Cover Image: Everything We Didn't Say

Everything We Didn't Say

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Member Reviews

Nicole Baart has delivered another beauty of a suspense novel, capturing the subtleties of friendship, love, and family in a richly-drawn rural Midwestern setting. Drawing past and present together, the story follows a complex heroine Juniper on parallel searches for truth as she seeks not only to solve the mysteries at hand, but also discovers new depths and strife within herself, her family, and her community.

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This book began slowly but I found myself gradually being drawn in by the characters and eager to find out what happened next. There are plenty of mysteries to unravel and secrets that have been kept for years to finally discover. I did guess who the killer was, but there were several other aspects to the 'reveal' that I didn't see coming.

Overall, a very enjoyable book.

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Slow burns don’t typically work well for me but this one sure did! I found it to be hauntingly beautiful and incredibly refreshing!

It was a compelling mystery with alternating timelines that was extremely well written and flawlessly executed with complex and well developed characters. This suspenseful domestic drama will pull at your heartstrings but isn’t lacking the deep and dark secrets surrounding a decade long unsolved murder case!

Full of uncertainty, doubt, suspicion, conflict and deception, this one will keep you captivated and emotional from start to finish!

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Set in a small town still swirling with the rumors of its infamous decade-old double homicide, Everything We Didn't Say reopens old wounds of the Baker family as oldest daughter Juniper returns home and struggles to find her place. The plot shifts between Juniper's accounts of her last summer home and modern-day attempt to discover whether her brother truly killed their elderly neighbors all those years ago on one fateful Forth of July.

Each character has his or her own way of being believable and relatable, so getting invested into the novel quickly was a given. The length was just right and enough time was devoted to both present and past. I can really only think of one critique; the podcast was what originally piqued my interest, and in actuality it plays so small of a role that I don't think it was necessary. Short of that, I will definitely look out for more by this author in the future.

Note: I received a free ebook copy of Everything We Didn't Say in exchange for an honest review.

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Juniper returns home 14 years after the summer before starting college, when the small town was rocked by a shocking murder. Since that summer, and since leaving, Juniper has severed many ties, and spent years trying to bury the memories of the past. Clinging only to small, forced visits back to family. Upon her return, the history of her departure is creeping back into the small community. Someone is trying to dredge up the past, starting a podcast about the murders, and making bold claims about the murderer. Does Juniper know more than she led others to believe? Is the past meant to stay in the past? Or is it time to speak out before more people’s lives are ruined? Split between 14 years ago and present day, Everything We Didn’t Say brings to light just how close knit some communities are, and the depths people are willing to go to keep truths buried.

Nicole Baart did a fabulous job creating this small town community and the characters to life. Such deep character development really helped for a reader to get a true sense of each member of Juniper’s family and the community as a whole. It read like an unfolding true life drama of small town living and small town secrets. At times, I felt like the development of the characters overtook the plot, leaving stray pieces of the plot unanswered. While there were elements of suspense woven in, revealing the truths fell flat for me. I found myself able to predict most of the twists, which I attribute to the depth of character development. In knowing the characters, and the connection I felt to their perspectives and emotions, I was able to easily peg their involvement.

Overall, I liked this novel. I felt connected to the community and the history that still lingers around the surface of their lives. I was not shocked by the revelations, but I enjoyed the ride all the same.

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Nicole Baart’s EVERYTHING WE DIDN’T SAY captivated me from the first page. I could not put it down and I was both anxious to reach and dreading coming to the end of the book.
Juniper Baker has come back to her hometown of Jericho, Iowa more than 14 years after the unsolved brutal double murder of her neighbors rocked the town and left her brother accused of their murder. She left town and started a new life, leaving behind her family and her baby daughter. The one thing she couldn’t leave behind was her investigation of the murders. Despite a successful career, the years of research have left her no closer to the truth. With her friend and mentor fighting cancer, she has agreed to help take the load off. Besides, she’s run across word of a new true crime podcast that means to prove her brother’s guilt once and for all. Determined to finally solve the crime, help her friend, and leave town with her daughter, things take a turn before she can settle in.
Told in a dual timeline, we see Juniper’s life and family leading up to the night that changed everything as well as current events that seem to mimic what happened in the past. Baart’s writing kept me on my toes trying to figure out who was guilty and believe me, no one was completely innocent. I found it to be well-paced with an fully developed storyline and interesting characters. Full of small-town dynamics and family secrets, there were fun twists that I didn’t see coming on the way to the very satisfying conclusion. When I was forced to put it down (when life interfered), I found myself rushing back to it.
Thanks to the publisher for the opportunity to read an advanced copy. All opinions are my own and freely given.
#EverythingWeDidntSay #NicoleBaart #atriabooks #TallPoppyWriters #BloomReads

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Wonderfully eerie story! Definitely one that keeps you guessing at who did it.

