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Things We Didn't Say

A Novel

by Kristina Riggle

Things We Didn't Say by Kristina Riggle X
Things We Didn't Say by Kristina Riggle
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  • Published Jun 2011
    352 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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Page 2 of 4
There are currently 22 member reviews
for Things We Didn't Say
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  • Amy B. (Louisville, KY)
    Things We Didn't Say
    This book opens well and is engaging. The writing, character & plot development all are pretty basic, not demanding much of the reader except to come along for the ride (a feature which is admittedly very nice sometimes!). That being said, this book is not a "beach read" either, as it deals with very real, tough, & contemporary family topics.

    The author uses the multiple viewpoints of the books' main characters to share the story, framing the family challenges using their various perspectives from chapter to chapter. There is no "winner" in a story like this (whose characters were left general enough that many readers can find themselves relating to someone in the story). Through this very human narrative, the author provides readers with a healthy reminder to shine the light back on ourselves once in awhile & see how we may impact the lives of our loved ones through our action and/or inaction, even through the seemingly simple situations.

    Although not necessarily its intended audience, I think the book will appeal mostly to young adults, with whom it seemed the author had the closest connection. If it were not for some tougher adult topics, I think that the younger readers of this group (age 12 - 16) would really connect with the book, finding comfort & understanding in how the author relates & presents the many different positions of the characters.

    Personally, I didn't enjoy this book as much as I wanted to, feeling that both the characters and the story were close, but just not quite "there"... I kept wanting more out of both which just didn't develop for me... I think the book is missing a richness which the author is definitely capable of - I do look forward to further writing by this author.
  • Kenan R. (Liberty, MO)
    Things We Didn't Say
    An engaging train wreck. This book is gray and cold, and keeps the readers oddly at a distance while drawing us into one family’s crisis as casual observers. The dialog driven story piques and holds your interest as the household implodes, and our characters are cast adrift within the author’s very tight framework of time and location. It feels like a play - a “slice of life” character study of people and the fine filaments that hold us together as families. Taking place over just a few days, we feel the disquiet that grips a would-be step mother and her inability to take charge of a family as it unravels. The characters are raw, and not necessarily pretty. The author gives us enough information to satisfy, while keeping us wondering what will happen to them.
  • Ginger K. (Ballwin, MO)
    A Cast of Characters
    This was a page turning fiasco of disfunction. A family crisis brings the simmering issues into dramatic relief as the characters bring their own spin to the situation, well, several situations really. Each has his or her own view of what is happening based on what they know of the others which, of course, is only partial because no one is opening up to the vulnerability of being completely open and honest.

    Poigniant, gentle and real it doesn't hit the reader aside the head with overstated drama, yet remains captivating. The things said are in essence non conversations, and more is said about what's going on by this non communication than the words. In this book, what is not said is what is real. I believe that this book would be an excellent book for book club discussion as it inspires us not only to ask questions about the characters, but questions about ourselves.
  • Penny P. (Santa barbara, Calif)
    Things We didn't say
    I thought this was a pretty good quick read. I think it dealt with the issues in both blended and dysfunctional families. The characters were not quite as developed as I would have liked them to be, but still I think it is worth reading. Its appeal may be greater with teens or young adult readers. I am not sure if my book club would enjoy it because lately we have been looking for more unusual topics.
  • Penny N. (Saginaw, MI)
    Life Imperfect.
    I found this book thought provoking because I have never experienced much of what was written about. I have observed it, including the cut backs in the newspaper industry. Everything comes across as a viable way of living for many. Alcoholism, addiction to pills, divorce, step-parenting, grandparenting, runaway teens and keeping secrets slyly seeps into many relationships. It is a good book for young people. Either to have read to them or for teens to read themselves. Every once-in-a-while I felt the book slowed down or offered more information than necessary. You do learn that avoiding issues that matter will bog down any relationship.
  • Ariel F. (Madison, WI)
    "Things we Didn't Say"
    Enjoyable quick read. The storyline is fairly predictable, but keeps your interest. At times, I wanted to scream at one of the main characters and say have confidence in yourself and leave. Many of us deal with problems of dysfunctional families and want to just walk away. I found the handling of an addiction/recovery believable.

    Would recommend this for a book club for a thoughtful discussion about having a teenager and dealing with the teen years, living with someone and not being married, ex-wife, and insecurity.
  • Eileen L. (Danvers, MA)
    Well Intentioned but a tad contrived
    This book is a nice, quick read with mostly likeable, if not a bit typecast, characters. Casey, the protagonist, finds herself in the middle of a sinking family and in the role of the "stable one", which is not a role she feels she can live up to. So while the story is interesting it just struck me as contrived and generic. I guess, for me, the book only the seemed to want to scratch the surface of the characters lives. Also, all the eventually revealed "secrets" were anti-climatic. Not a bad book, but not a book that stayed with me after I turned the last page.

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