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Everything He Never Said

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He was a “Fen Tiger”, salt of the earth, fearless and invincible. Oh, we can hear him chuckling at the first line already. Don’t be daft, he would say, I’m just an ordinary chap. But he was our dad and we beg to differ. In poverty, hard work, mischief and happiness, Charlie sprouted up from the rural farmland of East Anglia. Give him a horse, he could shoe it; give him a dog He was a “Fen Tiger”, salt of the earth, fearless and invincible. Oh, we can hear him chuckling at the first line already. Don’t be daft, he would say, I’m just an ordinary chap. But he was our dad and we beg to differ. In poverty, hard work, mischief and happiness, Charlie sprouted up from the rural farmland of East Anglia. Give him a horse, he could shoe it; give him a dog, he could train it to hunt rabbits; give him a gun, he could shoot two holes in an apple at fifty yards; give him a little brother, he could teach it to ride a bike with no saddle and no brakes. There was nothing Charlie couldn’t do. Nothing that ever stopped him in his tracks. And then he was left a widower with three little girls to raise. When his young wife was suddenly diagnosed with cancer and died five weeks later, how did he keep going? Perhaps, the secret lies in how he got that far. * Our dad was a man of very few words. We knew little about his childhood and the family in which he grew up. And we knew virtually nothing about his struggles. But finally, only six years before he died, he sat down and wrote about his life: all the laughter and all the tears. It was everything he had never been able to say to us, his daughters. In the end, his memoir was the most we ever heard him talk about himself, in all the years we knew him. Or thought we knew him.


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He was a “Fen Tiger”, salt of the earth, fearless and invincible. Oh, we can hear him chuckling at the first line already. Don’t be daft, he would say, I’m just an ordinary chap. But he was our dad and we beg to differ. In poverty, hard work, mischief and happiness, Charlie sprouted up from the rural farmland of East Anglia. Give him a horse, he could shoe it; give him a dog He was a “Fen Tiger”, salt of the earth, fearless and invincible. Oh, we can hear him chuckling at the first line already. Don’t be daft, he would say, I’m just an ordinary chap. But he was our dad and we beg to differ. In poverty, hard work, mischief and happiness, Charlie sprouted up from the rural farmland of East Anglia. Give him a horse, he could shoe it; give him a dog, he could train it to hunt rabbits; give him a gun, he could shoot two holes in an apple at fifty yards; give him a little brother, he could teach it to ride a bike with no saddle and no brakes. There was nothing Charlie couldn’t do. Nothing that ever stopped him in his tracks. And then he was left a widower with three little girls to raise. When his young wife was suddenly diagnosed with cancer and died five weeks later, how did he keep going? Perhaps, the secret lies in how he got that far. * Our dad was a man of very few words. We knew little about his childhood and the family in which he grew up. And we knew virtually nothing about his struggles. But finally, only six years before he died, he sat down and wrote about his life: all the laughter and all the tears. It was everything he had never been able to say to us, his daughters. In the end, his memoir was the most we ever heard him talk about himself, in all the years we knew him. Or thought we knew him.

10 review for Everything He Never Said

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mimi Matthews

    A truly lovely and relatable biography, with equal parts earthy humor and heart. Jayne Fresina’s father, Charlie, was raised humbly amid the rural farmland of East Anglia. He encountered many obstacles in his young life, but learned quickly to always keep his head up and persevere. Charlie's romance with Jayne’s mother, Doreen, is at the heart of the story. I found the parts of the book that focus on their courtship, marriage, and the birth of their three daughters particularly sweet. And if you A truly lovely and relatable biography, with equal parts earthy humor and heart. Jayne Fresina’s father, Charlie, was raised humbly amid the rural farmland of East Anglia. He encountered many obstacles in his young life, but learned quickly to always keep his head up and persevere. Charlie's romance with Jayne’s mother, Doreen, is at the heart of the story. I found the parts of the book that focus on their courtship, marriage, and the birth of their three daughters particularly sweet. And if you have any doubt that Charlie is romance hero material, you have only to look at the pictures included of Charlie and Doreen’s wedding (and of Charlie on his motorcycle!). But life isn’t without its tragedies. Doreen is diagnosed with cancer, and Charlie must face the very real prospect of life without her. A life where he is left raising three daughters. Of course, all of this is written in Jayne Fresina’s vivid and evocative style. Her way with words is unparalleled. I read this primarily for her writing, but by the time I finished, I was completely wrapped up in the story of Charlie’s life. What a wonderful tale, and how lucky Jayne is to have such a rich history to draw upon.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jayne Fresina

    It's a book about my dad and which he partially wrote. Of course, I'm always going to give him 5 stars! I don't think that's a spoiler. It's a book about my dad and which he partially wrote. Of course, I'm always going to give him 5 stars! I don't think that's a spoiler.

  3. 4 out of 5

    denise morris

  4. 5 out of 5

    Emily

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lady EE

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sisa

  7. 4 out of 5

    J

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Chaidez

  9. 4 out of 5

    Alejandra

  10. 5 out of 5

    Calla Bee

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