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  • Location: Sheffield, London

The Things We Never Said

The Things We Never Said

Why a Booktrail?

1960s: A tragic tale unfolds in Sheffield – in dual timeline we see how both stories interconnect.

  • ISBN: 978-1471102325
  • Genre: Fiction

What you need to know before your trail

Maggie is in a mental health institution – she has recollection of her life before entering the hospital but her story soon starts to unfold, and what a story it is. Her current situation in the historical is also tragic and she is in a utter state of despair.

40 years on and we meet Jonathan – his life seems to be in freefall and the only good thing he has going for him is the birth of his first child. When he gets an unexpected visitor, life changes yet again.

Travel Guide

The setting of this one – Sheffield and Hastings are not the most important characters however but rather the weather is – the snowy scenes herald real changes and events in the narrative for example and two real weather ‘events’ play a major role too. However, the cold recesses of the human mind and the family unit  -particularly that of motherhood and its many facets – are the main setting. And what a setting it is.

Set in the 1960s in a mental institution

Imagine for a second that you wake up with no idea who you are or where you are, least of all how you got there.

You can hear the echoes of the halls and the confusion resulting from the treatments which were administered, described in chilling detail:

“Treatment’s at nine,’ Hetty is saying, ‘so make sure you’ve all been to the lav. I’ll be back in two shakes and we can all go down together.”

“She makes it sound as if it’s something nice they’ll all be doing, like an outing.”

Present day

Jonathan is a teacher with a pregnant wife living in Blackheath, London. Once again, difficult family circumstances and inner turmoil are present with a father he never gets on with. Also stressed due to his job, threads of all aspects of his life get tangled up together.

In both time periods, although the situations the characters find themselves in are starkly different, the similarities between them are clear. Whether in a mental institution or a seemingly cosy family home, the inner turmoil a person can feel is the same. When your mind is the prison, your outward surroundings are irrelevant. The two story lines examine these issues from two different perspectives but the overall message is one of  how does a person escape from inner turmoil?

Booktrailer Review

Susan:

Sheffield author Susan Elliot Wright’s book ‘ The Things We Never Said’ was part of the Read Regional tour 2014.

The dual time line story worked extremely well for the subjects involved and to illustrate the guilt and secrets of past and present are inextricably linked.

An example of the family threads getting tangled and creating traps we can’t escape from. As we fumble with these threads, suddenly we realise that we have a bigger tangle than what we expected.

Parts of this storyline were reminiscent of the true story of The Changeling – the treatment and atmosphere of a mental institution  from years ago.

This is not a depressing novel despite the subject matter for it is thought provoking and interesting to see how the two story lines come together. We can ask ourselves what we would do if faced with such difficult situations and try to understand that behind a mask of normality, the reality can be very different.

What a tangled web we weave.

Booktrail Boarding Pass Information:

Twitter: @sewelliot

Web: susanelliotwright.co.uk

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