The storyline transitioned between present and past very well and was easy to follow and imagine. The characters were well developed and felt very real making the story even more palpable.

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Juniper knows something is amiss in her rural farming town, Jericho. Underneath the veneer of Iowa-nice, even at age 17 she's beginning to see that the farming practices of some of the richest in town are not only unfair - they might be deadly.

But before Juniper can go full Erin Brockovich, she's derailed. Derailed by the murders of the couple on the farm next door, the ones that tried to run a fair and organic land. Derailed by the fact that her younger brother is the one accused. And finally, derailed by her own teen pregnancy. Juniper has the baby, leaves her with her parents to raise and starts a new life in another state.

14 years later, Juniper is back to help a friend in need - and perhaps solve the murder mystery once and for all.

3.5 rounded to 4 because there were a few notes that did not fit - in a small town, there are people Juniper should have known, even if they were a couple of years younger, even if she had been away.

I enjoyed the back and forth timeline from the present day to 14 years past, linking the people of Jericho to who they were then to who they are today. The big reveal was no big surprise to this reader, but the journey and time spent in this small Iowa town was worth the read.

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This was my first book by this author and I enjoyed it very much! Had me hooked right from the first page. Will be reading more by this author! Highly highly recommend

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This page turner will keep you engaged from the start. Rife with family and friendship dynamics, you will relate to something. Perfect for fans of Debra Webb.
4.5 Stars

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My second novel by Baart and danggggggggg, she can tell a story! This one has dual timelines, a lot of characters and a mystery that unravels in the last 20% that is worth the first 80.

While I did feel that the story lulled in certain areas, I was ever so intrigued in what was going to happen. Juniper is quite the interesting character and her personal relationships with several of the other characters were jarring at times, emotional at others and a whisper of hope for some. When each link starts interlocking, we see everything come together in quite a surprise.

Small towns, big secrets - this combination is one I somehow never tire of. The way Baart tells her stories in such a beautiful way - well, you just can't help but feel you're right in that town, a fly on the wall, chasing Juniper around from past to present.

While I did enjoy this story, I did feel it was a bit slower paced than I typically like and have questions on some things ... HOWEVER, that ending left me fully satisfied so it's fine. It's FINE. haha - I'll definitely continue to pick up everything Baart writes - and you should too.

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Everything We Didn't Say by Nicole Baart is a mystery/thriller about family, secrets, and the past. Juniper Baker is back in her hometown of Jericho, Iowa, after being away for many, many years. Her brother was accused of murdering a neighbor couple right before she left, and the mystery has remained unsolved. However, someone starts digging into the past, and Juniper decides it's finally time to figure out what actually happened that tragic night. But, some secrets might be better left in the dark. This story was very compelling, and I enjoyed it. Thanks to NetGalley for the free digital review copy. All opinions are my own.

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I loved this book! It was everything I needed. Suspense, family drama, mystery, a real page-turner! Juniper Baker decides to come back to her hometown after living away for 14 years. Her childhood neighbors were murdered back then and they never caught the killers but everyone suspected it was her brother. Now she returns to face her demons from the past and confront deeply buried secrets and lies. Thrilling read! Thank you to Netgalley and Atria Books for this advanced read!

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Many thanks to NetGalley and Atria Books for gifting me the latest thriller by Nicole Baart - 4.5 stars!

When Juniper was a teenager, her next-door neighbors were brutally murdered and her brother, Jonathan, considered the prime suspect in their small town. Juniper was destroyed by all the events that summer and started a new life elsewhere. But she has come home to Iowa to help an old friend battling breast cancer with the hopes of improving the relationship with the daughter she left behind to be raised by her mother. Juniper wants to solve the mystery of the murders and clear her brother's name but she's not the only one still investigating. Someone has started a podcast bent on proving Jonathan's guilt and the local police are investigating. Is the past coming back to once again ruin her family's lives?

