‘The Stories We Cannot Tell’: A Review
Disclaimer: Please note I received a free ARC of this book from Reedsy Discovery in exchange for my honest review.
Katie and Rachel are strangers when we meet them, and they are each at a crossroads in life.
Katie is single and lives alone with her cat. She has survived a painful childhood and created a life as an independent woman despite having had no role models to guide her. She enjoys her job and has supportive co-workers and friends. But, at thirty-two, she is wondering if she will ever meet the right guy and is having more and more doubts.
Rachel has what Katie wishes she had — a wonderful husband who loves her. She’s grateful for her happy marriage, but her focus is elsewhere — on motherhood. She and her husband have not been able to conceive. Teaching kindergartners every day is getting harder and harder as she wonders if she will ever have a child if her own.
Life happens. Rachel is surprised to find herself pregnant just as she is about to pursue fertility testing. Katie has a brief romance that ends quickly. Thoughts of pregnancy and parenthood are the furthest thing from her mind until a missed period has her frantically taking a test and praying for a negative result. When it’s positive she begins mentally rearranging her life to accommodate a child.
Any hopeful parent who has been present at a sixteen-week ultrasound knows what it’s like to hold their breath until that image appears on the screen and the doctor announces that “everything’s okay.”
That sigh of relief never comes for Katie and Rachel. Each of them receives news that turns her life upside down. This is when their stories converge; they encounter each other at a support group and make an immediate connection.
The situation each faces with her pregnancy is different. Both are confronted with painful and heartbreaking decisions, but different circumstances mean that each has to do her own kind of soul-searching.
That is what gives this book depth and complexity. Rachel and Katie are able to support each other despite the fact that the options open to each of them are different. Both complicated but not the same.
The impact on their lives varies as well. Rachel struggles in her marriage as she and her husband grieve differently, while Katie ponders single motherhood and wonders whether it’s too good to be true that a man would fall for her in her condition.
Stories We Cannot Tell is a moving work of women’s fiction. It is very readable; the characters feel like people we know. The reader wonders how it will all turn out and wishes both women healing and a brighter tomorrow.
I would like to thank Leslie A. Rasmussen and Touchpoint Press for the opportunity to read and review this ARC.