The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer
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 neighbours 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 honour. 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.
(Taken from Goodreads)
Kelly Rimmer definitely knows how to pull on your heartstrings with this novel! What a wonderful, powerful, heartbreaking and touching story line about family history, first love and the hardships people had to endure during the Nazi occupation.
The story of Alina in 1942 and Alice in present day were effortlessly intertwined to reveal the love story of Alina and Thomas which had been kept a secret for decades.
From the get-go I was a bit confused about how they connected which kept me enticed and wanting to read more. Then all of these unexpected twists happened and there were a few times I had to put the book down and walk away because I didn’t want uncover the true story, like Tomasz, I wanted to live in a fantasy world for a little longer.
Because of the harshness of WWII, I found it actually relieving to then jump to Alice’s story in the present day which added some lightness to this heart wrenching novel. I was then able to embrace myself for the next part of Alina’s story, which let me tell you, I was not ready for.
A very big thank you to Kelly Rimmer for sending me a copy of this beautiful and touching novel.