected, but as more pieces were added to the puzzle things started to become more clearer. Alice’s story took place in present day, she is the mother of seven-year-old Eddie and 10-year-old Callie. Eddie is on the autism spectrum and nonverbal. Alice’s main focus in life now is to create an environment best suited for Eddie’s needs, something her husband Wade does not always understand or appreciate. When Alice’s beloved grandmother has a stroke and asks Alice to travel to Poland, will Alice refuse her grandmother’s dying wish? How can Alice’s family survive without her? Wade does not seem to understand all of Eddie’s quirks and needs. Poland late 1930s-early 1940s. Alina is a naïve teenager who thinks the hardest thing in her life will be staying away from her beloved fiancé Tomasz while he is away at college. It isn’t too long however before Alina Has to look reality right in the face. Germany has invaded Poland, her twin brothers are sent off to work camps, food is scarce, and freedom is gone. Alina soon learns that she is much stronger and vraver than she ever would have thought. Two courageous women faced with some pretty big challenges, how will their stories intertwine?Alice and Alina were amazing women with big hearts and to whom family means everything. As a mother I really felt for Alice, i’d imagine it would be very difficult, challenging, and yet rewarding to have a child with special needs. I appreciated how this book addressed the impact this has on the family dynamics and the marriage. I loved Eddie’s bond with his great grandmother. I found the technology fascinating that he used( and Great grandma did as well) to communicate. Alina was a remarkable young lady, her story was both heartbreaking and heartwarming. her strength and courage were admirable. It never fails to amaze me how far you can push the human spirit without it breaking, the resilience of so many inspires me.A beautifully told stunning story packed with heart, hope, and emotion, have your tissue handy! Absolutely 100% recommend! Song Running Through My Head I will remember you, will you remember me?Don't let your life pass you by,Weep not for the memoriesRemember the good times that we had?I let them slip away from us when things got bad.How clearly I first saw you smilin' in the sunWant to feel your warmth upon meI want to be the oneI will remember you, will you remember me?Don't let your life pass you byWeep not for the memoriesI'm so tired but I can't sleepStandin' on the edge of something much to deepIt's funny how we feel so much but we cannot say a wordWe are screaming inside, but we can't be heardI will remember you, will you remember me?Don't let your life pass you byWeep not for the memoriesI'm so afraid to love youBut more afraid to loseClinging to…https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=oxoEpVD...*** many thanks to Headline for my copy of this book ***
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  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    January 1, 1970
    One of my 2019 favorites! A can’t miss if you love powerful historical fiction! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ Told in two timelines, we hear from Alina Dziak in 1942 just as she gets married in a Russian refugee camp. Her decision to marry will change her life and bury a lie for decades. Young Alina Dziak grows up in Poland falling in love early with her best friend, Tomasz. She is engaged at fifteen, around the same time Nazi solders arrive at the border. Tomasz is away at college in Warsaw, and she waits for him One of my 2019 favorites! A can’t miss if you love powerful historical fiction! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ Told in two timelines, we hear from Alina Dziak in 1942 just as she gets married in a Russian refugee camp. Her decision to marry will change her life and bury a lie for decades. Young Alina Dziak grows up in Poland falling in love early with her best friend, Tomasz. She is engaged at fifteen, around the same time Nazi solders arrive at the border. Tomasz is away at college in Warsaw, and she waits for him to return so they can marry. Alina’s quiet little town is taken over by Nazis, and the climate becomes divisive and hateful. At the same time, Tomasz completely disappears. She waits and waits to hear from Tomasz as Nazi soldiers patrol her family’s farm. The second timeline features Alice, in modern times, and the mother of a child with autism. She also cares for her aging Babcia to whom she is very close. Babcia has secrets, and after having a stroke, she wants to talk and make requests at a time when she it’s not easy for her. Kelly Rimmer knows how to write dual timeline stories. I was hooked on both narrators and their lives. As with all of her books, The Things We Cannot Say is powerful, epic, and so emotional. It’s full of love, loyalty, steadfastness, and hope. It’s about how silence can devastate and takes years or generations from which to heal. Overall, The Things We Cannot Say is about seeing the good in those around us and believing in the power of redemption. I ate this book up from start to finish, and it’s on my list of favorites this year. It’s huggable, emotional, and beautifully-written. Did I already mention you shouldn’t miss it?! I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own. My reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to Netgalley and Harlequin-Graydon House Books for a digital galley in exchange for an honest review. Well, this was such a great WWII era dual narrative that I am sure that it is going to be nominated for a Goodreads Choice Award later this year. In the contemporary storyline, you have Alice, a stay at home mother of two, who finds herself disconnected from her husband, criticized by her mother, and every day fighting on behalf of her special needs son. When her ailing grandmother, Han Thanks to Netgalley and Harlequin-Graydon House Books for a digital galley in exchange for an honest review. Well, this was such a great WWII era dual narrative that I am sure that it is going to be nominated for a Goodreads Choice Award later this year. In the contemporary storyline, you have Alice, a stay at home mother of two, who finds herself disconnected from her husband, criticized by her mother, and every day fighting on behalf of her special needs son. When her ailing grandmother, Hanna, pleads with Alice to make a trip to Poland, she soon realizes that neither she nor her family will ever be the same again. In the 1938-1945 storyline, we have Alina, the youngest of four, who lives on the farm with her twin brothers and their hardworking parents in Poland. The story begins with Alina making a pledge to her childhood love, Tomasz, who is heading to Warsaw to study to be a physician. With the approval of their families, the couple agree to wait until Alina is older and Tomasz has completed his studies. But as time goes by and rumours begin to swirl that Hitler's army plans to cross the border into Poland and anti-semitism grows in the village below, Alina soon realizes that the life she knew no longer exists. The tears that I cried as I read the climax of this story would probably rival the Niagara. Although Kelly Rimmer is an established author, this was my first experience with her storytelling and now I am hungry to read more. I felt that the author's note was deeply fascinating and the fact that it is inspired by some of Rimmer's own family history makes this book so memorable. Goodreads review 24/03/19
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  • Sharon
    January 1, 1970
    LOVED IT LOVED IT LOVED IT!!!I’m not sure what I can say about this outstanding book that hasn’t already been said. I like many other readers absolutely LOVED this book and found it extremely hard to put down. This was a dual timeline story and Aussie author Kelly Rimmer has done an exceptionally well job in constructing this part of the book as the story flows so smoothly between the two time periods making it not only an easy story to follow, but also a very enjoyable one. Things We Cannot Say LOVED IT LOVED IT LOVED IT!!!I’m not sure what I can say about this outstanding book that hasn’t already been said. I like many other readers absolutely LOVED this book and found it extremely hard to put down. This was a dual timeline story and Aussie author Kelly Rimmer has done an exceptionally well job in constructing this part of the book as the story flows so smoothly between the two time periods making it not only an easy story to follow, but also a very enjoyable one. Things We Cannot Say is a very moving, compelling and heartwarming story that covers many topics such as war, love, loss and friendship. I’ve mentioned in my reviews many times now that historical fiction is my favourite genre and once you read this book you’ll understand why. This would have to be one of my top reads so far 2019. If you haven’t read this book then please do yourself a favour and read this book. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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  • Nilufer Ozmekik
