I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.What We Didn't Say by Rory Dunlop
Published by Bonnier Zaffre on 30th June 2016 (ebook)
Jack and Laura have separated. Jack thinks it's all Laura's fault.
Jack writes to Laura, desperate to put across his side of the story.
Wryly sarcastic and intensely well-observed, What We Didn't Say is about that gap between words and feelings where relationships live - and die.
What We Didn’t Say tells the story of Jack and Laura’s marriage. Told through a unique style; a compilation of emails, diary entries and letters, this novel had me captivated from the outset.
Jack’s diary tells the story of their separation – or rather his side of the story. Laura has added her own notations, corrections and sarcastic comments to the text.
From the start, it’s clear that this compilation of information is for their child, Michael, on his eighteenth birthday. This isn’t a spoiler – it’s literally the first paragraph of the novel. I liked how Dunlop shares this information with us from the outset – we know there is going to be a child however we’ve no idea how, why or where he fits into the story.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I loved the format and the way the story was told. I enjoyed getting the perspectives of both Jack and Laura together. Rather than a chapter for each character as I’ve read in many books, we get both sides of the story simultaneously – Jack’s through his diary entry and Laura’s through the comments she adds throughout. We never really know whose version is more accurate, or if either of them are telling the truth, but that’s the beauty of the unreliable narration in this novel.
As for the writing itself, Dunlop paints such a clear picture with his words. His descriptions are beautiful and plentiful, but at no point do they ever feel too much. Indeed, this is an incredibly easy book to read – I couldn’t put it down!
It’s a brilliant, intelligent, poignant and thought provoking read. It will absolutely make you consider your own relationships and everything you didn’t say!
I’m delighted to be welcoming Rory Dunlop to the blog this Friday (5th August) as part of his blog tour. He’ll be sharing the inspiration behind What We Didn’t Say. Be sure to pop back to read his post. In the meantime don’t miss the other stops on the tour!