The Things We Don’t Say by Roberta R. Carr
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The Things We Don’t Say is a contemporary story about relationships.
Twenty-seven year old software businessman Matthew is in a long-distance relationship with Lilia, who is a talented musician, but their time together is limited and pushed to further extremes when Lilia takes a job playing in a orchestra on the other side of the country.
Pressure from work and the relationship get too much, and Matthew heads to Belize to take stock of his life. But running away gives Lilia the wrong impression and allows her life to move forward without him. In the end, dramatic circumstances for the couple put their relationship to the final test.
There are lots of story threads and characters in this book. I would have enjoyed fewer minor storylines and lots more depth and feeling to the primary ones. Just when we got to an important part, the scene skipped on, and I was left hanging.
However, the author did do a good job of showing us the results of her research into the technical points in the story: that of gaming, math, STEM and the musical minutiae. I quite liked the idea of a businessmen helping kids’ futures, but this over-powered the main story arc. I would have loved the same investment in the main characters, which might have allowed individual dialogue nuances to shine, interesting characteristics to develop and created a real connection with the reader.
To sum up, it’s a story about a young couple’s complex relationship, which I felt needed a little re-balance of the primary themes to bring the characters to the forefront.
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Author Roberta R. Carr introduced Lilia Bennett-Parker and Matthew Campbell in her previous book, The Bennett Women. The two grew up together, gradually confronting their true feelings for one another. They’re now deeply in love, but will their relationship last?
Although Matt is ready for marriage, Lilia, a brilliant cellist, is not. Instead, she accepts an opportunity to move to California and work in a symphony orchestra that is recording the music of Eduardo Santana, a famous composer. Matt wants to support Lilia as she follows her dreams, but his job’s in Pennsylvania, and he can’t follow her.
While Lilia helps a new friend through her pregnancy and becomes inspired by the suave and intense Eduardo, Matt struggles with his personal and professional obligations. Matt’s partners don’t understand why he isn’t more excited about the direction their educational software company is taking. Meanwhile, Matt’s family depends on him for nearly everything. Matt feels like he is trapped in his old hometown while Lilia flourishes in the West.
As Lilia’s new friendships increasingly consume her time and attention, Matt discovers a fresh perspective and sense of purpose after traveling to Belize. Will the new directions they’re taking keep them apart or somehow lead them back to each other’s arms?
Roberta R. Carr lives in Northern California. She had an enjoyable career in the health care industry before leaving to become a full-time writer. She likes creating heartfelt stories with strong female leads.
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