    January 1, 1970
    Five remarkable, epic, tear jerking stars! The title gives us a clue that something kept secret in this family. But this poetically written, heartwarming, amazing story is not about the family secrets , it’s about the words we keep inside and it’s about the emotions we hide. It’s about the reconnection of the family by reaching their roots and discovering their ancestors and an epic, unconditional, never ending love story defeats the time, dead and war. Our two heroines Alice, Alina are coming f Five remarkable, epic, tear jerking stars! The title gives us a clue that something kept secret in this family. But this poetically written, heartwarming, amazing story is not about the family secrets , it’s about the words we keep inside and it’s about the emotions we hide. It’s about the reconnection of the family by reaching their roots and discovering their ancestors and an epic, unconditional, never ending love story defeats the time, dead and war. Our two heroines Alice, Alina are coming from different generations. Alina is young, good hearted and always protected by her family. During the struggling war times, she loses her loved ones and her family comfort zone which pushes her take braver decisions for her life. The love she has for Tomazs help her gather her strength, fight for all the obstacles by taking dangerous risks.And Alice is trapped in a life, responsibilities of her little boy, suffering from Asperger syndrome and her genius daughter, neglected by her workaholic husband. By giving up her work life, she is dedicated herself to her children but when she gives her word to her grandmother to find her ancestors in Poland, she finally understands how lost she is. By leaving her comfort zone, learning to be brave, she finds herself as like Alina has done decades ago. This book about finding yourself, taking risks, making sacrifices, reaching to your inner strengths, looking at your life from different perspective, fighting for your own beliefs till the end and true love stands still no matter life throws the toughest obstacles in the lovers’ way. I loved “ Before I let you go”, an emotional, poignant family story. But this book is deeply affecting, lyrical, life changing and I absolutely loved this one more!
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  • Brenda - Traveling Sister
    January 1, 1970
    The Things We Cannot Say is a heartbreaking, heartwarming hopeful story that explores love, loss, hardship, sacrifice and the relationships that bond people together. Through duel timelines we see the bonds between a family and the things they cannot say and the things that bring them together.What really stood out for me and what I really loved about this story was the compelling and emotional layered duel timelines and how they connected the story and the family. We see the historical side to The Things We Cannot Say is a heartbreaking, heartwarming hopeful story that explores love, loss, hardship, sacrifice and the relationships that bond people together. Through duel timelines we see the bonds between a family and the things they cannot say and the things that bring them together.What really stood out for me and what I really loved about this story was the compelling and emotional layered duel timelines and how they connected the story and the family. We see the historical side to the story and then a modern side to it. Each is strong, interesting stories with their conflicts and heartache that shape the people they are. Now usually I like the historical timeline a tad more however in this story I preferred the modern one. I am always intrigued by storylines that revolve around an illness or disorder etc and we see how that affects family dynamics.The story comes together in an emotional and powerful ending that will surely have you reaching for tissues. After reading this one we were left a mess, cried a bit and then shared our thoughts with each other. This is the type of story to share with someone and I am glad to be able to share with Lindsay and a couple of our Traveling Sisters.Thank you to Edelweiss, Graydon House and HarperCollins Canada for my copy to read and review!
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    Kelly Rimmer has done it again. If you haven’t read anything by this woman, I urge to pick up a book, any book, by her. She has a way of making you feel all the feels and leaves you with a pile of tissues beside you, but she doesn’t just rip your heart out, she sews it up and puts it back in its place. This story is a little bit of everything; historical fiction, women’s fiction, domestic drama and a love story, all rolled up into one. The story alternates between Alice, in the present day and h Kelly Rimmer has done it again. If you haven’t read anything by this woman, I urge to pick up a book, any book, by her. She has a way of making you feel all the feels and leaves you with a pile of tissues beside you, but she doesn’t just rip your heart out, she sews it up and puts it back in its place. This story is a little bit of everything; historical fiction, women’s fiction, domestic drama and a love story, all rolled up into one. The story alternates between Alice, in the present day and her grandmother, Alina in the late 1930’s, early 1940’s Nazi occupied Poland. The Things We Cannot Say is a powerful book that kept me turning pages long after I should have been sleeping. I just can’t say enough about this book and the way that Rimmer continues to blow me away with her writing and story-telling. I highly recommend this book to all lovers of historical fiction, domestic dramas and anyone who just loves a good, heartfelt story. It’s a story of war, yes, but it is also a story of love, hope, strength, courage and how two women, in two very different times, come into their own. Thank you to Harlequin – Graydon House Books for my copy of this book via NetGalley
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  • Esil
    January 1, 1970
    The Things We Cannot Say is told in two timelines, like many historical novels these days. The earlier timeline is set during WWII, and told from Alina’s perspective. Alina is in her late teens, living on a farm in Poland, where she and her family are trying to survive after the Nazi occupation. The second timeline is told from Alice’s perspective. While Alice tries to juggle a complicated family situation, her 95 year old grandmother Hannah asks her to go back to Poland to find Tomasc. This doe The Things We Cannot Say is told in two timelines, like many historical novels these days. The earlier timeline is set during WWII, and told from Alina’s perspective. Alina is in her late teens, living on a farm in Poland, where she and her family are trying to survive after the Nazi occupation. The second timeline is told from Alice’s perspective. While Alice tries to juggle a complicated family situation, her 95 year old grandmother Hannah asks her to go back to Poland to find Tomasc. This doesn’t make sense to Alice, because her grandfather Tomasc died of dementia the year before. So from the get go, it’s clear that there’s a mystery in Alice’s family that is linked to Alina’s story. I absolutely loved the historical part of the story. Alina and her family are great characters, and Rimner really captures the different emotions they experience as they try to survive in such a crazy upside down terrifying world. I wasn’t as enamoured of Alice’s story line, although I really liked her trip to Poland. There was a lot of drama and chaos in Alice’s life that didn’t seem entirely necessary to telling Alina’s story. I especially didn’t like the depiction of Alice’s mother, who is portrayed negatively as an older ambitious feminist, who is too consumed by her work to properly care for her mother Hannah or her daughter Alice. But this was still well worth reading for Alina’s story. I quickly guessed the mystery, but that’s besides the point. I felt that Rimner did a great job depicting the atrocities and courage that come with war. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an opportunity to read an advance copy.
