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The Things We Cannot Say

Written by: Kelly Rimmer
Length: 13 hrs and 42 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (58 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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 15 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.

©2019 Kelly Rimmer (P)2019 Harlequin Enterprises, Limited

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A well written, beautiful story about love, sacrifice and family

A powerful and beautiful story about love and sacrifice during WWII. I must say, I thought this book was good initially (and by ‘good’ I mean ‘average’). A lot of stories have been written about families/couples/survivors of WWII so I was initially skeptical about what would make this book different from the others I’ve read/listened to (please don’t take me as insensitive, I am merely stating a fact). The overlapping stories between the grandma and granddaughter was done well; I did, however, find that the chapters ended abruptly and awkwardly. It’s one thing to leave on a cliffhanger, but I felt at times that some of the chapters ended mid-thought. However, the twist toward the end was not at all expected and was quite shocking! It made sense though, thinking back through the book, the twist made perfect sense. The ending was beautiful and incredibly emotional! I have not cried that much while reading/listening to a book in a long time. I would HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who loves the WWII genre! Well worth it!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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AMAZING!

This is probably going to be the book of the year for me! The story, the writing the performances were all outstanding! I'm so thankful I purchased it and listened to it! Swept me away! So real and poingnant!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A worthwhile read

Really enjoyed this book. Great narrator who brought the characters to life. Enjoyed the switching between characters.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • DMD
  • 2019-09-16

Amazing Story

If I could give a book more than 5 stars, I would. This was an amazing book blending together the two storylines of Alice and her complicated, modern day family and the second storyline of her Polish grandmother during WWII. Many books try to do more than one storyline and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. In the case of author Kelly Rimmer, I think she did a terrific job with both. The part of the story set in Poland during WWII is beautifully done; captivating and heartbreaking. I was fascinated by the story of Alice's grandmother, but my heart was also wide open to the trials and tribulations of Alice's life with her executive husband and their two children; one of whom was on the Autistic spectrum and the other who was academically gifted. It created a very busy and often chaotic family where Alice felt like she had to do everything. So when Alice's grandmother asks her to go to Poland for her, Alice is left with the choice of honouring her grandmother Helena's wishes or staying home where she feels she is essentially needed.

Ultimately I feel this is a story of the power of love; romantic love, the love of family and friendship, and the love of faith.

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  • Amy Heidecker
  • 2019-06-13

Amazing

This book was amazing. The narration was so great and easy to follow. The author really just made me just feel like I was involved in the story and there with them through this whole journey. I love WWii historical fiction and this is now in my all time favorites.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-07-05

Could not put this book down

I am on the road a lot so Audible has been fantastic. The Things We Cannot Say was so engrossing that I found myself sitting in parking lots not wanting to get out of my car because I needed to stay with the characters and the story. This book was so well written and so vivid we’re the descriptions that I felt it took me back in time. I loved every minute of this book!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Jasper Van Wyk
  • 2019-06-09

Outstanding

It’s been awhile since a book made me cry. This did. Outstanding. Ten stars are not enough l! The story and narrative are perfect.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Michelle Tiller
  • 2019-07-11

Best book this summer!

I’ve listened to many books this summer but this book was by far the best yet! The storyline was captivating and kept me engaged the entire time. It’s one of those books you wish you hadn’t read so you could re read it again. Trust me you will NOT be disappointed. And the narrator was amazing!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • vmc
  • 2019-05-31

Emotional

I can hardly write a review for “The Things We Cannot Say”. It was so gut wrenching at times I could hardly listen for crying. Sometimes I wondered why I was crying so hard. Then I remembered a sentence from the last book I listened to, “The greatest tribute you can give someone is to cry with them.” Or for them?

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Denise C.
  • 2019-08-24

Life, Death, Love, Terror, Courage, Sacrifice

An incredible work of historical fiction, my fave! Many twists and turns and unexpected journeys during a terrifying time in history. It was very interesting to hear about some of the things happening in Poland during WW2; most of the books I read take place in other countries. The present-day plotline was also very interesting, and I learned a lot from Alice as she mothered her 2 children, each with their own gifts and challenges. I'll definitely be looking for more from Kelly Rimmer!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-08-09

if you think you have it tough...

This book was so good I listened in bed until I could barely hold my ears open. If you ever think you have a tough life this story is a quick check in to love and loss, past meets current life situation.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Tara
  • 2019-07-02

Wow. Beautifully written!

This book definitely took me by surprise. It takes A LOT to get me choked up but I was so invested in the characters of this story that the ending really got me. Beautiful writing and beautiful performance.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-06-29

Amazing story

I absolutely love the juxtaposition of Alice and Aleena’s stories. I couldn’t listen to it fast enough. And the narration was fantastic.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Lyn Odom
  • 2019-09-20

Sobbing!

Being an addict of historical fiction, WWII having a particularly special place in my heart; I had no idea that this book would have the emotional impact it did you me. I felt this story deep within my marrow, by the end of it I could hardly see through my tears.

The events of his story are different than my own family’s, however, the depths of joy & sorrow, confusion & clarity, pain & loss and the immense magnitude of feelings captured in this story are a mirror of my family’s. This story beautifully expresses all the things I cannot to my own family.

With gratitude for a beautifully written, perfectly performed story that speaks my story. Sharing with my family now!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful