Sunday, December 20, 2020

Things We Didn't Say

Things We Didn't Say

 Title: Things We Didn't Say

Author: Amy Lynn Green

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers

Genre: Historical Fiction

My Review:

I read every detail of this book, including the author's note at the end. I learned that this is the author's debut novel, which I never would have imagined!! This story is incredibly well-written in an epistolary manner (which might be a turn off to some, but I really enjoyed).

This book caught my attention from the very beginning, where it talks about a "civilian charged with involvement in prisoner-of-war-related crimes is a complicated affair." I was like, what? What happened? You might be asking yourself that very question right now...and it you are dying of curiosity like I was, I can guarantee you will not be disappointed...a truly great story on so many different levels.

There are not a lot of physical details given about the characters, but you get to know them through the letters. I am actually glad that we are not given a lot of details, or that might have spoiled the image that we get of them.

I am not a huge fan of historical fiction, but the style of writing really intrigued me and I had a hard time putting the book down to get anything else done. Johanna is the main character and I loved her sharp wit and humor. Yes, humor. I never expected to laugh out loud or be snickering through a "historical" read, but that is exactly what I did. Especially in the letters that never got sent. It was really refreshing to see a book that could have really been heavy, given the nature of the story (war), written in such an effortless way, that really kept my attention. (So, during this pandemic season, do not let what could be the "serious" nature of this book be a turn off to you.)

This book had many layers, including elements of suspense and mystery, it really made you wonder who the enemy was. If you are like me, you won't wonder for long, you will simply read until you learn the truth. I highly recommend this novel for anyone who likes historical fiction, books written in letter form, captivating novels or just a well-written book. I hope that this author will write more books, I would love to read more from her. 

5/5 stars

Thank you to the publisher and Net Galley for the opportunity to read this book. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.


Headstrong Johanna Berglund, a linguistics student at the University of Minnesota, has very definite plans for her future . . . plans that do not include returning to her hometown and the secrets and heartaches she left behind there. But the US Army wants her to work as a translator at a nearby camp for German POWs.

Johanna arrives to find the once-sleepy town exploding with hostility. Most patriotic citizens want nothing to do with German soldiers laboring in their fields, and they're not afraid to criticize those who work at the camp as well. When Johanna describes the trouble to her friend Peter Ito, a language instructor at a school for military intelligence officers, he encourages her to give the town that rejected her a second chance.

As Johanna interacts with the men of the camp and censors their letters home, she begins to see the prisoners in a more sympathetic light. But advocating for better treatment makes her enemies in the community, especially when charismatic German spokesman Stefan Werner begins to show interest in Johanna and her work. The longer Johanna wages her home-front battle, the more the lines between compassion and treason become blurred--and it's no longer clear whom she can trust.

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