Cover Image: The Things We Left Unsaid

The Things We Left Unsaid

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Eleanor and her daughter, Rachel have a difficult relationship. They are mourning the loss of their husband/father. Six weeks after her fathers death, Rachel gets jilted at the alter. There is nothing else she can do but move back into her family home. She has always lived under her mother's shadow. Eleanor is a famous artist.

This story is told in a dual timeline. I liked the way the haracters developed throughout  the story. It's well written and emotionally charged. The parts that are told in the past are of Elanor when she was a naive young girl. This is an emotional take that deals with the pain of loss. The characters are true to life and well rounded. A beautifully told story. I do recommend this book.

I would like to thank NetGalley, Random House UK, Cornerstone and the author Emma Kennedy for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed this book. Rachel has been jilted on her wedding day and has returned to her mother's home. Her relationship with Eleanor has always been difficult, and they are both mourning the loss of Charlie, Rachel's father, who has recently died of cancer. The story is told in 2 time frames. Eleanor went to London in 1964 to study Art. There she met and fell in love with Jake who introduced her to the hedonistic lifestyle of the time. The descriptions of the swinging sixties are colourful and exciting. As Rachel tries to put her life back together, tragedy forces her to look in to Eleanor's past. I loved the characters in this book and I recommend it as a good read. Thanks to NetGalley copy.
Copied to Goodreads.
Was this review helpful?
I thought this was a fantastic book.  A beautifully crafted piece of work, that tells us about love, relationships, family, and the consequences of what can happen to all of these when things are left unsaid.
Was this review helpful?
This tale was an absolute joy to read - set in two time frames much of the story was taken up with the difficult relationship between Eleanor and her daughter, Rachel. Both women are mourning the loss of a husband/father, Charlie but are unable to comfort each other. There is much truth in the difficulties portrayed in their relationship, neither feeling free to bridge the gap between them. Rachel is more bitter and less forgiving. The tale is a fascinating one with some emotional sections. Much of the time I found it difficult to like Eleanor from her youth - her selfishness and rush to leave home and restrictions.
Many thanks to Netgalley/Emma Kennedy/Random House UK, Cornerstone for a digital copy of this title. All opinions expressed are my own.
Was this review helpful?
I cried, a lot. This novel is one emotional journey, which will enlighten every aspect of your being. Kennedy has created a piece that will stay with you, a piece that you can read time and time again, and enjoy. What a beautiful literary construction.
Was this review helpful?
Lovely book: the two main characters (plus Agnes, a minor but very important character) are finely delineated, both with their own sadnesses to manage. Somehow, I don't feel for Rachel as much as I do for Eleanor, even though her losses were more and closer together. Still, I'm only three-quarters through and I am still waiting to find out what Eleanor meant to tell her daughter. Maybe that will make me feel sorry for her at last. Recommended.
Was this review helpful?
A well executed novel written in dual time that gradually unfurls and explains the tensions that have existed between Eleanor and her daughter Rachel. An exploration of how the past can mould the present. Eleanor and Rachel are both artists but Rachel feels she is overshadowed by her mother’s success and Eleanor dies suddenly leaving the legacy of a previous secret life but one she had reconciled herself to share with Rachel but time ran out for her. 
A thoroughly enjoyable read with a blend of modern and bohemian characters to embellish the storyline.
Was this review helpful?
A great read, somehow sad but not sad;  full of intrigue and love.    Very enjoyable and well written, a book I couldn't put down and wanted to get to the end but was sorry when it was finished
Was this review helpful?
Rachel loses her father, is jilted at the altar, then loses her mother, all in rapid succession . Before her death ,her mother wanted to tell her something, but Rachel is too bound up in her grief to make time to listen. After her death, Rachel finds a letter telling her half a story, and  has to find out the rest for herself. She learns so much more about her mother's life in the swinging 60's, her parents meeting, and their life together. Really well written, the characters come alive .
Was this review helpful?
What a year for Rachel. Six weeks after her dad’s death it is her wedding day. When she is jilted by her fiance at the altar she has no option but to move back into the family home with her mother Eleanor. They have had a difficult relationship with Rachel feeling that she has always lived in her mother’s shadow. Eleanor is a famous painter who emerged in Soho in the Sixties and has lived a life where she associated with poets and photographers before marrying Charlie and settling down.

It takes a dramatic event to make Rachel realise just how much her mother has done both for her and with her and for Rachel to come to terms with the losses in her life. Its hard to say any more without giving away a good chunk of the plot.

Kennedy uses a dual perspective to craft this wonderful story. Eleanor’s voice is that of a naive young girl leaving home in the Sixties. Finding her feet at her new Art College in Chelsea, discovering her true self and meeting the love of her life. Rachel’s story is set in the present day and sees her searching through all of the gems she discovers to piece together the lives that her parents led before she came along.

It is a poignant and touching tale that deals with the pain of loss and isolation. The characters are vivid and electrifyingly real. Learning to grieve and to move on is one of the hardest things that we ever have to come to terms with and this book is all about love in every possible aspect. Seeing the differing perspectives makes for a beautiful story of family and belonging.

Supplied by Net Galley and Random House UK, Cornerstone in exchange for an honest review.

UK Publication Date: Kindle Aug 01 2019/ Hardback Aug 22 2019. 416 pages.

