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What Remains Unsaid

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  44 ratings  ·  23 reviews
In a placid California suburb, a mother ends up at the wrong end of her son’s Colt .45.

Sean Masterson takes Ginny hostage in her own kitchen. “I don’t want to hurt you,” he says. “I want you to listen for once.” With the tuna salad spoiling on the counter, he tells her things about his life she never knew. And, finally, coaxed by fear and desperation, Ginny reveals the sec
Kindle Edition
Published May 15th 2017 by Sand Hill Review Press
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May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literary-fiction
What Remains Unsaid is an engrossing character-driven novel that explores one of the most complex human experiences: our relationships with other people. It opens with an adult son holding his mother at gunpoint. As the story unfolds, we learn what led to that moment, meeting key characters in both the mother’s and son’s lives. Everyone is flawed; everyone is struggling. That’s what makes them relatable. We may even glimpse parts of ourselves in their interactions and thoughts.

In addition to ch
Teresa Kander
Jul 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary-fiction
This is one of the best character-driven stories I've read this year. We get inside the minds of several of the main characters and see some of the same events from differing perspectives. The ending is one part predictable, and one part surprise. I could hardly stand to put it down once I started reading!

None of the characters are particularly likable, but the more you learn about their lives, the more you understand why they have become these people.

This is a book which will draw you in, hol
James Hanna
May 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A son, with a festering sense of grievance, holds his mother at gunpoint. Thus begins What Remains Unsaid, a spiraling descent into darkness. The book employs multiple points of view, including a Faulknerian stream of conscience, to depict the epic failings of a mother, father, and son, all of whom seem genetically programmed to destroy one another. The writing is powerful and grabs the reader like an undertow. Five Stars.
Julie Failla Earhart
After reading the first chapter of this novel, I sure pretty sure I wasn’t going to finish it. Thank heavens for my 50-page rule.

In that first chapter, Kalman does what every writer is told to do: drop the reader into the middle of the action. Usually that works, but not in this instance. Sean has bound his mother to a kitchen chair and is holding her at gunpoint. He acts and sounds suicidal. Since there isn’t enough information in the section for me to feel empathy with either character, I was
Lucy Bradley
May 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought there were a lot of good things about this book. I was sympathetic to and emotionally invested in pretty much all of the characters, I felt like none of them were black and white, and I could understand their motivations and feelings for everything they did. I also felt like even though there is not much of a plot I was compelled to keep reading and I wanted to know what happened in the past as well as the present. Personally, I also liked how the author handled the issues raised in th ...more
Aug 06, 2018 rated it did not like it
I received a free copy of this book through voracious readers in exchange for an honest review. I can't even tell you what I just read! It started out quite gripping with a woman being held at gunpoint in her kitchen but went, for me, fastly downhill from there. It had no chapter numbers just like heading names - yesterday whilst reading it as I was desperate to finish it and move on three days ago, I actually nudged myself awake four times. I figured out toward the end that it was about a menta ...more
This is a work of literary fiction that is steeped in darkness as it explores the lines between a parent and a child and all the tangents that connect them and lead to missed connections between them. There is a lot of stream of consciousness in the writing, but it works for this kind of story. The story is told in multiple point of view and opens with a mother and son in her kitchen with him holding her hostage at gunpoint and demanding she listen to him. The story flashes back to the past show ...more
Carol Pennington
Apr 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a little difficult to read. Not because of how it was written, but because of the heavy content. It is about a woman who makes some bad decisions and ends up married to the wrong man. Her son has mental issues and the book begins with him holding her at gunpoint. The book then goes back in time to when his mother was a child to tell her story. As it progresses, it switches to the stories of the other major characters.

This is not a feel good inspirational book, but it tells a good
Laurel Hill
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
"What Remains Unsaid" is one of the most amazing character-driven novels I've ever read. And I've read plenty. The book has the forward momentum of a genre thriller and the inner perspective of a literary classic. "What Remains Unsaid" delves into the minds of several characters to piece together their stories of love, disappointment and despair. Part of the ending I expected. Part, I didn't. I recommend this book for a wide variety of readers.