Told in alternating chapters of when Juniper was a teenager that fateful summer and the present day, Nicole Baart has woven a wonderful tale of mystery and family drama. Everyone is carrying secrets they've held close for years - is the truth buried in those lies? The author really put you in the scene and you could empathize with these characters. Tense and suspenseful - don't miss this one!

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Gaaahhh this slayed me a million different ways. I love her stuff and could not put this down. You can literally feel the longing and missing and regret in this. Free advanced copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

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Nicole has a wonderful talent for writing. The prose in her books is so beautiful! I'm captivated each time a read one of her novels. On the other hand, this was a bit too much of a slow burn for me. I also had a really hard time with the dual timelines (if you've been following my blog for awhile, you know this a tricky thing to master for me). Regardless, this is definitely my favorite novel of hers to date!

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Another great story from Nicole Baart.
Juniper left home years ago, when her brother was implicated in the murders of a couple in her hometown. She left everything behind, including her daughter.
Now back in town, Juniper hopes to repair her relationships. And to clear her brother.

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Everything We Didn't Say by Nicole Baart, tells the story of Juniper. 14.5 years ago Juniper's neighbor's were shot to death. Juniper's brother found the bodies and called 9-1-1, but unfortunately the town believes that he was also the killer. Juniper (June) does not believe he is capable of such a crime. The story begins in the present and includes chapters of June looking back the weeks leading up to the murders. We find out that June was madly in love with her boyfriend and puzzled by some of her brother's behavior leading up to the murders. After the murders neither June nor anyone else in her family are ever quite the same again. Can June prove that her brother is not the killer everyone seems to think he is, or is June overlooking the obvious?

I loved this book. It was an amazing storyline and the writing was beautiful. I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys Murder Mystery and Thriller stories.

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Everything We Didn’t Say by Nicole Baart is more of a True Crime Fiction than a Thriller, in my opinion. The story opens up with Juniper Baker back in town to help an ill friend manage the local library. But really, Juniper has returned to repair her relationship with her teenage daughter, Willa, who’s been raised by Juniper’s mother and stepfather since birth. Another reason Juniper is back is town is to solve the infamous Murphy murders once and for all. She knows the key to both lies in the darkest secret of that long-ago summer night, one that’s haunted her for nearly fifteen years.

Juniper Baker had just graduated from high school and was into her summer romance with Sullivan Tate when her neighbors Cal and Beth Murphy were murdered. When her younger brother, Jonathan, became the prime suspect, June’s world collapsed and everything she loved that summer fell away. She left, promising never to return to tiny Jericho, Iowa and left everyone she loved behind.

What I liked:
-The True Crime aspect of the book.
-Underlying environmental issues that farmers in Iowa, and I’m sure other parts of our country, face.
-The overall story was a good one. The ending tied up loose ends.

What I did not like:
-Very slow paced throughout portions of the novel.
-Pretty much figured out the “whodunit” part towards the middle of the book.
-Juniper never helps her friend who we are told is dying from breast cancer. (This is not a spoiler). She basically just uses her for the library and to help her with the case. In the end, her friend helps her more than Juniper ever did. This annoyed me!

Overall, Everything We Didn’t Say was a good read. The story was interesting and I enjoyed the back and forth time lines from present day to 14.5 years ago. The two timelines really helped set up the story and helped me to connect with the characters.

Thank you to NetGalley and Atria Books for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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I wish I would have read the book the back cover described. There's a clear disconnect between what the summary promised and what Everything We Didn't Say delivered. A 15-year old crime has come back to light; at the time fingers pointed toward one boy, but with the lack of evidence, no charges were brought against him. Now Juniper has come back to town after all these years, eager to make a connection with her estranged 14-year-old daughter and hopefully learn who's behind a podcast that's digging into that awful night (with the promise of closing the case once and for all - and placing the blame on her brother).

What I got was more family drama than murder mystery, which would have been okay, but I was really looking forward to an Adult Sadie or A Good Girl's Guide to Murder. The podcast angle should never have been mentioned in the summary - it was literally two throwaway lines in the book, the first episode hadn't even dropped. Juniper was merely wondering who the host was. ...that's it. Never brought up again.

I did like the environmental aspect and honestly would have happily read a thriller focused solely on those crimes. But I went into this one expecting a MUCH different book and because of that was horribly disappointed. Also, if I had known so much page-time would be devoted to the dogs' deaths I would have never bothered with this one.

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