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  • DJ Sakata
    January 1, 1970
    Favorite Quotes:There was nothing to bury, no body to conduct a service over. Instead, we heard that he was gone, and that was that… Nothing had changed, except that nothing was the same anymore, because once I had two brothers, and now I had one… Our oppression was loss without reason, and pain without a purpose.I didn’t yet understand the horrific depths of the evil of the Nazi agenda— but somehow in the moonlight that night, I felt the loss of humanity, a very pause in the heartbeat of our sh Favorite Quotes:There was nothing to bury, no body to conduct a service over. Instead, we heard that he was gone, and that was that… Nothing had changed, except that nothing was the same anymore, because once I had two brothers, and now I had one… Our oppression was loss without reason, and pain without a purpose.I didn’t yet understand the horrific depths of the evil of the Nazi agenda— but somehow in the moonlight that night, I felt the loss of humanity, a very pause in the heartbeat of our shared existence on this planet.War breaks us down to nothing more than our most selfish will to survive— but when we rise above that instinct, miracles can still happen.Life has a way of shattering our expectations, of leaving our hopes in pieces without explanation. But when there’s love in a family, the fragments left behind from our shattered dreams can always be pulled together again, even if the end result is a mosaic.My Review:This captivating tale was my introduction to the breathtaking storytelling of Kelly Rimmer, and it was an exceptional and epic experience. I was immediately embroiled in the vastly different situations and timelines that consumed and defined Alice and Alina’s worlds, with each storyline cast with curiously and uniquely fascinating characters and circumstances. The writing was craftily emotive, intriguing, and devastating. I was well and fully hooked and sat riveted to my Kindle while alternating between cringing, sighing, and occasionally gasping and gulping past the hot rocks in my throat. I was wrecked, gutted, and burning with indignation over the well-orchestrated and demonic cruelty perpetrated by the Nazis as a whole and at the individual level. I cannot begin to imagine the massive amount of research involved to pull all the various historic and profoundly complicated elements together. However, I am even more impressed and completely awed by the elegance and mastery in finessing such a poignant and thoughtfully compelling narrative among the ghastly backdrop of occupied Poland in Alina’s timeline, as well as the emotional challenges and troublesome issues of dealing with a beloved dying family member on top of the harried day to day considerations involved in caring for the specialized needs of a child on the autism spectrum in Alice’s timeline. Ms. Rimmer’s original premise and intensely engaging storylines were brilliantly crafted and flawlessly executed. She has just acquired a rabid fangirl, for life.
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  • Brenda
    January 1, 1970
    Alice was devastated when her grandmother, her beloved Babcia was hospitalized after a stroke. She and her mother were both aware Babcia was in her nineties and wouldn’t have much longer to live, and since Alice’s Pa had died, Babcia had become much more frail. When Babcia indicated to Alice that she wanted her to go to Poland to unearth the secrets from her past, Alice at first knew she couldn’t possibly make the journey. Her husband Wade was extremely busy with work, their seven-year-old son E Alice was devastated when her grandmother, her beloved Babcia was hospitalized after a stroke. She and her mother were both aware Babcia was in her nineties and wouldn’t have much longer to live, and since Alice’s Pa had died, Babcia had become much more frail. When Babcia indicated to Alice that she wanted her to go to Poland to unearth the secrets from her past, Alice at first knew she couldn’t possibly make the journey. Her husband Wade was extremely busy with work, their seven-year-old son Eddie was severely autistic and needed her constantly. And ten-year-old Callie – how could Alice leave them all?Alina and Tomasz, living with their families in the small town of Trzebinia in Poland, each knew they would be together forever. Before Tomasz left for college in Warsaw, he proposed to Alina and their families were delighted. But then the Nazis descended on the village and immediately lives changed and horror, cruelty and death arrived. Alina had no idea if Tomasz was alright; whether the war had even hit Warsaw – her heartache and worry was constant.Alice’s arrival in Trzebinia showed a very different town to 1942. Her search of that past was aided by a guide who specialized in family history, and Zofia was a friendly and helpful young woman. But would they find any answers? Everywhere they looked they were met with dead ends. Alice was desperate as the time frame for her Babcia was shrinking…As Aussie author Kelly Rimmer brings the heartbreaking past to life in The Things We Cannot Say, I was completely involved. The beautiful Polish countryside before the occupation; the hills and woods surrounding Trzebinia; Alina’s family of mother, father, twin brothers, sister and herself; Tomasz’s family – then 2019 and Alice and her family and the connections to a past they all knew nothing about. The Author’s Notes at the end of the novel were fascinating, as Rimmer explains where the idea for The Things We Cannot Say arose. This excellent historical fiction novel is a spectacular page turner which I devoured. Highly recommended.With thanks to Hachette AU for my ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Sally Hepworth
    January 1, 1970
    Kelly Rimmer has raised her already high bar with this unforgettable novel. It is that rare author that takes the reader so deeply into a world that you smell the smells, feel the hunger, see the devastation. Alina and Tomasz’s story is one of bravery, resilience, and the lengths we will go to for the ones we love. It felt so real to me that last night, when I finished reading, I cried for them. Not for myself, but for Alina and Tomasz. Also for the millions of people who lived this. Honestly, I Kelly Rimmer has raised her already high bar with this unforgettable novel. It is that rare author that takes the reader so deeply into a world that you smell the smells, feel the hunger, see the devastation. Alina and Tomasz’s story is one of bravery, resilience, and the lengths we will go to for the ones we love. It felt so real to me that last night, when I finished reading, I cried for them. Not for myself, but for Alina and Tomasz. Also for the millions of people who lived this. Honestly, I have read so many books about this period that I was skeptical as to whether I could be shown anything new. I was. If this book isn’t a giant bestseller, I will eat my hat. Fans of Jodi Picoult and Kristin Hannah now have a new go-to author.I’m so excited to see what happens to this special book
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  • DeAnn
    January 1, 1970
