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The Things We Cannot Say

Length: 13 hrs and 41 mins
5 out of 5 stars (125 ratings)

Non-member price: $34.95

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Publisher's Summary

A New York Times audiobook best-seller.

A searing audiobook of family secrets and the legacy of war by the best-selling Australian author of Before I Let You Go.

2019 Life changed beyond recognition for Alice when her son, Eddie, was born with autism spectrum disorder. She must do everything to support him, but at what cost to her family? When her cherished grandmother is hospitalised, a hidden box of mementos reveals a tattered photo of a young man, a tiny leather shoe and a letter. Her grandmother begs Alice to return to Poland to see what became of those she held dearest.

WWII Alina and Tomasz are childhood sweethearts. The night before he leaves for college, Tomasz proposes marriage. But when their village falls to the Nazis, Alina doesn't know if Tomasz is alive or dead.

2019 In Poland, separated from her family, Alice begins to uncover the story her grandmother is so desperate to tell and discovers a love that bloomed in the winter of 1942. As a painful family history comes to light, will the struggles of the past and present finally reach a heartbreaking resolution?

Inspired by the author's own family history, The Things We Cannot Say unearths a tragic love story and a family secret whose far-reaching effects will alter lives forever.

©2019 Kelly Rimmer (P)2019 Hachette Australia Audio

Critic Reviews

"Kelly Rimmer has raised the already-high bar with this unforgettable novel, The Things We Cannot Say. Alina and Tomasz's story is one of bravery, resilience, and the lengths we will go to for the ones we love. Fans of Jodi Picoult and Kristin Hannah now have a new go-to author." (Sally Hepworth, author of The Secrets of Midwives)

"The Things We Cannot Say is such an emotional and powerful read that I found it almost impossible to put down. I was riveted, and will be recommending this book to everyone I know." (Lisa Ireland, author of The Shape of Us)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
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Kelly Rimmer Shines!

One of the few books I recommend to everyone as a “must read”! I avoided this book for too long thinking it would be a tedious war history book but it’s an incredibly beautiful story that filled me with love and broke my heart all at the same time (while inadvertently giving me a whole new appreciation for the experience of living through war times). I travel for work so listen to approx 4-6 audiobooks a month and this is one of the few I’ll never forget! Kelly Rimmer’s amazing talent truly shines here.

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Tackles the big issues

Tackles the big issues of Nazi occupation without going down the usual path of a concentration camp setting. The story kept me glued right to the surprising ending. All realistic, plausible, some awfully sad parts, a woman who is brave because she has no other choice, and her granddaughter who is also brave for other reasons - it's 10 out of 10 from me.

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Incredulous 😶

Loved this story and it was read very well keeping me engaged chapter to chapter. Only criticism I have is the overuse of the word “incredulous” throughout the book. It may have just been a petty irritation on my part but it was an obvious overuse to me. Not enough for me to give a poor rating though, just an observation.

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Different from what I usually read

Loved this book. Not usually the type of book I would read or listened to, but I really enjoyed it. Good story and taught me a few life lessons to.

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A Moving and Poetic Piece

Kelly Rimmer is an enthralling writer. She had me gripped from the beginning, with Eddy's meltdowns in the supermarket and then transported into tragedy in Poland many decades before with Aleena and Thomos and their blossomimg romance. The waves of joy, pain and sorrow, flowed throughout the book and at times found me stuck in my car, parked away from my house, not able to move until I found out what was happening next...... and a few tears shed .. Well read with a variety of voices and tones and the imagery was magically allowing me to traverse countries and time frames with no discomfort, only anticipation of the unfolding tale twirling around, until the two ends finally met.

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Utterly rivetting and amazingly written

I was curious by previous reviews that stated they didn't like war stories but this was different. This couldn't be more true. The writer bought to life how it must have been during the war, at the hands of the Nazi's. It was horrific, heart wrenching and bought home how much trauma people suffered. The story switched to modern day which was fascinating to see the story unfold. Amazing book, extremely well written, and extremely well narrated. Cannot speak highly enough about this book.

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Both horrific and beautiful.

I am rarely brought to tears by a book but this one brought tears numerous times. The Polish side of the story was both horrific and beautiful. The historic content of the war years brought to life the struggles of so many. The on-going love story was poignant and heart wrenching. The use of two readers was a great way to tell the two stories. The American accent grated at times to ears not used to it every day but was necessary to the story. I would certainly recommend this book.

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Totally Brilliant

This was a really well thought- out novel. It was hard to put down and the ending was emotional and satisfying on many levels. I will be looking for more good reads from this author.

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Couldn’t put it down!

I love the gradual evolution of such a powerful story . A tragic reminder of a past never to be repeated, delivered with relevance and love. Seriously, had to finish this book and couldn’t leave it !

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Amazing

It is amazing how such a beautiful story can be woven out of such an horrific background. If this novel was inspired by a true story, then I would love to know the true story.