A review by tamarina
All the Things We Don't Talk About by Amy Feltman


I'm so glad I continued reading this book! I was considering to stop half way because it was so intensely depressing. But I'm glad I read on, because there is a hopeful ending.
I won't go into details except that in the end of the book, Zoë is 8 months sober and attending AA meetings.
When looking for reviews with spoilers I read a lot of reviews saying they found this ending hard to believe. I find that very cynical and also unrealistic. There are loads of alcoholics attending AA meetings and trying to stay sober, and succeeding. Sometimes a long time. And yes, Zoë will probably relapse at some point. And then she needs help to get back on track again. That's life. But that doesn't mean that all is wasted. It's just that progress comes with ups and downs and is never a straight line.
Then there were reviews saying it was "too many issues at the same time". To those people I want to say: do you think only straight, cis and neurotypisch people live with addictive family members? It is so typical to think that deviation from the norm only comes one issue at the time. As a queer, chronically ill, disabled and neurodivergent person married to a neurodivergent trans person I actually thought this was a very realistic scenario, and it was refreshing to read about ND and queer characters with their identities just being there and not overly problematized.

I liked the book. Almost loved it, but it was a bit too harsh for that I think. I really liked how the characters actually grew and learned instead of just turning in circles again and again like in many other novels. Learning and growth are how stuff happens in real life.