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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
A love story blossoms between Lilia Bennett-Parker and Mathew Campbell in Roberta Carr’s The Things We Don’t Say. In the first book, The Bennett Women, we witnessed how they grew up together and how they dealt with their feelings for each other. Now Lilia is a cellist attending graduate school in Boston, while Matt is based in Pennsylvania where he has started a company dealing with educational software. A study about a relationship that goes beyond co-presence, it is a story explored through challenges for the long-distance parties: Lilia is being seduced by an acclaimed pianist and composer. Matt’s business partner, passionate over chasing money, wants a chunk of the online gaming market. Matt also has to contend with his older brother who moves back while recovering from drug addiction. The question of whether or not their long-distance romantic relationship will survive as they deal with personal challenges is what makes turning the pages worthwhile.
One noticeable purpose of Roberta Carr in writing this book is to explore what little is known about long-distance relationships. In the case of the two protagonists, their respective success encompasses the continuance of the relationship. This is where she puts in considerable conflicts to challenge their convictions about the nature of their communication and proximity. This is intensified by the presence of strong supporting characters that inhabit their separate worlds. The Things We Don’t Say is beautifully written. It gives a sense of empowerment by conveying the mettle of love in repudiating temptations. Subplot threadings that are resolved without much complexity may elicit mixed reactions, but the solid characterization is what makes this book relatable to readers.