What would your correspondence reveal about you? Could someone piece together the essence of your day-to-day life, thoughts, and motives from the things you sent by letter? And what might the things you left out also reveal about you?
Johanna has plans for her life and dreams of traveling overseas. Nowhere in those dreams was the prospect of returning to her Minnesota hometown. But with some external pressure, she finds herself taking the position of translator at a POW camp. Her job of censoring letters is far from glamorous and her outspoken views get her into trouble on more than one occasion. Part of the mystery of the book for the reader is constructing her life and relationships with prisoners, family, and childhood friends from her letters alone.
The book offers a fascinating view of the war from the perspective of German prisoners as well as through journalistic eyes when Johanna tangles with the local editor a time or two. Johanna has spunk and determination and manages to raise morale by helping to advocate for the prisoners at the camp.
Kindness can sometimes be misinterpreted and Johanna finds herself in a situation where her own words may be used against her. The backdrop of war adds to the angst of a young woman trying to figure out where she belongs in the world and what dreams are worth fighting for.
Disclaimer: I received a free digital copy of Things We Didn't Say from NetGalley for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received.