Published by: Booktrope Publishing
Publication date: May 15th 2014
“Growing up had stolen the truth of us.”
A life worth living is a life worth sharing. Growing up in a small town in Montana not worth a name, that kind of life is not one Nick can manage, let alone comprehend. When fate gives him an existence he can barely recognize, he searches for meaning in the future he wishes existed, and attempts to escape a past that cannot be told, save for in the pages of a faded memory.
Melissa Thayer’s lyrical and poignant debut novel, part confession and part wistful longing, is an incisive look at love and loss, and what remains of a soul that is dashed against the rocky shorelines of hope.
“Here.” Nick handed her a glass tumbler with a small amount of whiskey over an ice cube then walked to the back door. She set her beer down and peered at the drink. The smell hit her nostrils. She followed Nick down the hall to the back. She didn’t like strangers and wondered if he might talk to her at some point tonight.
She stood next to him, looking out her peripherals. He looked straight ahead. They stood on the porch under the orange streetlight, their drinks set on the weathered railing. The cars lined up in a row below them. The bakery fan was quiet, sleeping for a few more hours, but the faint smell of cinnamon rolls was still there. The end of Nick’s cigarette crackled in the stillness.
A feral cat passed through the gravel below. Nick tapped the filter of the cigarette with his thumb, flicking the burned ash off, sending sparks fluttering to the ground. He set it to his lips and breathed in and out. Then he asked, “What should we do?”
Emma didn’t quite understand the question and stared straight ahead. “About what.”
He didn’t look at her. “About us. We’re like magnets, you know. We’ll never get away from it.”
The statement was matter-of-fact. He breathed in the cigarette one last time before snuffing it out and dropping it in the coffee can-turned-cigarette cemetery. She picked up her drink, still staring ahead, while everything in her wanted to look at his face. The watered-down whiskey glowed in the streetlight. It didn’t taste very good, but it was what he was drinking and it’s what writers were supposed to drink.
She currently lives in Washington with her husband, daughter, and three cats.
THE STORIES WE DON’T TELL is her debut novel.