Title: Things I Never Told You
Author: Beth K Vogt
Series: Thatcher Sisters #1
Genre: Christian Contemporary Fiction
Publishing Date: May 8, 2018
About the Book:
It’s been ten years since Payton Thatcher’s twin sister died in an accident, leaving the entire family to cope in whatever ways they could. No longer half of a pair, Payton reinvents herself as a partner in a successful party-planning business and is doing just fine–as long as she manages to hold her memories and her family at arm’s length.
But with her middle sister Jillian’s engagement, Payton’s party-planning skills are called into action. Which means working alongside her opinionated oldest sister, Johanna, who always seems ready for a fight. They can only hope that a wedding might be just the occasion to heal the resentment and jealousy that divides them . . . until a frightening diagnosis threatens Jillian’s plans and her future. As old wounds are reopened and the family faces the possibility of another tragedy, the Thatchers must decide if they will pull together or be driven further apart.
About the Author:
Beth K. Vogt is a non-fiction author and editor who said she’d never write fiction. She’s the wife of an Air Force family physician (now in solo practice) who said she’d never marry a doctor—or anyone in the military. She’s a mom of four who said she’d never have kids. Now Beth believes God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” Beth’s first women’s fiction novel for Tyndale House Publishers, Things I Never Told You, releases May 2018.
Beth is a 2016 Christy Award winner, a 2016 ACFW Carol Award winner, and a 2015 RITA® finalist. Her 2014 novel, Somebody Like You, was one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Best Books of 2014. A November Bride was part of the Year of Wedding Series by Zondervan. Having authored nine contemporary romance novels or novellas, Beth believes there’s more to happily-ever-after than the fairy tales tell us.
An established magazine writer and former editor of the leadership magazine for MOPS International, Beth blogs for Novel Rocket and The Write Conversation and also enjoys speaking to writers group and mentoring other writers. She lives in Colorado with her husband Rob, who has adjusted to discussing the lives of imaginary people, and their youngest daughter, Christa, who loves to play volleyball and enjoys writing her own stories. Connect with Beth at bethvogt.com.
Relationships are complicated. You don’t have to live long in this life to realize that. Some say that “nothing is stronger than blood,” while others would say “There’s more to family than blood.” Some people get along with *most* of their family, while others are entirely estranged. Whether it’s due to personal conflicts or internal battles, no relationship is without it’s complications.
Which leads me this story. Beth K Vogt captured the essence of the ups and downs of a family in a real, powerful, raw, honest kind of way. The story centers around three sisters who couldn’t be more different from each other if they tried. It’s told from the first person view of Payton, (the twin of their deceased sister), as well as the third person perspective of Jillian, the middle sister dealing with a health crisis. Although not told through her perspective, you still hear quite a bit about their oldest “control-freak” sister Johanna. The dynamic the sisters share is developed so well that their characters are believable and in no way “cheesy” or “stereotypical.”
My next door neighbor Vi is (was?) a twin. She is now 79 years old. Within the last month or so when we were out to dinner one evening, she shared about what the loss of her sister felt like. Now, I don’t mean to limit the pain anyone would feel over a lost sibling or other relative, but we can pretty much all admit that the “twin thing” is a very real thing. Vi said that when her sister died, she literally felt (in the moment) as if a part of her had died as well. She suddenly felt a weight of emptiness that she couldn’t describe. In a way you can see that this is how Payton felt without her twin– almost like she didn’t know how to live without Pepper. She didn’t want to live without Pepper. It was as if her life had ended as well, and she felt too guilty to have another on her own.
Jillian’s piece of the story was a whole other world of emotions. Planning a wedding is a huge deal. Being diagnosed with cancer while planning that wedding? Unfathomable. Jillian struggles a lot with a poor self-image, mostly surrounding her weight. Now that she’s dealing with cancer, she is afraid of letting others in on what she’s really feeling, and she also doesn’t feel “worth it” enough for someone to have to deal with her if she’s never healed or is never the same. It also doesn’t help that she has an older sister (Johanna), who thinks she knows everything that’s right for her and tries to take control of her life. This was another emotionally charged puzzle piece in the story.
I thought this story was extremely well written. The characters and all of their “life drama” was believable and heart-felt. Their personalities were so well developed that I would have believed if I was told they were real people. Their words and actions matched up perfectly to how they were described. It made the entire family dynamic not only believable, but relatable. This was no easy beach read, but I would still highly recommend it. I’m curious to see where Beth goes with the sisters in the next book of the series!
*I received a copy of this book as part of a giveaway. I was not required to give a review. Thoughts and opinions expressed are mine alone.
Age Appropriateness/Content Warnings: Although the characters are dealing with some very difficult, painful life experiences, it’s clean as far as language, romance, and violence go. There is however quite a bit of reference to panic attacks and (although not specifically stated) depression. There is a scene that talks about one of the characters going through some thoughts of suicide at one point. I’m not sure this story would appeal to younger readers more for the relatability than the content. The characters are dealing with adult health/marriage/relationship etc issues, so it may not be appealing to them. I really don’t think I would recommend under 14 or 15.
I ended up with 2 copies of this lovely book, so I’m having a giveaway for my 2nd copy!
I am giving away ONE (1) paperback copy of Things I Never Told You. The giveaway begins today, 7-8-18 at 12:00 AM (EST) and ends on Saturday, 7-14-18 at 12:00 AM (EST). To enter, click on the Rafflecopter link below. Good luck!
***Please Note: Open to Continental U.S. mailing addresses only.*** Winner will be notified via email at the end of the giveaway, and will be announced here on this page.