Review: The Things We Left Unsaid by Emma Kennedy

To say Rachel is having a bad time of late would be an understatement. Just six weeks after the death of her father she’s jilted at the altar on her wedding day, and as a result is forced to move back to the family home in Oxford with her mother, Eleanor, a renowned artist. The pair have drifted apart over the years and are both separately mourning Charlie, their beloved husband/father. But when life deals yet another surprise, Rachel embarks on an emotional journey into Eleanor’s past which brings her closer to her mother.

Written by Emma Kennedy, The Things We Left Unsaid is a well-written and engaging read from start to finish and it’s almost impossible to put the book down. The story jumps between the past, focusing on Eleanor’s university days in the 1960s and subsequent rise to fame as an artist; and the present from Rachel’s perspective as she tries to heal from the hurt she’s experienced. In doing so Emma Kennedy creates two incredibly well-rounded characters and it’s impossible not to warm to them both despite their obvious imperfections. The dual perspective also allows readers to discover more about the two women’s motivations, and deep down the similarities that they may have overlooked. Kennedy’s acute attention to detail transports the reader to another world, as though they’re there partying with Eleanor in Soho in the swinging sixties or coming to terms with loss and betrayal like Rachel. The fast-paced nature of the writing helps to add to the drama, with readers sure to be as desperate as Rachel to learn more about her parents’ past.

Where Emma Kennedy often excels is in crafting real and relatable situations, and The Things We Left Unsaid is no exception, vividly portraying the difficulty in accepting loss and trying to move on with life after losing someone you love. This could be any mother and daughter relationship, which makes the novel all the more affecting.

A compelling read, The Things We Left Unsaid is a poignant yet uplifting tale of family, love and loss. This beautiful story is sure to lead you on an emotional journey you won’t forget in a hurry.

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The Things We Left Unsaid will be published on 22 August. 



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