The Stories We Cannot Tell
Told through multiple perspectives, Leslie Rasmussen’s novel focuses on two protagonists, Katie and Rachel, who are charming and relatable. Katie has become involved with a married man who already has two children he did not reveal to her. Rachel, happily married to a caring and supportive husband, desperately wants a baby but has suffered multiple miscarriages.
In this romantic novel difficult questions about identity as a woman, a partner, and as a potential mother are raised. Both a humorous and psychologically astute examination of what most women will have to face as adults (excluding male intervention)—whether to become a mother or not—are presented unflinchingly. In The Stories We Cannot Tell, each female character pursues her own personal dreams, not others’ expectations and projections, but with hesitation, guilt, defiance, and frequently, self-doubt. And the role of the mother and her unrelenting anxiety over pregnancy are eviscerated, witnessed, and commemorated in equal portions.
Katie tells a patient who was complaining about the pressures and hectic schedule of being a mother: “Don't you know how lucky you are? You have people who love you and keep you company at night, and I go to bed with a book and a piece of dark chocolate.”
Rachel and Katie’s friendship continues through challenge after challenge, secret upon secret, as they think they know each other and think they know themselves.
Nonjudgmental in tone about the pros and cons of becoming a mother, The Stories We Cannot Tell will provoke and redefine notions of family, women’s friendship, and sisterhood: what creates, sustains, and tears apart relationships.
An original portrait of forgiveness, self-discovery, transparency, and communication, The Stories We Cannot Tell is highly recommended.