This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Things We Never Say begins over fifty years ago in Ireland, with a young girl named Dilly. As the story unfolds it becomes clear that Dilly was a resident in one of Ireland’s ‘Magdalene Laundries’; facilities run by Catholic nuns where young women were forced into unpaid labour under terrible conditions. We don’t fully learn Dilly’s fate until later on in the book, but in the meantime we travel back to the present day and meet Fred Fitzpatrick.
Fred, now in his eighties, was once a successful businessman with a wife and three children. Following the death of his wife a few years ago, Fred has become a bit of a recluse, hiding away in the large house he bought for himself and having little to do with his two sons Donald and Gareth, and, in particular, his daughter Suzanne. Unbeknownst to his family, Fred has decided that the time is now right to investigate a dark secret from his past.
Across the pond in California, Abbey Andersen is a regular twenty-something girl who shares a flat with her boyfriend and works as a nail technician. So when she meets Irish Lawyer Ryan Gilligan, and he tells her a man named Fred Fitzpatrick has been searching for Abbey’s mother, she isn’t sure what to think. Curious to understand more, Abbey travels to Ireland to discover the truth about her family.
The book is very nicely written with a gentle pace. I particularly enjoyed the historical aspect. Dilly’s story was tragic and I would have liked to have read more about her. I also enjoyed the initial contrast between Abbey’s life in California and those of the Fitzpatrick’s in Ireland; the characters would never normally have had reason to cross paths but family ultimately brings them together, albeit not with a completely happy ending.
I liked that this plot wasn’t predictable, however I did lose interest in some of the slower parts. I thought the character of Ryan could have been more involved throughout the book as I felt I would have liked to learn much more about him.
Overall I found Things We Never Say to be a relaxing, well written tale with intriguing characters.