Book Review: The Things We Don’t Say Out Loud by Rochelle Walters.
Thank you very much to Author Rochelle Walters for my copy of this book. When Rochelle approached me with this book, I was very intrigued mainly due to the fact that the leading character was a psychologist. I love learning about the mind and I hoped this was going to be an interesting book. Here are my thoughts:
Rising star, Sheila Burkes, has a new position as the resident psychologist/radio talk show host at Memphis’s premier Black radio station, WRLM. With this new venture, she seeks to heal others by helping to guide them through their subconscious, mental blocks and into their greater possibilities. There’s only one problem. She has her own deep-seated secret that she is desperate to keep hidden; but, when all is said and done, she may have to deal with it on someone else’s terms. Will Sheila’s secret come out? If it does, will she be able to overcome the shame or will she be taken down a hopeless, dark road of no return?
As I mentioned above, I was initially attracted to the sound of this book by the fact that the main character was a psychologist and also by the great video trailer of the book. You can watch that above.
The first chapter gets us straight in to get to know the main character Sheila, a radio presenter, a psychologist, a black lady who has had a hard life and has tried her best to make it good. Sheila is likeable and intriguing. One of the first things that hit me with this book is the language. I knew when I started the book that it was Africa American genre, but as I haven’t read a book of this genre before, I was really surprised with the language that the Author used.
“…when I say I wanna know something, Negro, I want to know”
This was not taken as racist language, this was the language used between friends. Sheila and her friend Charlie call each other ‘My Girl’. The language took a bit of getting used to, as there was colloquial language used too. However, it did set the scene straight away that this was an African American tale.
I did enjoy the psycho talk that came from Sheila, however I would have liked to hear more of her insights and delve deeper into the minds of the issues that arose and hear more of her callers from her radio show. One of the nice quotes that Sheila says on her radio show is:
“…often through their talking they can one day come to their own resolution….”
“….forgiveness being the tool they used to get to the other side of anger into joy.”
As we learn about the different characters within this book, we learn that they all have secrets and the second half of the book leads us to a tangled web of how these secrets and characters intertwine with each other. This book was in no way predictable and for my first African American book, I enjoyed it.
I found that I was reading this book a bit differently from the way I usually read. Usually I get so engrossed in the books that I feel I am living the story with the characters. With this book, it felt like the Author was telling a tale of other people’s lives almost like she wanted us to get a moral from the story. I don’t want to say what I found the moral to be as I think it might serve as a spoiler, but if you have read this book or are going to, I would love to hear your thoughts on it.
Overall I felt that Walters was telling a story to try to help her readers. I thought that Sheila was a great and intriguing character, and one that I would like to go for a coffee and a chat with.
I would like to thank the Author again for widening my genres of reading with her book.