Things We Didn’t Say – Amy Lynn Green | A Book Review

Things We Didn't Say - Amy Lynn Green

Title: Things We Didn’t Say

Author: Amy Lynn Green

Genre: Historical Fiction

About the book: It’s an epistolary novel set in Minnesota during World War II. Johanna Berglund, much to her reluctance, takes a job as a translator at a camp for German prisoners of war. On one hand, some individuals in the town don’t want anything to do with the POWs. On the other hand, Johanna treats them well and advocates for better treatment only for the lines between compassion and treason to blur.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications.

First impressions: I enjoy reading historical fiction novels set during wartime, so I was excited to read this story. I wasn’t expecting it to be written almost entirely in letters, but the format is different and interesting.

Characters: Although the author doesn’t get a chance to describe the physical appearance of the characters because everyone is writing letters to each other, they still came to life and felt real to me. I think Johanna is a relatable protagonist with her own strengths and flaws. I didn’t realize she was so young because she seemed older than her age. I also appreciate the inclusion of a Japanese American character in Peter Ito along with the exploration of racial issues between different races.


“It is time for you to live the life in front of you, instead of wondering what might have been.”

Writing: I like the short length of the letters and how easy they are to read. The book also contains newspaper articles published in the local paper in addition to editorials.

Final thoughts: The epilogue answers lingering questions. I recommend Things We Didn’t Say to readers who want to learn more about American life during the Second World War.

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