👍🏼Pick It: if U2's “Sunday Bloody Sunday” is the extent of your knowledge concerning Northern Ireland.
👎🏼Skip It: if thick ‘n' rich journalism bores you.
I initially picked Say Nothing thinking the story of the mysterious disappearance and murder of Jean McConville would coddle my true crime cravings. So by the end of Chapter 3, largely dedicating to staging the developing conflict, I felt duped...but hooked.
Here was major period of history reading like a revelation! Never touched, mentioned nor acknowledged in any one social studies class.
Before Say Nothing, I largely type-casted History as regurgitated black-and-white events, contained in dusty books, inked to yellowing pages, shoved on forgotten shelves. This book refreshed the genre with a curiosity to learn about the world around me, over the wall, over the pond.
The magnitude of history is hardly digestible for a fifth grader during a five-month learning frame, so I don't fault my K-18 history teachers for skimming or omitting chunks of happenings. However, this book spoke to the need for writers like Keefe to revive the stories that go unsung.
Keefe's ability to give the in-depth, decades-spanning scoop on the Troubles is stunning. Because of his careful narration, I closed the book with conviction that history class is still in session and happening now.
So to be considered active participants in this world, we must pick up books like this one to develop empathy and to stay cognizant of the shifting landscapes and consequential evolutions of countries and cultures outside our own.