This review is written with thanks to Twenty7 and Netgalley for my copy of What We Didn't Say.
Jack and Laura are a married couple who are going through a divorce. They communicate via e-mail, and when Jack asks Laura to read a copy of his diary from his sabbatical in Strasbourg, in which he considers where their marriage went wrong, she annotates them with her own interpretation of the events that led to their separation. Can they discover the truths behind their miscommunication, and what will the future hold for them?
What We Didn't Say is a novel that thrives on Dunlop's ability to create believable characters. The exchanges between Jack and Laura are witty and full of emotion, and the communication difficulties they faced reminded me of similar issues in my own relationships. As a result, I often found myself shouting at the pages, and wanting Jack and Laura to resolve their differences. I would have liked to read more from Laura, as at times, her annotations were short and sweet, and this made some sections seem a little one sided.
During Jack's time in Strasbourg, he acts as an English tutor. In this section. I found the references to, and interpretations of, classic works of literature interesting. I felt that they gave the novel extra depth, which is often missing from other books in the same genre.
Although What We Didn't Say has some very strong characters, its epistolary nature means that it is difficult for Dunlop to fully develop some aspects of the plot; for example, the affairs of which Jack and Laura suspect each other. Therefore, in places, it did seem as though the plot did not lead anywhere, and whilst the ending is poignant, and in some ways unexpected, I finished the book feeling slightly underwhelmed.
What We Didn't Say is available now from Amazon.