The things we never said by Susan Elliot Wright


“In 1964, Maggie wakes to find herself in a mental asylum, with no idea who she is or how she got there. Remnants of memories swirl in her mind – a familiar song, a storm, a moment of violence. Slowly, she begins to piece together the past and the events which brought her to this point.

In the present day, Jonathan is grieving after the loss of his father. A cold, distant man, he was not easy to love, but at least while he lived there was hope for reconciliation. Then a detective turns up on Jonathan’s doorstep to question him about crimes he believes Jonathan’s father may have committed long ago…

As the two stories interweave, the devastating truth long kept hidden must emerge, and both Maggie and Jonathan are forced to come to terms with the consequences of the shocking and tragic events of over forty years ago.”

This was a curious little book, split into two interlacing plot lines; one set in the 1960’s and the other in present day. I thought the author succeeded in giving the different characters interesting and individual voices through which their personalities shined. The time difference was demonstrated well between the different chapters; it was great to see the changing opinions on topics such as abortions and single mothers.

The writing style for Maggie’s chapters was incredibly effective. In the book, Maggie was suffering from confusion and memory loss and because of the way the book was written, I was able to sink into the story and face her problems with her – at times I almost forgot I was reading altogether. I became extremely attached to the characters (past and present day). They were endearing and lovable despite their many flaws and very realistic characters.

The use of foreshadowing was very clever and very subtly done; just enough to alert me that something was afoot. I loved the way the two plots finally came together and also thought the lack of chronological order in Maggie’s chapters was a great idea as it added a sense of confusion.

Wright was certainly successful in tampering with my emotions as the many obstacles the characters faced left me sniffing!

A very sweet and heart-wrenching book; a good summer read.

4.5/5 rating.


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An aspiring cellist, I absolutely adore reading, and even if it means squeezing it into the cracks of my busy life I am still determined to read more! For me, a truly great novel isn't just flashy with a fast paced plot and glossy characters, it is good literature that traps you with every word and entices you to read on. I write quick-to-read book reviews on CreativeThoughtBubble, as well as occasionally publishing short stories of my own.

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