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 loved this book and just couldn’t put it down until I’d finished it! It is told from three perspectives and meanders between the past and present, unravelling secrets as it goes. The mother, Annie, suffers from dementia. She is not the most likeable character, but once you understand her past, you feel sympathy for her. Sasha, the daughter, is lost without husband, mother or son for support and Joe, the father, gives us his understanding from beyond the grave. Told with great emotional depth and very well written. Highly recommended! – Amazon Customer
British author Deborah Stone offers no biographical information from which we may understand the depth of her artistry. WHAT’S LEFT UNSAID is simply one of the most impressive novels about family and secrets and relationships and, yes, personal histories we all share that has surfaced this year. Her prose is eloquent, her manner of delivery of a multicharacter story in conversational pages for individual characters is a very sensitive technique for creating a drama as though we the readers are personally attuned to the varying stances of each character. Brilliant writing and an entrancing journey into the life of a family fractured. Highly Recommended. – Grady Harp
This is one of the best books I’ve read so far this year, it’s wonderful and I didn’t want it to end. The story tells of a family with deep secrets that finally come to light, with disastrous results that almost destroy Sasha, the main character. Her husband leaves her, her son acts out, her mother is senile and pretty nasty to boot; how can she keep her sanity? The love for her son and the comfort of her dog keep her going and as we learn of her mother’s and father’s pasts and her husband’s painful struggle, we can empathize with all the characters. The ending was bittersweet and full of hope, lovely. Highly recommended! – Hannelore