Unsaid

Cover love? Most definitely.

A few weeks back I was used-book shopping when I came across Unsaid by Neil Abramson. I held the book for a few seconds while I took in the incredible cover photography. Part of the reason this cover grabbed my attention so intensely is in part due to a back story regarding books and animal photography. At some point I think I plan to share about it on this blog.

Back to the book. I flipped to the cover flap (I love when trade editions feature dust cover-like flaps ) and began reading about the story. It begins with a husband who is a lawyer in Manhattan and his veterinarian wife who has recently passed away. She, Helena, is the narrator and is struggling with making peace with the life she left behind. She “visits” scenes with her husband as well as her former work partner. Being a vet, and also not having children, Helena and her husband had many animals, whom she cared deeply for. Before her death Helena was planning to find homes for her animals because she knew the responsibility would lie solely on her husband’s shoulders. He wouldn’t let her give them away, so after her death, the three dogs, six cats, two horses, and one pig remain. This story also reflects some of her time as a vet student and work that she did with a chimpanzee, who ultimately died because of her work. This primate work was done with a friend and fellow student and ties to the current story regarding another chimpanzee. Her friend contacts Helena’s husband for legal help, which is another fascinating facet of this story.

I’m not doing this story justice with this explanation, so if my crappy synopsis has in any way sparked your interest, find this book. The relationships between a husband and wife as well as between animals and humans are written about so beautifully.

Occasionally I read a book that speaks so profoundly that I want to tuck it inside my heart as a secret. I don’t want to share about it with anyone, because it has a feeling of only belonging to me. I know that is ridiculous thinking and of course this wonderful book needs to be shared far and wide (but this was one of those books).

Unsaid was the second read from my summer stack and I give it five stars.

“I know this is presumptuous of me, but I think God’s language is juxtaposition. His-or her-voice is heard most clearly in the reconciliation of the contradictions and contrasts of life. God lives in the peaks and valleys, the jarring transitions, not the mundane, the safe, the smooth, or the repetitive.”

– Neil Abramson

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