I don't even know where to begin except to just start with a huge WOW! I absolutely loved this book. I have to be honest. I was a bit surprised in reading the Amazon reviews of this selection. So maybe I need to begin there.
This is a contemporary women's fiction. This isn't a YA. Of course young adults can read this and find themselves within these pages, but it isn't published as a YA.
One reviewer said she felt cheated because she expected deep dark secrets. Really? It's amazing how a book touches every so differently. I found this book to be amazing. Deep and poignant.
Things I Never Told You is a novel about sisters, but so much more. It's about family, friendship, loss, regret, wounds of the past, acceptance, and hiding our emotions to simply live each day.
What I love about this book. There's so much! This novel goes way below the surface into the deep with these characters. I relationship aspect of the sisters is something most can relate to. There are three living sisters, Payton, Jillian, and Johanna. Beth did a fantastic job with these characters relating to their births. Johanna being the oldest, Jillian the middle sister, and Payton the baby. We journey through life with all three of these sisters. Beth even allows us to get to know Payton's twin, Pepper, who died when these twins were in high school. But this novel goes far beyond high school.
We also get to know the men in the lives of these sisters. Each of these sisters are living with a circumstance that brings great trial. Payton may be the main character, but I enjoyed Jillian's story and the unexpected battle that she is faced with. Johanna is the character I least liked, but as the story flows we too get to know more of her life.
I love how this family isn't one that does God. These sisters didn't grow up in a Christian home, but as we see God is present in their lives. Prayer from one sister has the power to change hearts and give room for faith to blossom. We see how God woes and never gives up. These sisters have faith enter their lives through others who walk with Jesus. I so loved this!
Something else I really enjoyed is that this book doesn't end all tied up sweetly with a bow. I like to imagine what happens to the characters I've come to call friends after the last page is turned. Beth gives the reader room to imagine. She gives just enough detail throughout the book to keep the reader wanting to turn pages. But not too much so the reader knows exactly what is coming in the next chapter.
This is a family where we see their struggles and how they try so hard to keep their past and their emotions in check. They don't do God and they don't go deep. But as the novel grows we see the heart of these characters open up. I love reading the journey of characters and finding out just why they are the people they are today. Beth gives way for us to see their past and their future fears, all while trying to just breathe in the present.
One character I really enjoyed was Zach Gaines. I won't give away his secrets, but his life is one where in the midst of where he was ready to give up on life God showed up and changed everything for this young man.
I cannot wait to see what's next for these Thatcher sisters!
This novel was a gift from Tyndale for sharing my review with you.