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?
‘The Things We Cannot Say is such an emotional and powerful read that I found it almost impossible to put down. I was riveted, and will be recommending this book to everyone I know’ Lisa Ireland, author of The Shape of Us’
Spanning generations and continents this book is an emotional rollercoaster that won’t fail to bring a tear to the eye of even the coldest of hearts!
Told from both Alina and Alice’s viewpoints it follows the journey of these two women in two very different points in time as Alice travels to Poland to try to unravel the mystery surrounding her great grandmothers past and the journey that led up to her grandmothers life in America.
For me it was Alina’s voice that stole the show, and as much as Alice’s voyage of discovery resonated with me it was the love between Alina and Tomasz that ultimately pulled on my heart-strings and shone brightest throughout the entire story.
Even though we all know the devastation that ripped through the lives of everyone during World War II this story shines a light on a part of the world I wasn’t so familiar with and the atrocities that part of Poland suffered. Parts of the book set during the Nazi occupation of Alina’s home town were impossible to read without getting goosebumps or reaching for the tissues but throughout it all the courage and bravery was heartwarming.
You can tell a lot of research has gone into this book, not only with the historical parts but also Alice’s life as mother to a son who is on the autism spectrum as those pieces of the story are written with a level of understanding and warmth that bring an extra layer of emotion on top of what is undoubtedly an already emotional charged read.
It is one of those books that as soon as you start reading you are powerless to stop and one that leaves pause to thought even after the last page has been turned.
The Things We Cannot Say will be published on 07 March 2019 and can be pre ordered now.
A massive thank you to the author Kelly Rimmer, publishers Headline and NetGalley for my copy of this book in exchange for an honest and independent review.