Powerful and resonant, Rochelle Walters’ “Things We Don’t Say Out Loud” is a brave work. Under the guise of fiction, there are undoubtedly many truths that ring true in terms of modern-day race relations.
The story has Sheila Burkes front and center. She’s a great character, full of gumption and ambition and likability. She’s acting as the psychologist/radio talk show host on WLRM, a popular Black radio station in Memphis, Tennessee. She makes talk radio the medium to help folks who are having a difficult time of things, or are just looking for some tactics for personal development.
When we meet the character of Derek Whitmore, the reader becomes exposed to a foil to Sheila’s secret. Like Derek, Sheila has her own set of skeletons in her closet that she is terrified will be unleashed. Told with awesome dialogue and authenticity, the author presents a story of redemption and hope, despite the many obstacles along the way. It’s a gorgeous tale that shares the universal theme of the goal of acceptance and the horrors that secrets bring.