Book Review: Stories We Never Told by Sonja Yoerg

Stories We Never Told
Sonja Yoerg
File Size: 3144 KB
Print Length: 332 pages
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (May 1, 2020)
Publication Date: May 1, 2020
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English

BOOK BLURB: A suspenseful novel of love, secrets, and obsession

Psychology professor Jackie Strelitz thinks she’s over Harlan Crispin, her ex-lover and colleague. Why should she care if Harlan springs a new “friend” on her? After all, Jackie has everything she ever wanted: a loving husband and a thriving career. Still, she can’t help but be curious about Harlan’s latest.

Nasira Amari is graceful, smart, and appallingly young. Worse, she’s the newest member of Jackie’s research team. For five years, Harlan enforced rules limiting his relationship with Jackie. With Nasira, he’s breaking every single one. Why her?

Fixated by the couple, Jackie’s curiosity becomes obsession. But she soon learns that nothing is quite what it seems and that to her surprise—and peril—she may not be the only one who can’t let go.

REVIEW: For the first half of the book, this is a slow-moving tale of obsession, love, secrets, and the lies we tell ourselves as the author sets up the characters. They are all keenly developed and slowly became more likable for me as the story progressed. I did find the friendship between Harlan, the ex, and Miles, the husband a bit odd, but later it became clear why that story element needed to be there.

The reader gets glimpses into the inner workings of academia, which is a culture unto itself, as well as the inner working of Jackie, who has a public persona contrasted with the one she’d like to keep hidden: That obsessive, jealous, insecure woman who dances between memories of the past with Harlan and the present she has with Miles. As the story progresses, she waltzes closer and closer to the edge of losing the funding for her research project and maybe losing her marriage.

The author’s use of language is beautiful and refreshing. In describing Jackie’s approach to dating and relationships, Sonja wrote “Love wasn’t on the table, it wasn’t even in the room.” What a lovely, succinct way of letting the reader know that without having paragraphs of explanation. One knows exactly what is contained in those few words.

When Jackie is thinking about how uncertain things are with her stepson, Antonio who battles drug addiction, she muses, “We are frail, propped up by hope, leaning against each other like reeds.”

Aren’t we all.

Grace, Jackie’s sister is a stabilizing force in her life. Grace is happily married with a “passle of kids” as my grandmother used to say. Jackie is happy when she spends time with her sister and the five young children, but she is also a bit envious of Grace’s family. Remembering the day Grace and Hector got married, Jackie thinks a lot about the depth relationship, comparing it to what she has with Harlan, who she is committed to at the time. What Grace and Hector have is nothing like what she has with Harlan. Could that change? Her thinking culminates with, “Their love was a faraway city and I lacked a map and the courage to wander. Did I want it, though?”

This book is certainly worth adding to your reading list. It releases in May and is well worth the wait. That pre-order link will take you to a page to find all the retail outlets for the ebook and the paperback.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sonja Yoerg grew up in Stowe, Vermont, where she financed her college education by waitressing at the Trapp Family Lodge. She earned her Ph.D. in Biological Psychology from the University of California at Berkeley, studied learning in blue jays, kangaroo rats and spotted hyenas, and published a critically acclaimed non-fiction book about animal intelligence, CLEVER AS A FOX (Bloomsbury USA, 2001).

Sonja has since published four novels; her most recent, TRUE PLACES, is a Washington Post and Amazon Charts bestseller. Her upcoming novel of psychological suspense, STORIES WE NEVER TOLD, will be released in May 2020. She  is a member of Tall Poppy Writers.

Sonja lives with her husband near the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia where she tends an ever-expanding vegetable garden.

Visit her WEBSITE where you can find more about her books, as well as links to follow her on social media.

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