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


Things We Never Say by Sheila O'Flanagan

I always expect a heart-warming read from Irish writer Sheila O’Flanagan, and Things We Never Say is no exception. It has wonderful characters to really care for and a plot line that gently unfolds. Abbey Anderson is the central character in this saga. She lives in San Francisco and while she has a group of good friends, and she has a busy life juggling between working at an art gallery and in a nail salon, she’s a slightly unconfident girl – and her confidence is further destroyed when her boyfriend breaks up with her via a post it note and disappears leaving unpaid rent. Things take an even more unusual turn when Irish lawyer Ryan Gilligan turns up at her door with the news that her mother was adopted and that her birth father wants to get hold of his long lost daughter. Unfortunately, Abbey’s mother can’t be contacted easily, so Abbey makes the bold decision to meet the grandfather she has never even known about – and a family who had no idea that she or her mother existed.

This is a lovely, engaging read with a slight air of a morality play. It becomes fraught with tension when Abbey is forced to make a potentially life-altering decision. She wants to do the right thing – but how can she be sure? Without giving too much of the plot away, this is a tale of a family arguing about possessions and money – and Abbey finds herself right in the thick of things. It is also a tale about relationships and family, love and forgiveness – and the ending gives you hope that things eventually work out for people who have good intentions.

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