    5 outstanding historical fiction starsThis is a sweeping family saga that includes a poor farming community in Poland (very near to Auschwitz), a refugee camp in Soviet Russia, and the United States. There are all my favorite elements in this book: richly drawn and engaging characters, an historical backdrop that adds to the story, relationships that you are invested in and cheer for, and an ending that brought me to tears.The main characters are Alina, a young woman when WWII breaks out, and Al 5 outstanding historical fiction starsThis is a sweeping family saga that includes a poor farming community in Poland (very near to Auschwitz), a refugee camp in Soviet Russia, and the United States. There are all my favorite elements in this book: richly drawn and engaging characters, an historical backdrop that adds to the story, relationships that you are invested in and cheer for, and an ending that brought me to tears.The main characters are Alina, a young woman when WWII breaks out, and Alice, a mother in the US. Like many historical fiction books, this one features a present-day storyline and alternates with one from the past. Usually, I enjoy the past/historical timeline much more. In this book, however, I found both storylines compelling and engaging.In Poland, Alina and best friend Tomasz have grown up and fallen in love. They are engaged and Tomasz heads off to train to be a doctor in Warsaw. However, the events of the world conspire to threaten their romance and lives together. Their young love creates a strong bond that must overcome many obstacles. I was reminded that to the Nazis, Poles were one small step below Jewish people, and they were treated horribly. It was a time of despair and injustice, some took dangerous risks to hide Jewish people, and all struggled to find enough food to eat.In the US, Alice is struggling with a demanding son on the autism spectrum, a gifted daughter, and a fragile relationship with her husband. Her Polish grandmother is very ill and would like Alice to fly to Poland to unravel some of her past. This is made more difficult because she never spoke of her time during the war in Poland and now, she has suffered a stroke and speaking is very difficult. Alice really wants to take this on for her grandmother but is worried about leaving her family behind to cope without her.The two stories connect, and things reach an emotional summit during the trip to Poland. I recommend a box of tissues for the end of this book as the author totally engaged me in the fate of these characters. If you like historical fiction, read this book as soon as you can! I simply adored it and these characters will stay with me for a long time! I adored the last Kelly Rimmer book that I read -- “Before I Let You Go” – also a 5-star read for me. I really want to read her earlier books. This is a favorite author of mine now.Thank you to Edelweiss, Kelly Rimmer, and Graydon House for a copy to read in exchange for a review.
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  • Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    *https://mrsbbookreviews.wordpress.comOver a decade ago, Kelly Rimmer, the author of The Things We Cannot Say, started thinking about a novel set in occupied Poland about a young couple, along with a modern day woman grappling with the challenges of everyday family life. After a period of 18 months of continued writing, Kelly Rimmer has published her latest book. The Things We Cannot Say is a double timeline narrative, it is set both in the present day and in WWII Poland. It follows the lives of *https://mrsbbookreviews.wordpress.comOver a decade ago, Kelly Rimmer, the author of The Things We Cannot Say, started thinking about a novel set in occupied Poland about a young couple, along with a modern day woman grappling with the challenges of everyday family life. After a period of 18 months of continued writing, Kelly Rimmer has published her latest book. The Things We Cannot Say is a double timeline narrative, it is set both in the present day and in WWII Poland. It follows the lives of two women from the same family, joined together not only by blood, but by a sense of devotion to unlock a decades old secret that must be laid to rest.Alice is the present day protagonist of Kelly Rimmer’s latest novel, The Things We Cannot Say. Alice is a woman with a world on her shoulders. Her seven year old son Eddie, is a challenging child, diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Eddie struggles to understand the world around him and the world struggles to understand Eddie. It is a frustrating bind. Further challenges come Alice’s way when her much loved grandmother becomes ill and is placed under care in hospital. While Alice and her family try to spend their last treasured moments with their dear Babcia, a photograph, a letter and a relic from the past begs for attention. It sends Alice on a trip to Poland, in search of the truth to her grandmother’s previously hidden past. In World War II Poland, a young couple, Alina and Tomasz, are deeply in love but their relationship faces its biggest test ever, the threat of war and the presence of the Nazis has a devastating impact. As Alice in 2019 races against the clock to unlock her grandmother’s secret story from the past, Alice is confronted by her own stark reality. The Things We Cannot Say reaches a final and breathtaking conclusion, with both shocking and hopeful results.Kelly Rimmer is a storyteller with direction and purpose, she wanted to write a novel that looked at her maternal grandparent’s life living as a Polish couple affected by war. She knew that their journey to begin a new and safe life was not an easy one, by any means. So, Kelly Rimmer set about composing a story about the tenuous paths they took in search of an improved life. Most importantly, Kelly Rimmer wanted to ensure that the stories of the life her grandparents endured would not simply die with them. Books such as The Things We Cannot Say, work to fill this void, so that these heroic everyday people will not be eroded from our minds.In approaching The Things We Cannot Say, Kelly Rimmer has ventured into new territory, composing a historical fiction and a dual timeline narrative. Rimmer is a bestselling and highly regarded contemporary fiction novelist. She is no novice at tackling difficult issues, often those grey areas in our modern day lives. In the case of The Things We Cannot Say, she takes a strong glimpse into the world of living with a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder. I could sympathise with Alice, the mother of the child with ASD, at all points. I know as both a teacher of children this age and as a mother of a child of a similar age to Eddie, parenting a seven year old has incredible highs and lows. Adding a child with learning difficulties and communication issues is even harder. Rimmer highlights Alice’s family life with a tone of insight, respect and understanding. What I loved most about this contemporary narrative thread was the weight it held in the overall proceedings of the book and it may not be as obvious as first, but the links are integral.The past storyline sees us step into the shoes of Alina. I genuinely loved Alina’s story, it is one that will stay with me for some time to come. Kelly Rimmer takes her time to outline her historical period setting and she successfully conveys the social consciousness of the citizens of occupied Poland in WW II. The extent of the research Kelly Rimmer has conducted is abundantly clear, it is the attention to the finite details that shows just how dedicated Kelly Rimmer is to the presentation of her historical background. We witness the fear, the threats, the uncertainty, the measures taken to prevent food shortages from occurring and the persecution faced by the Polish Jews. Underneath this melancholy are whispers of hope. This comes in the form of Alina’s sweet love for her Tomasz. The everyday sacrifices made by the Polish people, the underground resistance and the brave sacrifices made by many to ensure the survival of others.With two very separate and well composed threads, it may seem uncertain where the two timelines will converge. Things seemed to click into place for me once Alice made her way to Poland. This was an enlightening path, on so many levels. However, I did have complete faith in Kelly Rimmer’s writing and knew she would be able to pull off a spectacular crescendo of a conclusion, and she did. The final few chapters were incredibly gripping, as one life reaches its end and a devoted grandchild races against the hands of time to bring closure to her beloved grandmother.The Things We Cannot Say is a book I would have loved to have read in one or two close sittings, unfortunately time constraints meant that I had to stretch this one across the working week. It is without a doubt a top shelf read and one to cherish. The title came across as very apt to me, that there are moments in our lives when there are things we cannot say, for valid reasons. Sometimes it takes weeks, months, years and even decades in the case of this novel to finally reveal these things, but it does not mean it loses its value.*Thanks is extended to Hachette Australia for providing a free copy of this book for review purposes.The Things We Cannot Say is book #35 of the 2019 Australian Women Writers Challenge
