Reviewed by Alysia George

Even people we think we know very well have secrets that we may be quite surprised by if we were ever to discover them. We’re typically so busy with everyday activities and conversations that sometimes the deeper, soul-baring talks just don’t happen as often or as thoroughly as they should. If they do happen, maybe there are some secrets so well-hidden and sacred that even our dearest loved ones choose to keep them from us for their own very personal reasons.

When Chelsea Enright, the main character in More Than Words Can Say by Robert Barclay, is faced with the passing of her beloved grandmother, a meeting with the old woman’s attorney changes her life. While still grieving for a woman who deeply impacted her life, Chelsea finds that her grandmother had some posthumous surprises in store for her.

First Chelsea learns that she has inherited a cottage that she has only been vaguely aware of, but that no one in her family has visited for decades. Although her first instinct is to sell the old place sight unseen, the lawyer also gives her a letter that leads Chelsea to visit the cottage in the Adirondacks and ultimately spend a life-changing summer there. Not only does she discover secrets that her grandmother never shared with anyone in her lifetime, she also meets a neighbor who will have a huge impact on her own life.

As I was reading More Than Words Can Say, I found myself flipping to the cover more than once to reaffirm that it was indeed written by a man. It is beautifully written, and almost flowery and feminine. I shouldn’t hold such expectations, but it wasn’t what I would expect from a male author. The main characters seem almost too good and honest to be true, which made the story slightly unrealistic to me. Although, on the other hand, it was refreshing to like the characters so much and to agree with their decisions. The setting in New York’s Adirondacks region made me want to plan a vacation there, at a lovely lakefront cottage.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Alysia lives in Metro Detroit with her husband and four children. She writes about family life, parenting issues, and other things of interest to her on her blog, Michigal.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by William Morrow Paperbacks. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.