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What I Did Not Say Kindle Edition
|Length: 292 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top Customer Reviews
This mysterious domestic drama had a most interesting and unusual plot; I couldn't work out where it was going at all, which kept me turning the pages.
The story is told from multiple first person points of view, the main one (to my mind) being Jessica, who is aged between eleven and thirteen for most of the story. She's an overweight, shy girl who doesn't get on that well with her parents, but has an unusually close bond with her best friend, Jack Banford. Jack is a troubled young boy with divorced parents, and his mother is dying.
I thought the way Jess was written was a clever piece of character illustration; I believed in her completely. All her fears and insecurities leapt from the page. Jack was so well drawn, too, that I could completely understand her obsessive feelings for him. I loved their relationship, the secret world they'd forged together.
The story is divided into three parts, the first and longest of which is a building up of the background. Here, I felt that some were superfluous, that the story would have been structured better as longer sections from less viewpoints; it kept diving off at tangents. The characters themselves were clearly defined, I just thought there were too many voices, too much chopping and changing.
Part two starts with a HUGE surprise - well done, Ms Spicer, that one certainly made me go 'whaaat?!'. There follows a court case, which was well done, and kept me completely absorbed. I couldn't guess the outcome of this, which pleased me. As for the ending, I felt a little confused; things were implied, suggested, rather than facts being given, and I am still not absolutely sure I quite 'got' it. I am willing to accept that this might just be me, though!
To sum up - I'd recommend this if you like complex dramas with undercurrents, secrets and hidden depths, and the author deserves a round of applause for the relationship between Jack and Jess.
Divided into three parts, What I Did Not Say is a complex, dramatic story of emotional turmoil and friendships told from the perspectives of several characters, so each interpretation and understanding of events differs according to personal viewpoints. Part one is the longest section beginning with Jess looking back on her close friendship with Jack Banford and giving an indication of some serious happening in the past.
Each chapter, told from the point of view of a specific individual sets up the connections between the characters. Pre teens Jess and Jack have been best friends since starting school and spend most of their leisure time together, although they don’t share innermost thoughts and feelings. Jess is overweight and insecure in herself, Jack, loving his mother, Vera, coping as well as he can with her illness and the fluctuating hope and foreboding. Melissa, the social worker whose attention was brought to the situation by an anonymous call from a neighbour. And Terry Pickup, an old and dear friend of Vera’s recently come back into her life, who also befriended Jack.
I couldn’t imagine where the story was going at first but I was soon engrossed, wanting to know what was going to happen. The personalities are described extremely well, giving a good sense of, and realistic feel to, the characters – Jess and Jack especially. Jack is intriguing and compelling, I could see why Jess felt the way she did.
The first section allows the players, their stories and the dynamics between them to unfold. The second part was totally unexpected, a complete surprise and filled with tension. I wasn’t sure who to believe but leaned towards Jess. The conclusion takes place years later from Jess’ point of view. She needs to make amends and continue her life without the past hanging over her.
Expressive and moving writing shows the devastating consequences of things not said and unquestioning loyalty. And how easily bonds can be damaged and broken when there’s a lack of communication and tolerance, the effect that can have on people’s lives.
I chose to read and review What I Did Not Say based on a copy of the book supplied by the author/publisher.
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