This was a sad, beautiful book. If you can listen to the audio version, do so. Alexie mixes poetry in with his narrative, and listening to him sing/recite it in his accent brought a whole new depth to the writing.
You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me is a story of Alexie’s mother — 78 essays and 78 poems written after she died at the age of 78. He paints a full, raw portrait of a frankly terrifying woman who loved her family so fiercely that it hurt. He also tells us, in great detail, about his life — growing up on a reservation, the things he suffered or lacked, and how it feels to go back and see his family now. It’s just beautiful, and sad, and hard. Again, get the audio version if you can — he recites his poetry like a song.