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  • Jamie
    January 1, 1970
    This book was so incredibly amazing, it took my breath away and it has taken me 8 days to think about how to put into words a review that truly encompasses what I felt about this book. Dual timelines that are equally as powerful in their own right and even more so when the two come together quite literally floored me. In present day, Alice is dealing with a stressful family life including a special needs autistic son, a gifted daughter and a husband who is more devoted to his work life than his This book was so incredibly amazing, it took my breath away and it has taken me 8 days to think about how to put into words a review that truly encompasses what I felt about this book. Dual timelines that are equally as powerful in their own right and even more so when the two come together quite literally floored me. In present day, Alice is dealing with a stressful family life including a special needs autistic son, a gifted daughter and a husband who is more devoted to his work life than his family life. Her beloved Grandmother (Babscia in Polish) has been hospitalized after suffering a stroke, leaving her motor functions struggling, including her ability to speak. Babscia is determined to get Alice to find Tomasz, who is Alice's dead Grandfather... now since Babscia isn't calling Ghostbusters, there's a bit for Alice to unravel here... which leads us to the second timeline, Nazi-occupied Poland in the 1930s.The title of this book is so beautifully fitting, not just for those characters that physically cannot speak, but for the things others felt like they just could not say. As to not give anything else away, I urge you to read this book, pre-order it, get your library holds in months in advance - by whatever means necessary - DO NOT MISS THIS ONE. And thank you Kelly Rimmer for writing another book that required about 100 boxes of kleenex for the aftermath! Thank you to Graydon House for an advance copy. All opinions are my own.
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  • Fareya
    January 1, 1970
    Life has a way of reminding you that you are at the mercy of chance, and that even well-thought-out plans can turn to chaos in an instant."The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer is easily going to be one of my favorite books of this year, possibly one I’ll keep recommending to people for a very long time. Historical fiction, particularly those centered around and impacted by the atrocities of war are often times desperately tragic and distressing. But it’s the little acts of bravery and kindne Life has a way of reminding you that you are at the mercy of chance, and that even well-thought-out plans can turn to chaos in an instant."The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer is easily going to be one of my favorite books of this year, possibly one I’ll keep recommending to people for a very long time. Historical fiction, particularly those centered around and impacted by the atrocities of war are often times desperately tragic and distressing. But it’s the little acts of bravery and kindness during these despairing times that keep our faith in humanity alive. Likewise, this story is heartbreaking yet uplifting, a complete tear jerker that’ll effortlessly rip out its reader’s heart, but despite all its woefulness the hope and heart in here would also leave its reader entirely fulfilled.Narrated in first person by two women, the story alternates between present day United States and early 1940s Poland. Alina Dziak is fifteen years old and engaged to her best friend Tomasz. Madly in love with her finace, she is counting days until he gets back from college and they can get married. Her young mind pays no heed to reports of Nazi soldiers at the Polish border, until the occupation becomes a reality and everything Alina has known changes for the worse. Her brothers get sent to camp, the Nazis now control the family farm and produce, they get a meagre ration in the name of food and freedom is lost. To make things worst, there’s no news of Tomasz. Through Alina’s narrative we get a close look on the horrors and hardships of war – the hunger, the fear the uncertainty, the anger and desperation.Jumping over to present day, we see Alice, a young mother struggling to find balance between managing two very different children, an extremely gifted daughter and a son on the Autistic spectrum. Her husband Wade is entirely devoted to office work with barely any time to spare for his family, leaving Alice to juggle everything all by herself. When her grandmother suffers a stroke and is admitted to hospital, she unexpectedly requests Alice to make a trip to her former home in Poland. Alice finds herself conflicted and on crossroads due to this sudden demand. While she absolutely cannot let her Babscia down, she also realizes her family won’t be able to function for a single day in her absence. Through Alice’s narrative we get a glimpse into complexities within a family, intricacies of marriage, and the tiny troubles and triumphs of parenting.Kelly Rimmer has a unique way with words. Her writing is simple, almost conversational but she somehow manages to transport her readers to another time and place, making them experience every emotion her characters are going through. I was really impressed with how different yet genuine the two narratives of Alina and Alice were. They were both strong and courageous women yet distinct in their own way. Not once did it feel like the different narratives were overlapping. The mystery of how the two stories connected was smoothly and fluidly unveiled. I had an inkling on how things might wrap up, and despite having guessed a couple of things, not for a single moment did I feel like the story was getting dragged. It all wrapped up perfectly.The author pays great attention to tiny details, be it the Polish conditions during the Nazi occupation or the nuances and challenges of raising children with special needs, be it a gifted or an autistic one. It is apparent that extensive research was put in, to get everything right in both time periods. Also, worthy of mention is the well thought out book’s title, after I finished reading, I realized there couldn’t be a more fitting name for this complicated, immersive and emotional story of love and loyalty, perseverance and survival. I was thoroughly invested in every aspect in both the timelines and kept turning pages. I don’t remember recently having finished an almost 450 page book in less than two days.Like I mentioned, I’ll keep recommending this beautiful story to everyone. So, buy it or borrow it, just read it and I promise, you won’t be disappointed."Life has a way of shattering our expectations, of leaving our hopes in pieces without explanation. But when there’s love in a family, the fragments left behind from our shattered dreams can always be pulled together again, even if the end result is a mosaic."For more reviews visit my blog Booktimistic - Books, Outdoors & Optimism** An ARC was provided by Graydon House and TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.**
