Don’t Tell by Karen Rose

Hiya friends,

It’s me, your favorite wanna-be book blogger here! I know I haven’t really connected with anyone since the weekend, but I really really needed a break from uni (and all forms of digital work) so I took a little me time over Memorial Day weekend. It was great! Sun, family, and barbecue are the quintessential American holiday (plus a parade) and I feel refreshed to be back. I’d love to hear about your weekends and what your Memorial Day traditions are, if you care to share below!

Anyways, I did a little bit of reading over the weekend, and a lot more today! I’m currently reading four books at once, so I have quite a lot of reviews coming up, but first I have to get through them all! So I settled down with one and read through it all the way,  which was not hard at all. In fact, the book progressed so quickly, I am surprised I managed to stretch it out so long.

Before I continue, I would like to warn any readers that there is content that they may find unsuitable or triggering regarding sexual assault and rape, both in the book and in the review below.

Karen Rose does quite a number in Don’t Tell on the reader’s psyche. The protagonist is a young woman, alternatively called Caroline and Mary Grace. Caroline’s story is a haunting backstory, coupled with a suspenseful romance, that quickly turns scary. After suffering from an abusive husband for years, her sheer perseverance and will are truly inspiring to read about. Rose does a great job of helping the reader understand why Caroline is still so deeply traumatized by her experiences. A glimpse into Rob Winter’s brain is a glimpse into the deeply trouble mind of a cold blooded psychopath. I couldn’t put the book down, even when reading through the thought trail of a monster. 

However, I did have some minor issues with the development of the romance itself. After all the time put in to making Caroline’s trauma and haunting past seem so real, she falls for her history professor a little too quickly to be believable. In a short two weeks, Caroline and Dr. Hunter are trading “I love you” and talking of marriage, etc. For someone who is too scared to have any real male friends, she seems to have let down her emotional guard much too quickly.

That being said, I do think that this book shines a light on the horror of spousal abuse. Perhaps some men are not cold blooded murderers, but the women who suffer from them (and yes many cases of domestic abuse are men who suffer at the hands of women, so this applies too) are often subject to the same horror, the same helplessness of their fate. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to live in a world where the person who is supposed to help you, to love you, continually degrades your worth as a human being. If you can get only one thing out of this book, I hope it is the realization that domestic abuse is much more serious of an issue than many people think it is.

In that regards, I was left a little shocked with the rape scenes in the book. Some of them seem like something one can expect in a crime novel containing a self centered, psychopathic antagonist. However, I always thought of rape as something that people suffered at the hands of an acquaintance, stranger, even someone that they thought was a friend. It absolutely never entered my mind that someone can live their whole life being raped by the person they married. I can’t imagine that kind of existence, and I am so glad that sexual assault is finally being brought to light. I truly am grateful for the survivors that continue to persevere and give other victims hope to tell their story!

After such a hard read, I am hoping to lighten up my reading list a little bit. Hopefully the next book won’t be such a hard review. However, I would like to hear from you what you think of this review, and to hear your stories if you would like to share.

Also, please let me know how my trigger warning is. I haven’t had to do a content warning before, so I am not sure if I did it correctly, etc.

Hope to hear from each and every one of you!

Much love,



12 thoughts on “Don’t Tell by Karen Rose

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