Things We Didn't Say: (World War II Historical Fiction Set in Small-Town Minnesota)

Things We Didn't Say: (World War II Historical Fiction Set in Small-Town Minnesota)

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Headstrong Johanna Berglund, a linguistics student at the University of Minnesota, has very definite plans for her future . . . plans that do not include returning to her hometown and the secrets and heartaches she left behind there. But the US Army wants her to work as a translator at a nearby camp for German POWs.

Johanna arrives to find the once-sleepy town exploding with hostility. Most patriotic citizens want nothing to do with German soldiers laboring in their fields, and they're not afraid to criticize those who work at the camp as well. When Johanna describes the trouble to her friend Peter Ito, a language instructor at a school for military intelligence officers, he encourages her to give the town that rejected her a second chance.

As Johanna interacts with the men of the camp and censors their letters home, she begins to see the prisoners in a more sympathetic light. But advocating for better treatment makes her enemies in the community, especially when charismatic German spokesman Stefan Werner begins to show interest in Johanna and her work. The longer Johanna wages her home-front battle, the more the lines between compassion and treason become blurred--and it's no longer clear whom she can trust.

From the Back Cover

Ironside Lake, Minnesota
January 1944

Headstrong and determined, linguistics student Johanna Berglund has very definite plans for her future . . . plans that do not include returning to her hometown and the secrets and heartaches she left behind. But when the only way to her intended future is through undertaking a translator position at a nearby camp for German POWs, she reluctantly accepts.

Johanna arrives to find the once-sleepy Minnesota town exploding with hostility. Most patriotic citizens want nothing to do with German soldiers laboring in their fields, and they're not afraid to criticize those who work at the camp as well. When Johanna describes the trouble to her close friend Peter Ito, a language instructor at a school for military intelligence officers, he encourages her to give the town that rejected her a second chance.

As Johanna interacts with the prisoners and censors their letters home, she begins to see them in a more sympathetic light, but advocating for better treatment makes her enemies in the community. The longer Johanna wages her home-front battle, the more the lines between compassion and treason become blurred--and she must decide where her heart truly lies.

"Green debuts with an enthralling epistolary tale revolving around a WWII-era treason trial. . . . This is a smart examination of patriotism, prejudice, and purpose."
--Publishers Weekly

"Green's epistolary novel set during World War II will appeal to fans of 
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society."--Library Journal

"Green's debut is a memorable and moving exploration of prejudice and friendship across ethnic and gender lines. For readers who enjoy tales of ordinary people thrust into extraordinary historical situations à la Susan Meissner and Lisa ­Wingate."
--Library Journal starred review

"Green proves to be a first-rate author in her remarkable first novel about humanity and patriotism. Things We Didn't Say is told entirely through letters, in which readers follow the correspondence of Johanna, POWs, military commanders, and community members, watching their fascinating, complex story unfold. Through her ambitious use of this limiting format, Green brilliantly creates a limitless and captivating reading experience with the nuance and wisdom of a seasoned writer. The timeless dichotomy of forgiveness and justice rings with contemporary relevance, and Johanna will be a well-loved heroine for her gumption, humility, and wit."--Booklist starred review

"I was captivated by this book, which was so well written that the personalities of the characters shone, and their individual nuances were conveyed expertly through their letters. I don't think many writers can share such an amazing story and well-developed characters in epistolary style, so I was surprised that this is Amy Lynn Green's debut novel." --Historical Novels Review, Editors' Choice

Praise for Things We Didn't Say

"Amy Lynn Green expertly wields wit, heart, history, and enveloping storytelling in this glorious debut."--Amanda Dykes, author of 
Set the Stars Alight and Whose Waves These Are

"With impeccable research, Amy Lynn Green casts a light on the POW camps in America during World War II. . . . Make space on your bookshelf, because this book is a keeper!"--Sarah Sundin, bestselling and award-winning author of 
When Twilight Breaks and the Sunrise at Normandy series

"This winsome epistolary is underscored by a deep look at patriotism, prejudice, unwavering faith, duty, and love."--Rachel McMillan, author of 
The London Restoration

About the Author

Amy Lynn Green (amygreenbooks.com) has always loved history and reading, and she enjoys speaking with book clubs, writing groups, and libraries all around the country. Her debut novel, Things We Didn't Say, was nominated for a 2021 Minnesota Book Award and won two Carol Awards. Things We Didn't Say and The Blackout Book Club received starred reviews from both Booklist and Library Journal. Amy and her family make their home in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Bethany House Publishers (November 3, 2020)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 408 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0764237160
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0764237164
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 13.3 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.5 x 1.02 x 8.5 inches

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