Review: "Things We Never Say" by: Sheila O'Flanagan

So, please bear with me as I am quite new to blogging.  I am almost guaranteed to make some mistakes.  Especially those of the grammatical, typo variety.  I also am not the most pertinent when it comes to using things like spellchecker, will work on this character flaw....

Ok, I purchased this book a couple months back, and it as have many others, have lingered around my room whilst I was working on getting my "other" venture off the ground.  Having gotten to a point where I quite literally was ready to tear my eyes out from posting pictures of jewelry items and even got to the point I was contemplating dumping the lot, I decided it was perhaps time for a break from that gig.  So, yesterday I had just finished re-reading a Jill Mansell book and picked this gem up.

I had lucked up in finding a couple of her books at a second hand bookstore in town.  Which, it's not that often that I am able to find Irish, English, etc writers in our local stores.  Generally, I have to order them online and wait a month before it finally arrives.  So, when I saw a couple of her earlier works I grabbed them up and instantly knew I had found another author to "book stalk".  I liked her style of writing.  Her characters were easy to relate to, likable, and she made me laugh.  Anytime an author can make me laugh, I'm sold.

So, I knew somewhat to expect, having read previous works by Ms. O'Flanagan.  However, I was slightly taken aback when it seemed more a generational saga, then my regular "Humorous Chick-Lit".  I even had read through the first chapter about a month ago, only to get distracted and no return.  So, I am really glad that I gave it another shot.  This time once I started reading, I was unable to put it down.

The story shows us three generations, although we really are in the present for the most part, with just a glimpse into the past.  The story centers around Abbey Anderson a 28 year old San Francisco native.  I found her character to be instantly likable, and could relate to her.  When we first meet her she is going through a bit of a rough patch, her boyfriend (who had ALSO borrowed money from her) had up and left, telling her on all things, a post it note...  (Rates up there with being broke up with by your boyfriend's mother)

The story vacillates between Abbey in San Francisco to Ireland.  In Ireland, we meet Fred an eighty something year old man whose wife has passed on and who has three adult children.  Before his wife passed away, Fred came into something of a windfall when he sold his company.  His most extravagant purchase:  A stately home.  All his children seem to be vying for his money and the house.  Almost it seems at times as if they are counting the days until the old man withers away.  Fred, like a lot of older characters you read about likes to use his impending death and will as a way to manipulate his family.

His children:  Suzanne, his daughter with whom he has beside biological, no connection to.  Suzanne left home long ago and hasn't looked back.  She is busy making a life for herself, hoping at some point to perhaps win her father's approval, which she hasn't ever felt from him.  Suzanne works in the hotel industry and is hoping to go into business for herself along with some investors.  She's pretty self-sufficient.  She's the most likable of the bunch (in my opinion.)

Donald is the eldest of the Fitzpatrick children.  He went into the "family business" and stayed on with the new ownership when it was purchased several years before.  Donald has been divorced and has two children from his previous marriage, and has remarried to a much younger woman.  Zoey, whom being the obligatory trophy wife, has expensive tastes and her hobbies include shopping and then more shopping or so it seems.  She definitely brings an energy to the story and a sense of "naughty", which she makes seem ok, because she's very honest about it. 

Last we have Gareth and his wife Lisette.  Both are teachers and years ago, after Gareth's father sold the company, invested money into real estate.  They were doing quite well, and then things changed for the worse.  They are in debt way over their heads.  They do have one property that they could sale and instantly relieve some of the burden, but as Lisette is French and the property is in France, it's out of the question as far as she is concerned.

These two worlds will converge.  Abbey, who is now a nail artist (despite having an art degree) finds that her mother has been summoned to meet the elder Mr. Fitzpatrick.  Abbey, who seems quite mysterious about her mother, decides to go in her stead.  Abbey's mother, Ellen is a mystery throughout the book and it's much later that we uncover the mystery.

This was a story that had me hanging on to every single word, I didn't want to skip a single letter.  The mystery surrounding Ellen (Abbey's mother) was one of the elements that really kept me reading on.  This wasn't your light, fluff chick lit, at least not in my mind.  It had a more dark overtone to it.  It definitely had its humorous moments.  

I would definitely give this book 5 stars!  Probably more if it were allowed.  It had all the elements of a great story.  There was a love story, there were stories inside the main story.  The way that the story was laid out was perfect.  I honestly got angry when reading it, laughed and even cried.  All the hallmarks of a truly great novel.  

I never know if I'm saying too much or too little when I summarize a book.  Sometimes when a book is so great and  you invested so much of yourself into it, you just want to share every detail of it with everyone else.  That's how I feel about this story.  It was a highly enjoyable book.  I was afraid for awhile that I wasn't going to like how it ended, but thankfully our writer gives us the obligatory happy ending we all have come to love about chick lit.  I truly hope that you will consider picking this book up if you haven't all ready!  It is a gem!!

Thanks for reading and for looking over my incorrect usage of the English language.  I truly hope I didn't chop it up too badly and cause you to wince in pain.  If I did, please do forgive me!!  You guys on the other side of the pond know our school systems aren't up to snuff...  LOL  

Until next time....

Sassy Gal


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