The Things We Don’t Say

Roberta R.

WOMEN'S FICTION:  Lilia Bennett-Parker is a talented young musician who’s just been offered the opportunity of a life-time: a chance to play cello for a Californian symphony orchestra. Taking the chance means leaving behind not only graduate school and her cozy Boston apartment, but the love of her life as well. True love can survive distance…Right?

On paper, Matthew Campbell has it all: a beautiful woman he wants to marry, a booming business with his three friends, and a loving family. When he surprises his girlfriend, Lilia, by buying a house for them to share, she has a surprise for him as well – and it’s not a happy one. When Lilia moves out west and becomes involved with new friends, cares, and a suspiciously attentive and attractive composer, Matt is convinced that his world is falling apart. Love is supposed to be easy. What do you do when it isn’t?

Ms. Carr writes a sweeping modern epic about two young lovers, separated by distance, damaged by their lack of communication, and tested by real-world problems. It’s a timely, heartfelt, at times heartbreaking story that’s hampered by work-a-day prose. Though the characters grow and mature in realistic ways, the story-telling is lacking in necessary depth and feeling to really bring home the drama. There is one enormous plot twist, for instance, that is introduced and summarily dismissed in three sentences, making the reader stop and think, “Wait, what just happened?” Which is too bad, because this story is a good one – with a little more time and care in the presentation, it could yet be a great one.

Janice Martin