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  • Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    It's live! The Things We Cannot Say is available NOW. This is a story I dreamed of writing for years, and I'm so excited to finally share it with you 😊
  • Marianne
    January 1, 1970
    “What happens when stories like theirs are lost? What happens when there’s no one left to pass your experience on to, or you just can’t bring yourself to share it?”The Things We Cannot Say is the sixth novel by best-selling Australian author, Kelly Rimmer. On a farm in southern Poland in 1940, seventeen-year-old Alina Dziak lives in hope. Her twin brothers have been sent to work camps by the Nazis. The occupying force takes all their farm produces. Her life has shrunk to the farm and her family “What happens when stories like theirs are lost? What happens when there’s no one left to pass your experience on to, or you just can’t bring yourself to share it?”The Things We Cannot Say is the sixth novel by best-selling Australian author, Kelly Rimmer. On a farm in southern Poland in 1940, seventeen-year-old Alina Dziak lives in hope. Her twin brothers have been sent to work camps by the Nazis. The occupying force takes all their farm produces. Her life has shrunk to the farm and her family and escaping the notice of the soldiers. But Tomasz Slaski, the man to whom she has promised her heart, Tomasz will return from Warsaw to marry her: this, she truly believes.For Florida mother Alice Michaels, life in 2019 is already busy: her husband has a stressful job in the plastics industry, her 10 year-old daughter Pascale is highly gifted and needs additional challenges to keep her satisfied, and her 7 year-old son, Edison is on the autism spectrum, requiring a disproportionate amount of her attention to keep their lives organised and prevent meltdowns.The stroke that lands her beloved 95 year-old grandmother, Hanna in hospital, rendering her non-verbal, naturally disrupts the necessarily rigid schedule of Alice’s days, and puts added pressure on her already-strained marriage. Hanna virtually raised Alice, so when she asks or, rather, insists, that Alice goes to Poland on a vague mission (vague because it is communicated via Eddie’s useful-but-by-no-means-perfect communication app), Alice finds she cannot refuse. But in Poland, despite a few clues and a highly competent guide, Alice hits brick walls. Rimmer explores several topics in this novel, in particular the stigma of an autism spectrum diagnosis and persecution by Nazis of Polish Jews during the wartime occupation. Her extensive research into these is apparent on every page, and she captures the setting with consummate ease. Alina’s narrative tells a heartfelt wartime romance that prevails through hunger and hardship, distance and time. Her long-held secrets certainly cause Alice some difficulties in 2019. While Alina and Alice, both strong but flawed women, earn respect with their narratives, Eddie, with very few words, captures hearts. Rimmer cleverly uses Eddie’s echolalia to succinctly summarise the behaviour exhibited by characters significant to him. Rimmer populates her novel with convincing characters and dialogue, but also gives the reader a great plot twist: a mystery that becomes apparent from tiny clues scattered throughout. The astute reader will pick these up, but just how it comes together will have the reader racing to the final, deeply emotional chapters. Guilt, grief, kindness and courage, cruelty, betrayal, faith, all feature in a story that will have eyes welling up and tissues reached for. A brilliant read!This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by Hachette Australia and the author.
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    Within one chapter this beautiful book had me weepy. ONE chapter. I have to start with that because I want to explain to you guys just how deeply this book affected me. Because that first chapter was not the only time I was moved to tears while reading, it happened more times than I could count and touched a place deep inside me that I don’t often share with the world. That piece inside of me belongs to my own son, Jackson. He’s the baby of our family of five and the only boy. He’s fiercely love Within one chapter this beautiful book had me weepy. ONE chapter. I have to start with that because I want to explain to you guys just how deeply this book affected me. Because that first chapter was not the only time I was moved to tears while reading, it happened more times than I could count and touched a place deep inside me that I don’t often share with the world. That piece inside of me belongs to my own son, Jackson. He’s the baby of our family of five and the only boy. He’s fiercely loved by his sisters, they’re his protectors and biggest champions. This kid can light up a room when he grins and when he laughs? It’s a magical sound. He’s pure and innocent and one of my biggest blessings, who knew that a little four year old guy could teach me some of the greatest life lessons on the planet?! He also has autism just like Alice’s son, Eddie so to say that this was relatable for me is a giant understatement.This flips back and forth between Alina in 1940’s Poland and Alice in present day America and switches seamlessly between the two timelines. Alina’s story definitely pulls at your heartstrings, the horrors of WW2 will never cease to shock me and Rimmer shared a poignant journey with so much humility, respect and grace. As much as I absolutely adored her character and her amazing story, my heart belongs to Alice and sweet Eddie. From the authors note at the end of the book it doesn’t seem like Rimmer has firsthand experience with ASD but man, I would’ve thought she had a child with autism herself because she nailed life as a special needs parent to a tee. Alice’s daily struggles are my struggles, her feelings of guilt, doubt and insecurity are the exact same feelings that overwhelm me on a daily basis and this beautiful, messy, realistic character made me feel seen. I had no idea how much I needed to be seen until I read this, but it meant SO much to me. I can’t even really put it into words, but I’m so grateful.I could talk about this one for hours, I seriously have so much to say, but I’ll spare you all and just finish by saying that if there’s only one book out of the hundreds that I’ve recommended that you chose to read, please make it this one. It’s not only a beautiful story of love, history and family, it sheds some light on a topic that is dear to my heart in the most honest and raw way. ASD is not an easy thing for most of us to comprehend (myself included) but this little gem of a book made it that much more relatable. Plus, the author is incredibly talented and the way she weaves the past and present together was brilliant.The Things We Cannot Say in three words: Powerful, Remarkable and Unforgettable
