review by Maryom
Maggie wakes up in a psychiatric hospital having no idea of where she is or how she got there or even who she is. In fits and starts, prompted by the awful electric shock treatment she undergoes, her memory returns revealing the traumatic events that led to her being committed...
Meanwhile teacher Jonathan's life is in meltdown. He should be happily looking forward to the birth of his first child but he's plagued by nightmares, feeling angry and out of control. His father has always been a cold authoritarian figure and Jonathan is determined that he'll not be the same. But then his father dies suddenly and Jonathan's problems increase - lashing out at a pupil leads to him being arrested, police interest in a 'cold case' is reawakened and secrets from the past come tumbling out.
The Things We Never Said is a stunning debut novel about family - the relationships within it, the secrets that are kept and everything that's never said. The two strands, Maggie's and Jonathan's, weave round each other and gradually the pieces of their history emerge and slot together like a jigsaw puzzle. It's a very compelling read and, no matter how I tried to pre-empt the plot twists, I wasn't ready for the final missing link that shed light on all that went before.
The story looks both backwards and forwards. At this pivotal point in his life Jonathan feels a need to find himself, visiting his past haunts and old friends in the hope of making sense of what is happening to him now and settling the deep sense of loss that has pervaded his life before being able to move forward and embrace his role as husband and father.
This is an amazing first novel and an author to look out for in future.
Maryom's review - 4.5 stars
Publisher - Simon & Schuster
Genre - adult fiction
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