A heart-warming, dramatic family saga. Unspoken is a tale of secrets, love, betrayal and revenge.
Unspoken means something that cannot be uttered aloud. Unspoken is the dark secret a woman must keep, for life.
Alice is fast approaching her one hundredth birthday and she is dying. Her strange, graphic dreams of ghostly figures trying to pull her into a tunnel of blinding light are becoming more and more vivid and terrifying. Alice knows she only has a short time left and is desperate to unburden herself of a dark secret, one she has lived with for eighty years.
Jessica, a journalist, is her great granddaughter and a mirror image of a young Alice. They share dreadful luck in the types of men that come into their lives.
Alice decides to share her terrible secret with Jessica and sends her to the attic to retrieve a set of handwritten notebooks detailing her young life during the late 1930s. Following the death of her invalid mother and her father’s decline into depression and alcoholism, she is forced, at 18 to take control of the farm. On her birthday, she meets Frank, a man with a drink problem and a violent temper.
When Frank’s abusive behaviour steps up a level. Alice seeks solace in the arms of her smooth, ‘gangster lawyer’ Godfrey, and when Frank discovers the couple together, he vows to get his revenge.
Unspoken. A tale that spans two eras and binds two women, born eighty years apart.
I actually read the whole book in one day. Each time I was about to put it down I saw another chapter about one of the characters and I though ‘just one more bit’ until I realised it was one in the morning and I was almost finished. Just had to get to the end.
Jess has allowed herself to be treated like a doormat by her live-in boyfriend Calvin. I can honestly say that I disliked Calvin more than any other character – not just in this book – but in others I have read recently. I even disliked him more than Frank who came from an age where many men behaved like that, but Calvin didn’t even have that excuse (not that it’s EVER an excuse).
As for the behaviour of some of the others! Sam (calls herself Jess’s best friend – with friends like that who needs enemies as they say) and Tania. Tania? Words fail me. What were they thinking. Poor Jess. But she has her great-grandmother Alice (who is almost 100 years old) who she calls Nana. Calvin even mocks Jess for calling her Nana. Shut up Calvin. I’m Nannie and my grandchildren’s other grandmother is Nana. My husband is Bunky – I bet you’d love that Calvin you tw*t!
Anyway, back to the story. Alice has a terrible secret which she wants to tell Jess so she can unburden herself before her time comes. She knows it’s near. She dreams about a tunnel and going towards the white light. This was a teeny bit corny at times – sorry. Anyway she begins to tell Jess all about her childhood, growing up on a farm, her family, the pigs (yes they are important – all will be revealed) and the night she first ‘encountered’ Frank. Some of this is all rather harrowing but there is comedy in her friendship with feisty Amy, who lives just up the road.
Alice finds herself pregnant at 18 thanks to that ‘encounter’. I found her attitude towards her baby rather unsettling. Much as I liked Alice I couldn’t understand that part. No wonder her daughters grew up to be so awful. But I digress.
As Alice grows weary and struggles to continue her story, she tells Jess to go in the attic and get a box containing her memoirs. Everything she needs to know is in there.
This is a great story in spite of the tunnel and white light (all a bit Poltergeist) and I really enjoyed it. It would have been good to know more about afterwards but I gather there’s a sequel coming.
Many thanks to @damppebbles for inviting me to be part of #damppebblesblogtours
About the Author
T A Belshaw is from Nottingham. Trevor writes for both children and adults. He is the author of Tracy’s Hot Mail, Tracy’s Celebrity Hot Mail and the noir, suspense novella, Out Of Control. His new novel, the family saga, Unspoken, was released in July, 2020
His short stories have been published in various anthologies including 100 Stories for Haiti, 50 Stories for Pakistan, Another Haircut, Shambelurkling and Other Stories, Deck The Halls, 100 Stories for Queensland and The Cafe Lit anthology 2011, 2012 and 2013. He also has two pieces in Shambelurklers Return 2014.
Trevor is also the author of 15 children’s books written under the name of Trevor Forest. The latest. Magic Molly The Curse of Cranberry Cottage was released in August 2015. His children’s poem, Clicking Gran, was long listed for the Plough prize (children’s section) in 2009 and his short poem, My Mistake, was rated Highly Commended and published in an anthology of the best entries in the Farringdon Poetry Competition.
Trevor’s articles have been published in magazines as diverse as Ireland’s Own, The Best of British and First Edition.
Trevor is currently working on the sequel to Unspoken and the third book in the Tracy series; Tracy’s Euro Hot Mail.