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The Things We Never Said

The Things We Never Said

  • reading group guide
A powerful debut novel perfect for fans of Maggie O'Farrell.

In 1964 Maggie wakes to find herself in a psychiatric ward, not knowing who she is or why she has been committed. She slowly begins to have memories of a storm and of a man called Jack and slowly the pieces of the past begin to come together…

In 2008 Jonathan is struggling to put his differences with his parents aside to tell them he and his wife are expecting a baby, when a detective arrives to question him about crimes committed long ago...

And as these two tales interweave, the secrets of the past, long kept hidden, start to come to light in unexpected and sometimes startling ways.

The Things We Never Said is a powerful novel about fatherhood and motherhood; nature and nurture; cruelty and kindness; and mental breakdown. Written in beautiful, compelling prose, it is by turns revealing, witty and moving.

Praise for The Things We Never Said:

'Passionate, intriguing and beautifully written, The Things We Never Said deserves to stand on the shelf next to Maggie O'Farrell's books. A powerful and talented new voice' Rachel Hore, bestselling author of A Gathering Storm

'If you love Maggie O'Farrell, you will love this' Veronica Henry, bestselling author of The Long Weekend

'A brave and moving story about how much can be lost and what happens next' Alison Moore, author of Booker-shortlisted The Lighthouse
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  • Simon & Schuster UK | 
  • 400 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781471102332 | 
  • May 2013
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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for The Things We Never Said includes discussion questions and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book. Topics & Questions for Discussion 1. The Things We Never Said is set against two periods – the 1960s and the present day – and told from two perspectives, that of Maggie and Jonathan. What struck you most about each storyline? Which elements of each did you find most interesting? 2. Weather plays and important role in the novel. How do you feel it was used to dramatic effect and did it affect the way you felt as you read the novel? 3. The themes of the novel are all about motherhood, and what we inherit from our parents. What sense did you get of the importance of family and family history? Can we ever truly escape our pasts? And would we want to? 4. Maggie’s storyline shows the reality of life in what was then called a ‘mental asylum’. Today she would have been treated very differently in the health system. Did you think this affected the way her story turned out? Might it have been different had her treatment been different? 5. Some of the elements of the novel are based on real historical events – the storm of 1962, for example. Does the way fact and fiction was woven together bring the story mor see more

More Books from this Author

From the author of The Things We Never Said comes a heartbreaking story of the secrets we keep and the secrets that could destroy us... It was a summer of love, and a summer of secrets… She has built a good life: a husband who adores her, a daughter she is fiercely proud of, a home with warmth and love at its heart. But things were not always so good, and the truth is that she has done things she can never admit. Then one evening a phone call comes out of the blue. It is a voice from long...
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About the Author

Susan Elliot Wright

Susan Elliot Wright is the author of The Things We Never Said and The Secrets We Left Behind. She has an MA in Writing from Sheffield Hallam University, where she is now an Associate Lecturer. Find out more at www.susanelliotwright.co.uk

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