‘Things We Didn’t Say’ is a book you’ll talk about

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TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER

The Bookworm

You’ve heard of this before, but it’s the first time it’s happened to you: the silence is almost touchable.

The fight was three days ago, but your spouse is still communicating in grunts. Your teenager, who could never be called chatty on a good day, is using shrugs as speech and your youngest is following suit. Even the dog is skulking around.

Sure, there were words you regret and you’re sure the other members of your household are thinking the same, but you’re at an impasse. As you’ll see in the new novel Things We Didn’t Say by Kristina Riggle, words kept silent are often more harmful than those that escape.

Edna Leigh Casey had her bags packed. Casey didn’t want to leave, but things hadn’t been good for so long that ‘good’ was a distant memory.

Once upon a time she knew that Michael loved her. She was overjoyed when he asked her to move in with him and his kids, and though she wasn’t much older than his oldest daughter, Casey thought they made a good family.

But Angel was only sneering at Casey these days, something Casey could chalk up to being a teenager if it wasn’t for the fact that Angel had found and read Casey’s journal. Venting, frustrated, Casey had written some privately harsh things.

Dylan, on the edge of teenagerhood, had usually been Casey’s buddy, but he was clearly not happy. Even Jewel, still just a little girl, was affected by this drama.

Once upon a time, Casey dreamed of having a baby with Michael. She was going to make a great step-mother, an even better mommy. It would be a rosy future as long as Michael never learned about her past.

There was once upon a time when Michael was married to Mallory, who often spun out of control and their fights were epic. Part of Mallory’s problem, Michael knew, was alcohol and once, he came home and found her high. She was pregnant with Angel then, and he was horrified.

Michael vowed that he would never get involved with a woman who drank. Angel sneered, Casey kept her secrets and the tension in the house was thick as mud.

So Dylan took matters into his own hands.

Things We Didn’t Say swirls with characters in need of a referee. Each circles the others like wary cats about to fight, claws at the ready but unwilling to be the first to slash. While that’s exasperating and will make you want to reach through paper and shake sense into each character, author Kristina Riggle imbues enough love in this book that you know everything will turn out okay.

Or, at least you hope it will.

But I’m not telling. You have to read the book; in fact, take it to your book club. Once you all start it, Things We Didn’t Say is one you’ll be talking about.

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