Saturday, July 30, 2011

Jackie Loves This Debut Novel of Great Love, Great Mistakes, Great Grief and Greater Happiness

Unsaid is told from the perspective of Helena Colden, a veterinarian who has just died of breast cancer. Helena is forced to witness the rapid emotional deterioration of her husband David. With Helena's passing, David, a successful Manhattan attorney, loses the only connection that made his life full. He tries to carry on the life that Helena had created for them, but he is too grief-stricken, too angry, and too quickly reabsorbed into the demands of his career. Helena's animals likewise struggle with the loss of their understanding and compassionate human companion. Because of Helena, David becomes involved in a court case to save the life of a chimpanzee that may hold the key to unlocking the mysteries of animals consciousness. Through this case all the threads of Helena's life entwine and explode - unexpectedly, painfully, beautifully.

Jackie says:
"This book smashed into my heart like no other, and I freely admit that I sobbed uncontrollably through the last 25 pages or so. This is a story of great love, great mistakes, great grief and greater happiness.

Helena has died from breast cancer but cannot leave this world yet--her guilt holds her.  She has to make amends, and she tried to do so until her dying breath, but didn't attain her goal.  She must rely on her grieving husband to finish what she started, but that means that he must first find out about the horrifying mistake she made years ago, a hidden pain that has haunted her life, and now her death.

The role of animals in the lives of humans is a constantly reoccurring theme in this book--Helena was a vet and also, secretly, involved in exciting research regarding communication with animals.  Her death sets into motion a series of people to people meetings as well as animal to people connections, that steamroll into the ending that left me in tears.

I don't want to tell you more--I want you to read the book.  Keep the tissue box handy and just let yourself fall into the spell of this remarkable, unforgettable, stunning debut novel."

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