Thursday 1 May 2014

Review: Things We Never Say by Sheila O'Flanagan

The irresistible new novel from No. 1 bestselling author Sheila O'Flanagan. Abbey Andersen is the last person to go looking for change. Yes, it's tough that she barely sees her mother these days - but in San Francisco she has great friends, a steady relationship and a job she enjoys. When Abbey is contacted by Irish lawyer Ryan Gilligan she learns in an instant everything she believed about her roots is a lie. She must travel to Dublin to find out more - but she's scarcely off the plane when she's plunged into a new crisis. One that will change everything not just for Abbey but for the family in Ireland who had no idea that she even existed. Now Abbey has to make a choice that will affect everyone she knows. How can she be sure she makes the right one? And can life ever be quite the same again?

Review: I found this book to be really compelling from the outset and actually read this alongside my mum so we could discuss it and predict what was going to happen next. I actually find the storyline to be quite shocking, how greedy people can be and how unaccepting of change too. It was something quite different to the storylines I usually experience and that was definitely a good thing for me. In terms of pace, it was a bit of a rollercoater, sometimes moving super quick and being a real page turner, but there were other moments where it seemed a little relative and that slowed it down for me a bit. Thankfully this all balanced out to give a good pace overall and entertained me over a couple of days. 

I actually really didn't like the characters in this book. Now this didn't pose a problem to me because I still wanted to find out how they all fared and how each of their stories wrapped up, but I think it was obviously excellent story writing on the part of this author, to write character that I had such an aversion to, it's much better than being apathetic towards a character and have no feelings at all evoked! I found every member of the family involved in this book in Ireland to be greedy and selfish. They had passion and drive, but only if it bettered themselves and their aspirations of what a 'good life' should be. There was the daughter of the family who wasn't entirely dislikalble, but even she got my back up at points. 

Abbey who travels from the states to Ireland, although not selfish, was rather bland. She seemed to have strong points of view on some things but seemed weak willed with other decisions she had to make. This inconsistency made me dislike her, but I had to find out what was going to happen to her. Her mother had a similar character. She has some secrets herself which make for interesting reading, but overall she was just a bit too wishy washy for me. Do not fear though because there is a rather hunky Irish lawyer in the novel who was worth reading on for. He was really fun to read and I was rooting for good things to happen the entire way through. 

I really enjoyed the dual setting of Ireland and San Francisco, although the description of Ireland was a little less than I was hoping for, perhaps there were more scenes in San Francisco initially that were cut out and so that is why they are both described less than expected. Overall I definitely enjoyed reading this book and fans of Sheila O'Flanagan won't be disappointed. If this is your first novel by this author then it can definitely be read without reading any of her previous novels but there are some really good novels in her collection that you should elfin timely check out too. 

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