Things We Didn’t Say: Review and Free Giveaway

0062003046Things We Didn’t Say: A Novel by Kristina Riggle

Release date: 2011 / 332 pages

Synopsis (from the back cover): What makes up a family? For Casey it’s sharing a house with her fiance, Michael, and his three children, whom she intends to nuture more than she ever took care of herself. But Casey’s plans have come undone…

First Sentence: My cigarette smoke twists through the predawn November air, until a gust breaks it apart.

Review: This is an interesting novel to review since all of the adult characters are largely unlikeable. This appears to be intentional on the part of the author, which is what makes Things We Didn’t Say compelling.  The protagonist is a young woman engaged to a man with three children and a difficult ex-wife.  At the start of the novel, Casey is about to leave behind the entire family and while her reasons are not explicitly stated at first, her fiancé appears to be distant and the children are not connecting to her as she had hoped.  Just as she is leaving, one of the children, fourteen-year-old Dylan, runs away from home and this becomes the focus of the characters and of the novel.

Riggles allows the reader to get to know each character by switching the first person point of view each chapter.  At first, this use of first person is a bit disorienting, but each chapter identifies who the focus of the chapter will be in the title, which helps.  The children’s biological mother, Mallory, is the only character that doesn’t seem fully believable – she is just too two-dimensionally “evil” in most of her actions.  If the novel was told entirely from Casey’s perspective, this one-dimensional portrayal of the ex-wife would work, but even when we are in Mallory’s head, she seems a bit too unhinged, even considering her addictions and depression.

However, Riggles creates believable and likeable young characters – Dylan and Jewel truly save this novel from focusing too much on characters who are difficult to like or relate to.  This novel is a very fast read that explores the difficult relationships stepmothers must navigate when integrating into a new family. 

The publisher has graciously allowed two free copies for me to give-away, so if you are interested, please leave me a comment below!

So, if you are interested, please leave me a comment and I will choose a winner by the weekend!

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24 Responses to Things We Didn’t Say: Review and Free Giveaway

  1. Beachreader says:

    What a great opening sentence.
    Please enter me in the giveaway.

  2. Linda says:

    Your review of this book, with what you term ‘unlikeable characters,’ is still a positive view of family dynamics. Please count me in!

  3. Diane Castiglione says:

    Sounds like a great book. Thank you for the review of it. Would love to read it.

  4. Margie says:

    Interesting review. THanks for the giveaway.

  5. Wendy says:

    Count me in for the Giveaway! What an interesting twist!

  6. Anita Yancey says:

    Sounds interesting. I’d like to give the book a try. Thanks for a chance.

  7. Christy says:

    I enjoyed reading your review on this book ~ and it DOES sound like a compelling read.
    Please enter me to win a copy.

  8. Wendy says:

    sounds good! thanks for your review-

  9. Sherrie Gil says:

    Sounds like a different book. Would love to read it.

  10. Lisa says:

    Sounds good! Would love to read it!

  11. Renee says:

    Looks like an interesting read! Pick me!:)

  12. Cathleen says:

    Sounds like a very interesting read!

  13. CarolK says:

    I’d like to read this. Keeping my fingers crossed to win.

  14. Jill says:

    Oh I would like to read this. Thanks for the chance to win’

  15. Susan says:

    I am soooooo interested! Thanks for the great review and the great giveaway!

  16. Kim D says:

    After your review I would definitely read it. Not available at my library so here’s hoping….Thanks!

  17. Debbie says:

    Your reviews definitely help in selecting my next “book to read”. Truly enjoy reading them! Great job!

  18. Connie claussen says:

    unlikeable characters

    Unlikeable characters! Sounds interesting, I already can see a sleepless night reading.

  19. I’m glad that there were a few likable characters in there! Thanks for being on the tour.

  20. Tamara says:

    Interesting. 🙂

  21. Betsy says:

    Intriguing! I’d love to be considered for a copy!

  22. Margie says:

    Thanks for the review and giveaway. This one sounds intriguing.

  23. Kat says:

    this is my comment! (:

  24. Nancye Davis says:

    Sounds like a great book! Thanks for the chance!

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

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