Shelia O’Flanagan – Things We Never Say

Abbey Anderson lives in San Francisco, she seems to have happy with ‘her lot’. Friends, a place to live, a job she enjoys and a relationship.

Unexpectedly she is contacted by an Irish lawyer who has some rather important news to impart to her. Everything she has ever known to that point in her life is turned on its head.

Abbey must now travel to Dublin and learn more about herself. The only trouble is she is heading into the Fitzpatrick family.

Fred Fitzpatrick has died. He was successful and everyone around him, his sons Donald and Gareth, his daughter Suzanne, his daughters in law (current and ex), Zoey, Lisette and Deirdre all have an idea of how the late Fred’s estate should be divided.

However it seems Fred had other rather clearer ideas. Secrets are revealed as the will is read. Information is imparted that was a secret, in fact more than one.Things

The Fitzpatrick family will never be the same again.

Abbey Anderson will never be the same again.

Thing’s that were never said in the past are said now, loud and clear for everyone to here.

I enjoyed the dynamics of the Fitzpatrick family in this book. I loathed Donald and his actions, and I secretly wanted a different ending than the one the author gave us.  I thought the partnership of two daughters in law worked well, especially when they had one motive but very different reasons for it. Gareth played a typical younger brother role and was a follower of Donald, if only he was strong enough to voice his own opinions, a different ending again could have been reached. Suzanne had the most to gain and the least to say. Her determination clearly came from her father and she used that asset to her advantage.

Abbey was a mystery, a meek girl who had travelled much during her upbringing and wanted to put some roots down and settle. The events in Dublin, changed that and when she has to admit that she can longer protect her mother or where she is. The truth is about to be revealed.

As I read this book, I thought that in some ways it shows some but not all of the seven deadly sins played out for all to see. Certainly greed when money becomes involved, rage at the injustice of what some see as their right, and envy at trying to keep up with each other in terms of wealth, which cyclically brings us back to greed. What choices would you have made given the situation and your own personal circumstances?

After a rather jumpy start, this book goes along at a pace and I kept reading because I wanted to know what was going to happen. A lot of this book about is about families and especially siblings and the interaction of them all. As an only child this has always fascinated me which is why I enjoyed the book.

I have not read any Shelia O’Flanagan before and I came to this book with no preconceived ideas. I will certainly be reading more of her work.

Thank you to the publisher for providing me a copy of this book to review. I am ashamed to say that I received the book about two years ago and it has languished on the pile for a while. And whilst it ended up being one of my challenge books for 2015, I am slightly perturbed that I did not pick it up sooner to read. 

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