Title: The Things We Cannot Say
Author: Kelly Rimmer
Publisher: Graydon House
Date Published: March 19, 2019
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 the time between visits from her beloved, now she measures the spaces between hope and despair, waiting for word from Tomasz and avoiding the attention 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 the truth is silenced…and how it can take a lifetime to find our voice before we learn to trust it.
This is the first book I read from Rimmer and I am mad that I have not read others before. The Things We Cannot Say was about two fierce and brave women from two different times trying to find themselves through a family secret. I love historical fiction based during WorldWar II, but this book was a little different than others that I have read before, it had a bit of mystery to it. Rimmer wrote a great story of bravery, resilience, and love. Alina and Alice were brave in their own ways, Alina is trying to survive occupied-Poland during World War II. She is trying to protect her family and finding her better half in this turmoil. Alice is a stay-at-home mom taking care of her autistic son, scientific husband and 10-year-old daughter. At the same time, her grandmother has fallen sick and is trying to learn more about her grandmother’s past.
Alina’s story captured me in the beginning, while Alice’s story was important, but I was not into it, until the middle of the book. Both stories then captivated me and I couldn’t stop reading both of them. Alice is such a strong woman, I love how much she took care of Eddie, her son, while her husband was not the best. His character was not my favorite, even when he tried his best to make things better for everyone. Alina is just an amazing woman entirely! She sacrificed so much during the war to survive and protect so many people. Plus, her love for Tomasz was heartwarming in every way. Just to see young love while the Nazis are trying to ruin their home was a little warming. Alina and Tomasz’s love for one another was truly heartfelt.
What I love the most was that this story connected in some ways to her own personal family story. I have to say this book was very well-written and the story was painfully sad and loving at the same time. The love of family was all over this book, the love of protecting friends and sacrificing their lives showed bravery. Rimmer thank you for creating this story and sharing it. I cried a couple of times in this book. I 100% recommend this book.
I received an advanced copy of this book from Harlequin – Graydon House Books through NetGalley.