Today’s book review features
Things We Didn’t Say by Amy Lynn Green.
Headstrong Johanna Berglund, a linguistics student at the University of Minnesota, has very definite plans for her future . . . plans that do not include returning to her hometown and the secrets and heartaches she left behind there. But the US Army wants her to work as a translator at a nearby camp for German POWs.
Johanna arrives to find the once-sleepy town exploding with hostility. Most patriotic citizens want nothing to do with German soldiers laboring in their fields, and they’re not afraid to criticize those who work at the camp as well. When Johanna describes the trouble to her friend Peter Ito, a language instructor at a school for military intelligence officers, he encourages her to give the town that rejected her a second chance.
As Johanna interacts with the men of the camp and censors their letters home, she begins to see the prisoners in a more sympathetic light. But advocating for better treatment makes her enemies in the community, especially when charismatic German spokesman Stefan Werner begins to show interest in Johanna and her work. The longer Johanna wages her home-front battle, the more the lines between compassion and treason become blurred–and it’s no longer clear whom she can trust.
Things We Didn’t Say by Amy Lynn Green takes us to the Minnesota home front during World War II. The story is written entirely in letters, notes, and newspaper clippings. I haven’t read a story exactly like this before and was amazed at how the author drew the reader into the story. I struggled to put down the book because I felt such a connection to the characters, even though we only knew them through their written words. Incredible!
While this is not the typically fast paced story I usually read, I let the story slow me down and so that I could sink into the wrestling the characters faced. I also loved the message in this story. It’s the kind that makes you think. I’m still digesting it. I highly recommend this book for this fact alone.
If you’re looking for a unique perspective on World War II, then grab a copy of Things We Didn’t Say!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley and Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC guidelines.