Things We Didn't Say: A Novel
The main character of this book is a young woman that goes by the name of "Casey", which is actually her last name. Her first name is Edna, which she hates, so everyone calls her Casey. She is engaged to Michael, a young father of two girls and a boy, and a volatile ex-wife named Mallory. Michael has a high pressure job as a journalist, and it stresses him out on a regular basis.Michael's father is a very successful doctor, and never lets an opportunity go by to make Michael feel as though his job is not a very good choice for making a living to support his children. Michael always feels as though his father is looking down his nose and flaunting his perceived superiority. Michael's stormy relationship with his father causes alot of irritation.Early on in the story, Michael's son Dylan, disappears. At first no one knows if he has been abducted by a stranger or if he has run away. Since Casey works with computers for her job, so she is recruited to get into Dylan's computer and see if she can find any clues as to where he might be. She discovers that he has been conversing with a girl, and they determine that Dylan has run off to meet up with her and run away together.When Dylan's mother, Michael's ex-wife Mallory hears of the disappearance, she becomes hysterical and blames everything on Casey, who has been living with Michael and the kids. Casey feels terrible, and begins to question herself and wonders if it might be possible that she did not pick up on Dylan's intentions, and that perhaps she might be to blame. Michael seems to coddle Mallory, which in turn frustrates and hurts Casey....but Mallory is a very volatile, high-strung, alcoholic who although she lost custody of the kids, still has very strong feelings about having Casey playing the role of "mother" and resents young Casey and feels threatened by her presence in her children's lives.Casey has issues with alcohol herself, but Michael does not realize to what extent alcohol plays in her life. Although she does not make a habit of drinking....in fact, she tries to avoid it due to the problems Mallory has had and the way Michael feels about it.....she begins to feel like she needs a drink to cope with all that is going on in the household with Dylan's disappearance.The story proceeds on, with lots of drama between Michael, Casey and Mallory. Michael's daughter Angel discovers some very personal things in Casey's journal and Angel lets Casey know that she knows about these things, which causes alot of turmoil in their relationship.Dylan is finally located and brought back home by Michael and his father. Mallory deceives Casey one night while the guys are gone and under the guise of friendship, gets Casey drunk on whisky and when Michael brings Dylan home, he sees Casey intoxicated and blames her for falling apart just when he needs her to be a stable force for the other children during the crisis with Dylan. Michael does not realize that Mallory has set out to cause problems between Casey and himself. Casey begins to feel as though she is not valued in Michael's eyes the way she needs to feel.....and begins to emotionally withdraw. Michael's continued reluctance to be firm with Mallory is taking it's toll on his relationship with Casey.Then, a near tragedy with Michael's youngest daughter choking on a piece of candy, sets a whole new thrust in the story in motion.....as Dylan stands up for Casey, who actually saves the young girl by doing the Heimlich maneuver. Dylan tells his dad that Casey saved her and Mallory was irresponsible in ignoring the risk to the young girl of jumping with candy in her mouth.Eventually, Michael begins to see things as they really are, the daughter Angel begins to soften towards Casey, and Mallory's crazy behavior is getting to be more than Michael wants to endure, and the ending brings Michael and Casey together once more, closer than ever.The book was extremely well written, it was hard to put down. I would highly recommend this book to all.