EXCERPT: Just dinner.
The innocence of the phrase is deceptive, as deceptive as the dinner itself would turn out to be, as Jackie would discover ninety eight days later. Dinner with friends, a table for four. Dinner with people she thought she knew and loved. As it turns out, no one is who she believed they were, least of all herself. So much secrecy, and in its service, so many lies.
ABOUT THIS BOOK: Psychology professor Jackie Strelitz thought she was over her ex-lover and colleague, Harlan Crispin. Why should she care if Harlan springs a new “friend” on her? After all, Jackie has everything she ever wanted: a loving husband and a thriving career. Still, she can’t help but be curious about Harlan’s latest.
Nasira Amari is graceful, smart, and young. Worse, she’s the new member of Jackie’s research team. For five years, Harlan enforced rules limiting his relationship with Jackie. With Nasira he’s breaking every single one. Why her?
Fixated by the couple, Jackie’s curiosity becomes obsession. But she soon learns that nothing is quite what it seems, and that to her surprise—and peril—she may not be the only one who can’t let go.
MY THOUGHTS: I find this a difficult book to review. Reading Stories We Never Told by Sonja Yoerg was like watching a movie that is not particularly interesting to you, but that you can’t get up and walk away from because you want to know how it ends.
The basic story line is good. But I felt nothing for any of the characters. For such an intelligent woman, Jackie behaves quite stupidly. And despite all the backstories, I never felt that I got to really know any of them at all. Speaking of the backstories, which were inserted seemingly randomly throughout the story, I thought that the only one that had any merit, any reason to be included, was that of Harlan.
The writing technique is quite dispassionate, detatched. Situations that should have been suspenseful fell flat. This could have been a psychological thriller. It has a definite psychological backbone, but fails as a thriller.
The story is mostly told from the viewpoint of Jackie, and occasionally from that of Harlan, Jackie’s ex-lover. Jackie’s relationships with Miles – her husband, Harlan, Nasira – Harlan’s current lover, and Antonio – Miles son from his first marriage – have all the stability of a rickety country fairground rollercoaster ride, which should make for interesting reading but, in my case, didn’t. Maybe it’s a case of ‘it’s me, not the book.’
Definitely a book that I didn’t warm to.
‘The worst lies are the ones you tell yourself.’
THE AUTHOR: I grew up in Stowe, Vermont, the daughter of a ski instructor. In my first incarnation, I was a animal behaviorist who studied learning in blue jays, hyenas and kangaroo rats. I wrote a book about that. Now I make stuff up.
When I’m not writing or pretending to be writing, I run, garden, cook, eat, drink wine, then run some more. My husband and I live in central Virginia with a view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s quiet and pretty, like Vermont.
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Lake Union Publishing via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of Stories We Never Told by Sonja Yoerg for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com
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