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  • Brooke - One Woman's Brief Book Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    *www.onewomansbbr.wordpress.com*www.facebook.com/onewomansbbrThe Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer. (2019).In 2019, Alice struggles with supporting all of her family while also caring for her son Eddie who has autism spectrum disorder. Her grandmother is dying and has asked Alice to go to Poland to discover what happened to those she held dear. Alice begins to uncover the story her grandmother wants told and a painful family history is revealed...In World War II, Alina and Tomasz are childhoo *www.onewomansbbr.wordpress.com*www.facebook.com/onewomansbbrThe Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer. (2019).In 2019, Alice struggles with supporting all of her family while also caring for her son Eddie who has autism spectrum disorder. Her grandmother is dying and has asked Alice to go to Poland to discover what happened to those she held dear. Alice begins to uncover the story her grandmother wants told and a painful family history is revealed...In World War II, Alina and Tomasz are childhood sweethearts who are newly engaged when their village falls to the Nazis; Alina doesn't know what has happened to Tomasz.Wow. Just wow. I finished this book with tears running down my face. I don't know how this author managed to write such a heartfelt powerful novel but I am in awe. I had high hopes for this book and went in a little cautious thinking it couldn't live up to my expectations, particularly as I've not been overly getting into historical war novels of late. But this book well and truly went above my expectations!The dual narratives really complemented and worked well together; two strong women dealing with completely different difficulties in their lives while also learning a few things about themselves in the process and developing their character. The mix of contemporary fiction and historical fiction also complemented each other perfectly. A truly amazing book which I was fully immersed into; it felt like I was living these two women's lives. If you are a fan of contemporary fiction and/or historical fiction, I urge you to pick this novel up and prepare yourself for some strong emotions while reading!
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  • Sue
    January 1, 1970
    I love historical fiction especially novels about WWII. There have been so many of them the last few years that it would be easy to keep reading the same story over and over but once again an author has totally put a different spin on the story and it read like a story of a time period that I knew very little about. The book was well written and very well researched with characters that I really cared about and that I cried with during the book.This is a dual time line novel. Time line 1 is pres I love historical fiction especially novels about WWII. There have been so many of them the last few years that it would be easy to keep reading the same story over and over but once again an author has totally put a different spin on the story and it read like a story of a time period that I knew very little about. The book was well written and very well researched with characters that I really cared about and that I cried with during the book.This is a dual time line novel. Time line 1 is present day with Alice as the narrator. Alice lives with her husband, daughter and special needs son. For the last several years she has concentrated her whole life on the needs of her son - often to the exclusion of her daughter and husband. Her beloved grandmother is dying and requests that Alice go to Poland to find someone from her past. After refusing to talk about her years during WWII for so long, Alice is convinced she she must make a trip to Poland for her grandmother. The second timeline is in the late 1930s and early 1940s in Poland and is Alina's story. Alina is in love with Tomasz and had been since they were children. Soon after he goes to Warsaw to college, the Nazis invade Poland and start to take away privileges not only from the Jewish people but from everyone - they take all of the food that the farmers grow and leave the people to starve. As Alina tries to live under the new regime, she wonders if life will ever get back to normal and she will ever see Tomasz again.This emotional novel is about loyalty and honor but most importantly it's a novel about love.Thanks to Edelweiss for a copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own.
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  • ʚϊɞ Shelley ʚϊɞ
    January 1, 1970
    Kelly Rimmer is truly a gifted author and always manages to blow me away. In The Things We Cannot Say she manages to combine historical fiction, women’s fiction, mystery and even a touch of romance— and she does it brilliantly. This novel is captivating, fascinating and most of all, inspiring (and very loosely based on the story of her family). This is the kind of book that stays with you, I haven’t gotten these characters out of my head, a true testament to amazing writing. The compelling and w Kelly Rimmer is truly a gifted author and always manages to blow me away. In The Things We Cannot Say she manages to combine historical fiction, women’s fiction, mystery and even a touch of romance— and she does it brilliantly. This novel is captivating, fascinating and most of all, inspiring (and very loosely based on the story of her family). This is the kind of book that stays with you, I haven’t gotten these characters out of my head, a true testament to amazing writing. The compelling and well-crafted storyline was well researched and impeccably detailed.I was quickly immersed in her tale and so fully invested and simpatico with her characters that I found myself feeling what they were. I seldom read historical fiction, although I will readily consider the genre when strong female characters are featured. And this story had many of them.This book was wonderful. With a WWII setting, there were elements of familial relationships and secrets. This story was very well written and captured me from the first page. A perfect blend of women's literature and historical fiction, I have been singing it's praises far and wide since I finished this one, it's that epic.Thank you NetGalley, HARLEQUIN - Graydon House and Kelly Rimmer for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an impartial review; all opinions are my own.#TheThingsWeCannotSay #NetGalleyAll my reviews can be found on my blog: https://shelleyann01.blogspot.com
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  • Donna
    January 1, 1970
    This was a story with dual time lines....one set in modern day and the other during WWII in Poland. The two story lines worked beautifully together. They were both well done on their own, but together it was beautiful perfection. The narrators who did the audio also did an excellent job. The characters were wonderful. They all had very different characteristics and they felt well anchored to their time line. I loved loved loved Alice. She was so funny, angry and dedicated...all of this made her This was a story with dual time lines....one set in modern day and the other during WWII in Poland. The two story lines worked beautifully together. They were both well done on their own, but together it was beautiful perfection. The narrators who did the audio also did an excellent job. The characters were wonderful. They all had very different characteristics and they felt well anchored to their time line. I loved loved loved Alice. She was so funny, angry and dedicated...all of this made her sound like a friend you go to lunch with and confide in as you laugh and cry about real life. Her, and her entire family added so much heart and humor to the story which led to a certain progression that was very satisfying. I love when that happens. The WWII story was also touching. Tomasz was a great character even though he was shrouded in a little more mystery than Alina. Overall, this was a little predictable, but I think it was still a great story to read.
