⭐️REVIEW⭐️#TheThingsWeCannotSay by @kelrimmerwrites is set between Poland in 1942, where 15 year old Alina is desperately waiting for her fiancé, Tomasz, to return from Warsaw while the threat of the Nazis grows more and more menacing, and the modern day, where Alice, a mother of two, has just been presented with her beloved grandmother’s dying wish: return to Poland to uncover a family secret that has long been buried. Despite all the pressures of modern life, Alice drops everything to try to fulfil her grandmother’s wish. What she uncovers could change her family’s life forever.
This book is beautiful, emotional, powerful and so well written. I was bawling in chapter 1 😭 Rimmer’s research is amazing, and I loved the author’s note at the end of the book, along with the pictures from Rimmer’s own life that inspired this story.
Unusually for me, I preferred the contemporary storyline in this one. I really related to Alice’s struggle to keep all the balls in the air – her marriage, each of her children’s unique needs, her relationship with her mother and her grandmother, her own needs. I loved her character development and seeing the change in her family dynamic by the end of the book. The historical storyline was not as powerful for me- the story of the somewhat spoiled, naïve girl who discovers her inner strength in the face of the Nazis felt really familiar, and I struggled to connect to Alina as much I did with Alice.
What I loved the most was the comment that Rimmer makes on the importance of storytelling and family history. It made me think about my own family history- beyond my parents and grandparents, I don’t really know much about my family. I loved the sense of connection that Rimmer builds between the present and the past, and how she really highlights how each one of us is the product of all of our ancestors. It really brought home the fact that countless families were torn apart by the atrocities of WW2, so many wiped from history, and how so many may never truly know who their families were or where they came from. •
Overall, a beautiful, heartbreaking, emotional story about love, hope, loyalty and sacrifice. Highly recommend💫