She's pretty sure it doesn't get worse than being dumped by post-it note, and her current job is hardly the best outlet for her creative talents.
Meanwhile in Ireland Fred Fitzpatrick is finding it impossible to keep his grown-up children and their families on side, and they're a demanding lot at the best of times.
But when Fred asks solicitor Ryan Gilligan to contact Abbey about a long-buried family secret, things start to change dramatically. And not everyone affected is happy about it...
Things We Never Say is Sheila O'Flanagan's eighteenth novel and was published in paperback by Headline Review on 24 April 2014.
I have been a huge fan of Sheila O'Flanagan for many years now, she is one of those authors who I never tire of. I love discovering new authors and new genres, but there is something special about returning to a favourite writer, knowing that you will not be let down.
Things We Never Say is classic Sheila O'Flanagan, filled with her trademark, realistic characters with their Irish humour and eccentricities.
Abbey Anderson is based in San Francisco and is floundering a little. Her boyfriend has done a bunk without telling her. She's really not doing very well as an artist, she can't bear her job in the Gallery and her mother has taken her own life in a totally new direction. However, Abbey is a great nail artist and she does have an adopted family in the shape of her mum's ex-boyfriend Pete, his new wife and their kids.
In Dublin, the Fitzpatrick family appear to be successful and wealthy with enviable lifestyles. Fred, the patriarch of the family worked very hard, building a successful business from nothing. He now lives in the house of his dreams, but at eighty-one years old and recently widowed, he's been spending more and more time thinking back over his life. He is haunted by something that happened fifty years ago, and is determined that he will make amends before he dies.
It is this decision that brings Abbey Anderson and the Fitzpatrick family together, with dramatic consequences and life-changing events.
Sheila O'Flanagan excels in creating characters that the reader can relate to and recognise. Things We Never Say is dominated by female characters who range from the ethereal Ellen to the money-hungry Zoey and whilst each character is flawed, this only adds to their realism. Her male characters play more of a supporting role in this story, and again the men are a diverse bunch.
I enjoyed this story of family dynamics, mixed with topical issues such as the economic melt-down and the tragedies and suffering of the Magdelene laundries.
The perfect comfort read from an author who consistently delivers great stories.
Sheila O'Flanagan's latest book; If You Were Me was released in hardback by Headline Review on 3 July 2014, the paperback edition will be available in March 2015.
Thanks to the publisher who sent my review copy via Bookbridgr.
Check out some more reviews of Things We Never Say, from my blogger friends:
Crooks on Books
Sheila O'Flanagan's books, including Someone Special, Bad Behaviour and Yours, Faithfully, have been huge bestsellers in the UK and Ireland; they are all available from Headline Review. Sheila has always loved telling stories, and after working in banking and finance for a number of years, she decided it was time to fulfil a dream and give writing her own book a go. So she sat down, stuck 'Chapter One' at the top of a page, and got started. Sheila is now the author of more than fifteen bestselling titles. She lives in Dublin with her partner.
For more information check out her website www.sheilaoflanagan.com
Follow her on Twitter @sheilaoflanagan
Check out her author page on Facebook