Wednesday 5 September 2018

#BookReview The Things We Don't Say by Ella Carey @Ella_Carey @AmazonPub

The Things We Don't Say by Ella Carey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A beguiling painting holds the secrets of a woman’s past and calls into question everything she thought she knew about the man she loved…

Nearly sixty years ago, renowned London artist Patrick Adams painted his most famous work: a portrait of his beloved Emma Temple, a fellow bohemian with whom he shared his life. Years after Patrick’s death, ninety-year-old Emma still has the painting hanging over her bed at their country home as a testament to their love.

To Emma’s granddaughter, Laura, the portrait is also a symbol of so much to come. The masterpiece is serving as collateral to pay Laura’s tuition at a prestigious music school. Then the impossible happens when an appraiser claims the painting is a fraud. For Laura, the accusation jeopardizes her future. For Emma, it casts doubt on everything she believed about her relationship with Patrick. Laura is determined to prove that Patrick did indeed paint the portrait. Both her grandmother’s and Patrick’s legacies are worth fighting for.

As the stories of two women entwine, it’s time for Emma to summon up the past—even at the risk of revealing its unspoken secrets.


THE THINGS WE DON'T SAY is an engrossing historical fiction novel. There are two different storylines. Just the way I like it when it comes to historical fiction novels. In the 80s is young Emma shocked to learn that the famous painting of her grandmother may be fake. This could mean the end of her music career as she is using the painting as a collateral to pay for her prestigious music school.

This book brought to mind Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell as well as Dora Carrington & Lytton Strachey. Why? Well, Laura was a painter and her sister wrote (hence Woolf and Bell) and Dora Carrington was a painter that was in love with the homosexual Lytton Strachey. And, in this book was Emma in love with Patrick, who was homosexual. Yes, I also thought about the relationship between Freddie Mercury and Mary Austin.

The book was interesting, I liked both storylines. However, I felt that the storyline in the 80s was slightly more interesting. But, that's probably because I was so curious to learn more about why the appraiser thinks it's a fake painting. Of course, it's not like you get to know why right away. Instead, you learn more about Emma's life with Patrick. We also learn more about Laura, who I would say idolizes her grandmother so much that she tries to imitate her life by having a gay best friend/"love interest". Then, we have Emma's mother who turned away from the art life completely. Which makes Emma more eager to embrace it. Anyway, let's just say that these women really need to sit down and talk it over.

THE THINGS WE DON'T SAY (you get the reason for the title while reading the book) is a great historical fiction and I recommend it warmly!

I want to thank Lake Union Publishing for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

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