Title: The Things I Know
Author: Amanda Prows
Genre: Women’s Fiction / Romance
Narrated By: Amanda Prowse
Length: 9 hours, 26 mins
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Publish Date: June 11, 2019
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Gosh I was so pissed off reading this book! Not the whole thing, and not because the writing was bad. It definitely wasn’t. But I was pissed off at how Thomasina was treated the majority of her life, especially by her worth nothing cousin Emory.
I guess I should explain that a little bit.
First of all, the main character Thomasina “Hitch” Waycott was born with just some of the worst cosmetic issues a little girl could have. It doesn’t help that when she had surgery to get her cleft fixed, the doctor botched it and made it almost worse. So of course, she grew up feeling like she was an abomination – or at the very least “different” from others – and was teased by the children she grew up with. What was worse was that she suffered the most torture from her cousin Emory, and even though she tried to tell her mother about it, she just didn’t seem to believe her. “That’s your cousin. He’ll have your back when it’s important, you’ll see.” She had to deal with hearing that when it was clear that he couldn’t give a shit about her. He even said that to her face numerous times. Calling her names like twat, fuckwit, rabbit mouth. Those words stuck with her all throughout her life, and whenever she tried to stand up for herself and make new friends, those words would keep her from opening up.
It wasn’t until towards the end of the novel that things end up changing for her, although towards the middle of the novel she does stand up for herself and tell everyone to start calling her by her real name Thomasina, rather than the nickname Hitch. Everyone but Emory – of course – complies and it’s easy for them to do so. Even the author makes sure to call her by Thomasina after that moment, which I totally loved.
Another thing that pissed me off was how Thomasina was treated by one of the guys that she had a crush on. I won’t spoil it too much, but he basically used her during a moment of vulnerability, and really just showed me that he never really treated her like a real person. So ugh I was sooooooo upset at certain parts of this novel, but I guess that’s to be expected when you invest some time and energy in a character.
I basically wanted to beat up every single person that made Thomasina feel like she was less than human. Like fight me losers! Fight me!
I’m really glad that I had an opportunity to read this book. I will say I’m ashamed that I automatically defaulted that this book took place in America, and only realized otherwise when Thomasina’s brother Johnathan told her that he wanted to go to America and be a farmer. I was like “whaaaaat?” Then I did the smart thing and looked up Amanda Prowse and saw that she’s from West Country, England, and that’s exactly where Thomasina and the Waycotts live on their farmland. Duh, Leelynn. Not everything will take place in America, so get over your defaults.
That’s an interesting topic on it’s own, but we’ll get to that.
I just had to get those angry parts out first before I got to the rest of it. I’m honestly so glad that Shelly (one of Thomasina’s classmates) ends up finally telling her that Thomasina was way harder on herself than everyone else was. While Thomasina kept herself isolated because she didn’t want to be ridiculed by them, her classmates were wanting to include her and be her friend, and didn’t hold her physical limitations and cosmetic “disfigurement” against her. Only she did, because of how Emory made her feel.
This was also one of those books that didn’t have the storybook happy ending that you would expect, but Thomasina finally grew into herself and gained the confidence that she should have had from the beginning, thanks to the newfound love she got to experience and the support she received from her friend Shelly. So I’m very proud of you Thomasina Waycott, and even though you were born a little bit different, you are still an amazing young woman.