What I Did Not Say is an emotional story of loyalty, love and cruelty, and it’s well worth a read!
Back at the start of the year Shropshire-born author BA Spicer contacted me through Twitter. Her book, What I Did Not Say, was available for free download on Amazon so I added it to my Kindle. I took a little while to get around to reading it (my TBR list is pretty long these days!) but I wish I’d started on it sooner!
What I Did Not Say starts as Jessica Morley is on a journey. She is making her way to hand over a parcel that she should have delivered long ago. The story then flashes back to when she was a young girl, captivated by her friend Jack. Jack’s mother is dying, but their friendship helps to relieve the pressure he is under. Meanwhile family friend Terry is teaching Jack all about space and the stars. It’s fun at first, but there is something in their relationship that makes Jack uneasy.
The first part of the story really revolves around Jack and Jessica, their friendship and the stresses that Jack is under. His mother is terminally ill, but Jack can stay with her for as long as his social worker feels he is coping. Jack and Jessica spend most afternoons together at Jack’s house, or at their den by the local river. But family friend Terry is behaving oddly and there are rumours about why he left his job at the local school. Jack is getting more and more stressed.
Around half way through the book, there’s a major incident and the timeline jumps forward for the second part of the story. The novel then jumps forward to the present day for the final part. I have to admit that I was so engrossed in Jack and Jessica’s story that this came as a real shock. I’d almost forgotten about how the novel had begun!
The book has several narrators and switches between them regularly. At first I thought this might be a little confusing, but Jack’s story isn’t simply black and white. The different viewpoints help to flesh out the story and add depth to the novel.
I really enjoyed this book. BA Spicer was born in Bridgnorth, a Shropshire town around 10 miles from the village where I grew up. And reading What I Did Not Say took me back to my own childhood, spending hours playing down by the river.
What I Did Not Say has a very emotional resolution. And although I can’t say I was happy with the ending, it did feel like the right one. I’ll certainly be taking a look at some of BA Spicer’s other novels!
Jessica Morley is on her way to meet with a man she hasn’t seen for fifteen years. In her bag there is a package she must deliver. As she travels south, she remembers Jack Banford, a boy who captured her imagination as a child and made her believe in a future that could never happen. Now it is time for her to set the record straight and finally put the past behind her. ‘What I Did Not Say’ is a story of loyalty, cruelty and love at all costs.
An engrossing story with an emotional ending, well worth a read: 8/10