Nominated by:

Newcastle Libraries, UK

Publisher of nominated edition:

Simon & Schuster, UK

The Things We Never Said

Susan Elliot Wright      

2015 Longlist

The past shapes us all. But what happens when it hides a secret that changes everything?

In 1964, Maggie wakes to find herself in a mental asylum, with no idea who she is or how she got there. Remnants of memories swirl in her mind – a familiar song, a storm, a moment of violence. Slowly, she begins to piece together the past and the events which brought her to this point.

In the present day, Jonathan is grieving after the loss of his father. A cold, distant man, he was not easy to love, but at least while he lived there was hope for reconciliation. Then a detective turns up on Jonathan’s doorstep to question him about crimes he believes Jonathan’s father may have committed long ago…

As the two stories interweave, the devastating truth long kept hidden must emerge, and both Maggie and Jonathan are forced to come to terms with the consequences of the shocking and tragic events of over forty years ago.

(From Publisher)

About the Author

Susan Elliot Wright grew up in Lewisham in south-east London, left school at 16 and married unwisely at eighteen. She didn’t begin to pursue her childhood dream of writing until she left her unhappy marriage and went to university at the age of 30. After gaining a degree in English, she decided to choose a new name, and began flicking through the phonebook for ideas. She settled on Elliot and changed her name by deed poll. Then she met ‘Mr Right’ (actually, Mr Wright) to whom she is now happily married. She has an MA in Writing from Sheffield Hallam University, where she is now an Associate Lecturer.

Librarian’s Comments

With the use of alternating chapters, the audience follows two different stories of mother and son with two very different lives, using effective movement seamlessly from past to present but cleverly both reflecting on parenthood in different ways. The author has carefully written the stories, which later entwine to reveal much sadness and heartache as the realisation of the link between the two characters is revealed to the audience.

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