I received a copy of this book compliments of NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. It is being published in paperback in September, 2018.
This book begins at the funeral of Catherine Campbell, wife to Sean and mother to April. Sean and Catherine are both in their early 50’s, living in Cambridge, when Catherine is diagnosed with cancer. Their daughter, April, is in her 30’s and is living in London. Catherine’s decline is rapid and two years after diagnosis she has passed away.
Shortly after the funeral, a mutual friend, Maggie, drops by Sean’s house to give him a package that Catherine had asked her to pass on to him after her death. Inside the package are 29 cassette tapes with corresponding photographs. Catherine provides a photograph and then on each cassette, talks about what was happening in the picture; what was happening in their lives at the time and/or going through their heads during the time the picture was taken. For example, one of the pictures is of a vacation that they took and Catherine talks about the fun they had on the vacation and other funny things that occurred while they were there.
Things We Never Said is reminiscent of another book “P.S. I Love You” by Cecelia Ahern, except that it is with audio cassettes rather than letters and the couple in this book are mature adults rather than the young couple in Ahern’s book. I think I like the idea of cassettes better simply because you would get to hear the person’s voice again.
I really enjoyed reading a book where the main characters are around the same age as me because although I have never been married, there were a lot of things that I could relate to having lived over five decades.
I found this to be a very enjoyable book. Yes, there was a lot of reminiscing of this couple over their past vacations, raising their child, etc. but there was also hurts identified and secrets revealed. While Sean is devastated at the death of Catherine, we also get a chance to see him start healing and beginning to live again.