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  • Tanja ~ T's Book ~ KT Book Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    The Things We Cannot Say is the second book of Rimmer's I've had the privilege of reading. Once again I am transported into another time. Completely immersed and unable to put it down. Past and present converge making this such a beautifully heartbreaking read. Truly, I needed a case of tissues. Two woman, two different decades, two ways to find hope and discover what the soul is capable of. Honestly I was blown away. Follow us on Twitter✿Facebook✿Pinterest✿BookBabblers✿Instagram
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  • Amanda
    January 1, 1970
    I am just completely blown away by what I just read. The raw emotion I felt while reading these words was so intense, at times I was a blubbering mess. Kelly Rimmer, you have written a remarkable novel that will defiantly stick with me!The Things We Cannot Say is a unique combination of historical fiction and modern day life. We have two POV’s, one from Alina which is set during the 1940’s when Nazi was taking over Poland and each of her chapter’s broke my heart, I was so invested in Alina’s sto I am just completely blown away by what I just read. The raw emotion I felt while reading these words was so intense, at times I was a blubbering mess. Kelly Rimmer, you have written a remarkable novel that will defiantly stick with me!The Things We Cannot Say is a unique combination of historical fiction and modern day life. We have two POV’s, one from Alina which is set during the 1940’s when Nazi was taking over Poland and each of her chapter’s broke my heart, I was so invested in Alina’s story. Then we have Alice who is dealing with a family heartache, her Babcia (grandmother) is sick and in the hospital, and you are taken through Alice’s day to day struggles of trying to be there for her special family but losing herself in the midst of all the chaos.I haven’t read a book written like this in a long time, I love the way Rimmer has intertwined the lives of these two characters so beautifully. At first I wasn’t sure how they would relate to each other, but once I got to the end my heart was full and satisfied with how everything turned out. Even the title has great meaning, and fit this story perfectly.I loved everything that The Things We Cannot Say had to offer. The characters, the remarkable story-telling, the powerful words. Every chapter had me hooked and I would stay up long after I should have been asleep just to read one more, I could not get enough!Out of all the books I have read so far in 2019, if I had to recommend any of them, it would be this one. It needs to be read, and it’s one that will stick with me for a long time. I really can’t give enough praise for The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer! **Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy to review**
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  • Jen
    January 1, 1970
    I’m going to be honest. This book was not on my radar. I mean, I had seen it through social media here and there, but I read so much historical fiction, I didn’t jump for it as I hadn’t been familiar with Kelly Rimmer. Then my book bff reached out and said look, you have to read this. And assured me I would love it. We tend to have similar tastes save for a few oddballs, so trusted her. Let me just say – I am so glad I did. This book is written from a different point of view than I’ve seen latel I’m going to be honest. This book was not on my radar. I mean, I had seen it through social media here and there, but I read so much historical fiction, I didn’t jump for it as I hadn’t been familiar with Kelly Rimmer. Then my book bff reached out and said look, you have to read this. And assured me I would love it. We tend to have similar tastes save for a few oddballs, so trusted her. Let me just say – I am so glad I did. This book is written from a different point of view than I’ve seen lately in historical fiction. Alina is a Polish Catholic in Poland at the start of the war. Alice is a very stressed out mother, who only gets more stressed when her grandmother suffers a stroke. How these stories are connected is a heartbreaking story of devotion and determination. Everytime I thought, “I bet THIS is what happened”, Rimmer proved me wrong and for that alone, I give her bonus points. It’s no secret I read a lot and I thought I had this one pegged, the truth, the ending, and all. I was wrong. As the stories come together and you find out the truth of their histories, you are completely and emotionally wrapped up in the journey. The book weaves the connections unpredictably and magically, ending it on a note so beautiful, it gave me chills. And tears. Yes, this book will bring you to tears in many ways and it is 100% worth it. And when the title makes sense to you? A triumphant feeling, as it is incredibly perfect in a million little ways. Rimmer knocked it out of the park with this one. Highly recommend. I received an advanced copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
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  • Tina Woodbury
    January 1, 1970
    Oh my goodness, I loved my first Kelly Rimmer book! It is an amazing story of love, family, perseverance, and survival.We have a dual time period in this historical fiction novel. At first glance these two storylines could not be more different, but rest assured they come full circle in this incredibly touching story.Alice and Wade Davis have two children, Eddie and Callie. Eddie is a sweet, autistic, little boy who keeps his mother quite busy. Callie is extremely intelligent and quickly becomes Oh my goodness, I loved my first Kelly Rimmer book! It is an amazing story of love, family, perseverance, and survival.We have a dual time period in this historical fiction novel. At first glance these two storylines could not be more different, but rest assured they come full circle in this incredibly touching story.Alice and Wade Davis have two children, Eddie and Callie. Eddie is a sweet, autistic, little boy who keeps his mother quite busy. Callie is extremely intelligent and quickly becomes upset if she isn’t being challenged. Alice wishes Wade was just as hands-on with Eddie as he is with Callie and it is causing a lot of stress and resentment in their marriage. Alice lives a very structured life. Little does she know that when her grandmother (Hanna AKA Babcia) falls ill her life will be turned upside down!Alina Dziak and Tomasz Slaski have loved each other since they were children and have every intention of spending the rest of their lives together. Their biggest obstacle – the war.I was hooked by the end of the prologue! It alluded to a Gordian knot that would take more than eighty years to unravel. That was it, I needed to know more and could not wait to dive into this story!There are so many likable characters and relationships in this book! The relationship between Babcia and Eddie is sweet and heart-warming. Alina and Tomasz’s love is beautiful and ran unquestionably deep. Even through the ups and downs of their marriage, Alice and Wade have a relationship worth saving and there were moments when I was incredibly touched by what I was reading.The writing is fantastic and pulled out a mixed bag of emotions for me. There were times that my heart swelled, moments I feared for the characters, and even giggled from time to time.I will definitely be looking at Kelly Rimmer’s back-list. Consider me a fan!*Thank you NetGalley, Graydon House, and Kelly Rimmer for the opportunity to read and review this book for my honest opinion.
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