Yet why, you may ask, didn't I give "What Remains Un
Elise Miller
Nov 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Audrey Kalman’s What Remains Unsaid is a book that will recur in my thoughts from time to time, whenever an incident of mental illness enters my life or the news - all too often, these days. Never mind that this dark and dramatic novel contains the most authentic scene I’ve ever encountered describing mental illness from inside the character’s mind. I keep thinking about the choices of all the other characters. They were just ordinary small-town America teenagers from a range of families in the ...more
Linda Donohue
Feb 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways-read
I needed to think about this book for a day after I finished reading it. It had been awhile since I have read a character-driven book. The story is quite interesting from each person's point of view. This story reconfirms that we make decisions at the moment which we think are the right one for us and not many years later we are paying a price we did not expect to pay. Kalman did a good job bringing that forward and hopefully for a happy ending. Definitely worth the read. I received this book as ...more
Jul 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What remains unsaid is a unique introspective into the lives of a mother and her secrets and her son who is battling his mental illness. Sean feels he is not listened too and can't get through to his Mother. As he tips over the edge of mental illness he resorts to taking his Mother hostage to finally be heard and to understand himself and his family secrets.
This story will keep you entranced from start to finish as you enter an all to real world of the dynamics in a family. A great read by a pro
Fiona Baldwin
Dec 08, 2018 rated it liked it
I received this this book for free from Voracious Readers Only for an honest review.
This is not the usual genre that I would choose to read but after reading the reviews I thought that I would give it a go. It never had me wondering what would happen next but as I was reading I could sympathise with the characters. I didnt like the way it skipped to different characters point of views until the end where it all came together. I'm glad I read What Remains Unsaid.
Jeannine Wickliffe
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a very thought provoking book about relationships and mental illness. Relationships between women and men and mothers and sons. It covers the lives of a mother who makes some chooses that are questionable and how they effect the life of her son. He suffers from mental illness and how it effects his life and his relationships. This book pulls not punches and does not put blame on anyone. It just gives these peoples lives to you, the good, the bad, the ugly, and the results
M. Verant
Oct 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I very much enjoyed this book. The narrative is complex, moving between many people and periods of their lives, but they combine together beautifully in the last chapters. I admit it took me a few chapters to wrap my head around the structure, then I was hooked. The characters are very compelling and real. Through the last third, it became increasingly intense, less due to plot (although stuff happens!) but because I could feel the many narrative threads of characters' lives beginning to merge. ...more
Jul 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: ao, nwt
Firstly, thank you to Voracious Readers Only for this book. Definitely not my easiest review to write because I wanted to root for or hate at least one of the characters, and I didn’t. The actual writing was really good however I couldn’t get wrapped up in the story. Over all, for me, it was lacking emotion and therefore the plot was weakened.
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What Remains Unsaid - a powerful title that fits the novel perfectly. It's all about what's boiling underneath the surface of somewhat seemingly normal lives. Emotional, philosophical, cerebral, all at the same time, plot and character development woven together seamlessly. Beautifully written, expertly crafted. Bravo. ...more
Deanna Walker
Aug 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
It was okay read this book...I felt bad for Sean that he's going through of his pains and he desperately needs his mother so bad but, she tried to be the best. Other as she can do for her son Sean.

I definitely will read next book soon.
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Jeff by: Author provided copy
The opener caught me. The darker side of mental illness kept me reading.
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: good-reads
Very good and interesting story. All families are complicated and the creativity with this story will keep you engrossed!
Barb VanderWel
Apr 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love this & I can't wait for more.
I will be also leaving a review on Goodreads @ Amazon.
And letting everyone know about it.
So i gave it a 5 Stars.
Delaina Green
Apr 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was tough to get into at first, but after the first chapter I was sucked in! It is so different from most of the books I’ve read. I loved it and am sad to see it end!
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book. The blurb I was shown made it sound like secrets and hidden family stuff would be spilled, by a mother being held at gun point. But the secret is told to early, the end felt rushed.
The back and forth between the past and future was what gave this book it’s two stars. I liked how the story of how this family got to this point slowly unfolded over chapters and different voices. But I didn’t like the characters. They feel undeveloped.
Maybe my expectations were t
rated it really liked it
Jul 28, 2018
Jennifer Phillips
rated it it was amazing
Nov 01, 2017
Mayara Afonso
rated it liked it
Mar 26, 2019
Felicia Rich
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Aug 13, 2020
Suzanne Bennage
rated it really liked it
Nov 05, 2017
Tracey Jedrzejek
rated it it was amazing
Jun 16, 2019
rated it it was ok
Nov 23, 2018
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Audrey Kalman writes literary fiction with a dark edge, often about what goes awry when human connection is missing from our lives. She is the author of two novels, What Remains Unsaid and Dance of Souls. Her collection of short fiction, Tiny Shoes Dancing and Other Stories was published in 2018 and was shortlisted for the 2019 Rubery Book Award.

Many online and print journals have published her sh

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