#TheThingsWeLeftUnsaid #NetGalley
Was this review helpful?
Rachel has recently lost her father, her husband-to-be and her job, she finds herself living back home with Eleanor, her artist mother who she feels estranged from. Told from the viewpoints of Rachel now and Eleanor back in the 1960s this is a beautifully written book about love and the choices we make. It is incredibly poignant and you cannot help but feel for both Rachel and Eleanor as Rachel searches her past to shape her future and for Eleanor who has loved twice but still suffers the pain of her first love. With wonderful characters and great emotion this is a story that stays with you after the end, I highly recommend it.
Was this review helpful?
A really enjoyable book. Rachel's adored father has just died and she has been jilted at the altar by the man she thought she was going to spend the rest of her life with. She returns home to live with her mother, Eleanor, a successful artist, with whom she has a rather awkward relationship. Her mother tries to tell her something significant, but dies suddenly before she can. Rachel's need to find out what her mother wanted to tell her frames the story.

The book alternates between the aftermath of Rachel's failed wedding and her mother's teenage years and early twenties in 1960s London. This device is used by many authors, but here it is very effective and really allows the development of the story.

This is a book I would happily read again.
Was this review helpful?
Beautiful, beautiful and beautiful. I adored this book. It moves effortlessly between past and present and I could feel the emotion in each time period. I cried and know that when I read this again and again I’ll cry each time. Truly beautiful.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the ARC in return for an honest and unbiased opinion.
Was this review helpful?
A real and full story that was completely relatable tracing a difficult relationship with your mother and what to do when she is no longer there to repair the relationship.
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed this.  I requested it purely on the recommendation of the wonderful Marian Keyes, when she likes a book I know it must be good!
I actually found it awfully sad in parts.  I loved the story of Eleanor at art school in the 60s, the sense of time and place was very authentic. She seemed to have such a distant relationship with her daughter Rachel and when she didn't get to tell her the truth about their lives, it just seemed such a waste. I loved how the story moved back and forward from the 60s to the present day and when Rachel catches up with the characters from Eleanor's youth who don't really seem to have moved on very much! I loved Agnes, Eleanor's sister, she was very funny and brought a lot of humour to the sometimes tragic stories.
Very much a character driven family saga type novel, I found this to be an excellent read and I would certainly recommend it.
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed this book. There is a charm to the storyline which switches between past and present. The present finds Rachel, jilted at the alter, and she has returned to her mother's home to nurse her wounds. The past explores her mothers journey. Eleanor is a talented and famous artist who starts her journey in a prestigious London art school. She gets sucked in a fast world of glamour which leaves her with a secret that she must share with her daughter Rachel. 
I loved the characters and both them and London felt so alive. The story unfolded at a good pace with lots of treasured moments and the story felt new, Lots of love about this book.
Was this review helpful?
I’ve only read Emma Kennedy’s nonfiction titles before, which I loved, so I jumped at the chance of reading this one. It’s not a completely original concept with the time jumps & the mother-daughter relationship, but the development of the characters and the little details portraying the different time periods really make this book special. This is definitely one I’ll be recommending to people looking for a nice read.

Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I really liked this book, the dual timelines and the also the two main characters. You could feel all the drama and heartfelt emotions of them both throughout. I found it hard to put down and eagerly wanted to know how things progressed.between mother and daughter. Setting some of it in the 60's made it even more of a success, brought back lots of forgotten memories. I'll definitely look for more by Emma.
Was this review helpful?
This book is very evocative of the sixties as a young and innocent girl from the country is exposed to life in London.  The excitement of this new life is mostly hidden from her family and ultimately changes her forever.  The story hinges on the lack of disclosure to her daughter as to what happened, a secret protected by her sudden death.  The daughter then sets about unravelling the past and, in the process, sots out her own future.  This is a complex story which is well told.
Was this review helpful?
A beautiful story of relationships and their complications.

This book is told in the then and now.

The then is the story of Eleanor, who moves to London to study art in the swinging 60s. Eleanor meets Jake on her first day at college, and he introduces her to the 60s Soho lifestyle, so far removed from her upbringing in Brill. Eleanor embraces the life and the relationships that develop, which then influence the rest of her life. 

The now is Rachel, Eleanor’s daughter's story, which begins with her back in her mother's house after begin jilted by Claude at the altar. Rachel and Eleanor have a problematic relationship, in the present Eleanor is a successful artist, who has recently lost her husband Charlie, Rachel's father. Both women are struggling to come to terms with the pain of death and betrayal. Unable to comfort each other.

Eleanor tries to tell Rachel something important, but Rachel is so consumed with her own pain she does not want to get into something profound, but Rachel recognises that whatever it is, it's having a significant impact on her mother and then Eleanor dies suddenly and Rachel becomes obsessed with finding out what was so important.

The then tells the story of Eleanor's life and slowly catches up with the now revealing secrets about love and passion along the way. The now reveals clues for Rachel that brings her back to Soho where it all started. 
This was a great read, I really enjoyed how the then slowly revealed what you needed to know to answer what was happening in the now. Also, the perspective from Mother and Daughter on their relationship was so at odds and provided a great insight into people's interpretations of life. Would recommend without hesitation.


Breakaway Reviewers received a copy of the book to review
Was this review helpful?