The Things We Cannot Say
by Kelly Rimmer
Pub Date 19 Mar 2019
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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 neighbors 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 honor. 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.
“Kelly Rimmer has raised the already high bar with this unforgettable novel, The Things We Cannot Say. It is that rare author that takes the reader so deeply into a world that you smell the smells, feel the hunger, see the devastation. Alina and Tomasz’s story is one of bravery, resilience, and the lengths we will go to for the ones we love. If this book isn’t a giant bestseller, I will eat my hat. Fans of Jodi Picoult and Kristin Hannah now have a new go-to author.” -Sally Hepworth, author of The Secrets of Midwives