Engaging, complex and absorbing family drama. Recommended reading.
Sasha is just about managing to hold her life together. She is raising her teenage son Zac, coping with an absent husband and caring for her ageing, temperamental and alcoholic mother, as well as holding down her own job. But when Zac begins to suspect that he has a secret sibling, Sasha realises that she must relive the events of a devastating night which she has done her best to forget for the past nineteen years.
Sasha’s mother, Annie, is old and finds it difficult to distinguish between past and present and between truth and lies. As Annie sinks deeper back into her past, she revisits the key events in her life which have shaped her emotionally. Through it all, she remains convinced that her dead husband Joe is watching and waiting for her. But there’s one thing she never told him, and as painful as it is for her to admit the truth, Annie is determined to go to Joe with a guilt-free conscience.
As the plot unfurls, traumas are revealed and lies uncovered, revealing long-buried secrets which are at the root of Annie and Sasha’s fractious relationship.
I found this to be an engaging and complex tale. What’s Left Unsaid tells the story of one family of three generations where secrets are buried deep. I liked the way the story is told from different perspectives – grandpa Joe, grandma Annie, mother Sasha and her teenage son Zac.
It is a compelling read where all three generations stories are well told and very relatable. Family secrets can be devastating and once they are uncovered there is no way to put them back in the box – lives change and this story shows how keeping secrets can be as difficult as it is to talk about them.
Thank you to NetGalley and Matador and @LoveBooksGroup for the opportunity to read and review this novel prior to publication.
- AUTHOR: Deborah Stone
- PUBLISHED: Matador
- DATE OF PUBLICATION: 28 October 2018
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Deborah Stone lives in North London with her husband, two sons and fabulous golden retriever, George, who is the inspiration for Stanley in the novel. This is her debut novel.
What’s Left Unsaid spans several decades, telling the history of the Stein family from the turn of the twentieth century to the present day. Speaking of her inspiration for her novel, Deborah says; ‘My own mother was evacuated at the age of five during World War Two and my father was a young man working as an ARP warden. This novel is purely fictitious, but I wanted to explore the traumas that many ordinary people of the war generation suffered, experiences which would be quite unimaginable to many of us today and then to contrast them with the issues we all face in the modern day.’