Review: The Things We Never Said by Susan Elliot Wright


Title: The Things We Never Said

Author: Susan Elliot Wright

Published: Simon and Schuster June 2013

Read an Excerpt

Status: Read from June 09 to 10, 2013 — I own a copy {Courtesy the publisher}

My Thoughts:

Unfolding through dual narratives, The Things We Never Said by Susan Elliot Wright, alternates between the past and present.

In 1964, it takes Maggie weeks to remember the events that led to her being committed to a psychiatric hospital. Random flashes of memory, the wild winds of a hurricane…Jack…snow… cold..a crying baby…gradually resolve into a tragic history she would rather forget.

In 2008, Jonathon’s comfortable life is slowly falling apart. When his father passes away unexpectedly, his mother is forced to reveal a long buried secret. Lost, angry and upset, the stress threatens to compromise his marriage and his career.

Gradually the link between Maggie and Jonathon reconciles, revealing the tragic history that binds them.

Despite the emotive issues involved in this story, I found it fairly slow. Though the general themes interest me and overall, I found the premise enticing, for whatever the reason I had a hard time connecting with both the story and the characters.

There were some moments in the plot that surprised me, though none I can mention without revealing spoilers. It has quite a busy storyline dealing with rape, family dysfunction, adoption, deceit, false accusations and mental illness which affects both timelines in different ways.

I think the author handled the alternate narratives well. Though I had some sympathy for Jonathon, I also thought him weak and self involved. I didn’t warm to his wife either, who used her pregnancy as an excuse to essentially abandon him to his anxieties.
I could more easily empathise with Maggie’s story and the way in which she was affected by what happens to her. Hers is a heartbreaking story of grief and loss.

Though The Things We Never Said didn’t grip me in the way I hoped, it is a poignant tale of tragedy and secrets and a strong debut from an author with promise.

Available To Purchase

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. mpartyka
    Jun 16, 2013 @ 21:48:36

    The cover would have me pick up this book so I’m sorry you didn’t love it. It’s a wonderful cover.

    Sounds interesting though – I’m looking for books to bring with me on my trip this summer…. 🙂



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