Things You Won’t Say

Finished Things You Won’t Say by Sarah Pekkanen.

Summary (from Goodreads):

In this timely and provocative novel, internationally bestselling author Sarah Pekkanen takes us inside a family in crisis and a marriage on the brink after a tragic shooting.

How far would you go to save your family?

Every morning, as her husband Mike straps on his SIG Sauer and pulls on his heavy Magnum boots, Jamie Anderson tenses up. Then comes the call she has always dreaded: There’s been a shooting at police headquarters. Mike isn’t hurt, but his long-time partner is grievously injured. As weeks pass and her husband’s insomnia and disconnectedness mount, Jamie realizes he is an invisible casualty of the attack. Then the phone rings again. Another shooting but this time Mike has pulled the trigger.

But the shooting does more than just alter Jamie’s world. It’s about to change everything for two other women. Christie Simmons, Mike’s flamboyant ex, sees the tragedy as an opportunity for a second chance with Mike. And Jamie’s younger sister, Lou, must face her own losses to help the big sister who raised her. As the press descends and public cries of police brutality swell, Jamie tries desperately to hold together her family, no matter what it takes.

In her characteristic exploration of true-to-life relationships, Sarah Pekkanen has written a complex, compelling, and openhearted novel her best yet.”

This is my first Sarah Pekkanen book, and I am cursing myself for that.  (Have you ever read a popular author for the first time and then been mad at yourself for not reading them earlier? That’s where I am right now.)

This is obviously a very timely novel (police officer accused of acting hastily and gunning down an unarmed teenager in the street; teenager is, not surprisingly, a minority. Officer swears he saw a gun; no gun was found) and so it was very interesting and hard to read (I can’t imagine trying to read this in the aftermath of Freddie Gray, which is our local tragedy).

I was intrigued by all three women, although Lou’s chapter breaks seemed to drag the most. (Although it wasn’t like I rolled my eyes whenever they appeared.)  I might have liked it a little more if I had been able to stay with Jamie the whole time, but I loved all three.

I definitely want to read more of her books.



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