Things Unsaid

A Novel

Fiction - Womens
270 Pages
Reviewed on 03/12/2016
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Diana Y. Paul, born in Akron, Ohio, is a graduate of Northwestern University, with a degree in both psychology and philosophy, and of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, with a PhD in Buddhist Studies. Her award-winning debut novel, Things Unsaid (She Writes Press, 2015), has been awarded Best New Adult Fiction 2016 from Beverly Hills Book Awards as well as the Silver Award for Best Fiction-Drama from Readers Favorite. Things Unsaid was ranked #2 in the “Top 14 Books about Families Crazier Than Yours” on Brit.co and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2016.

A former Stanford University professor, she is also the author of three books on Buddhism. Writing and art are forms of meditation for her. Diana is currently working on a second novel, A Perfect Match, a rom-com. She lives in Carmel, CA with her husband, Doug, and their white-and-grey calico, Mao. Diana and Doug enjoy visiting their two adult children, Maya Miller ( San Francisco) and Keith Paul (Los Angeles), as often as they can.

To learn more about her and her work, visit her author website at http://www.dianaypaul.com and her blog on movies, art, and food at http://www.unhealedwound.com or follow her on Twitter: @DianaPaul10. Visit her author website, http://www.dianaypaul.com for more information

    Book Review

Reviewed by Ica Iova for Readers' Favorite

Diana Paul’s novel, Things Unsaid, examines the dynamics of the family. It’s tough getting old — for you and those around you. As an elderly parent, how much do you have the right to expect from your children? As a child of an elderly parent, how far would you go for your parent? Would you do everything humanly possible to maintain your parents’ comfort and lifestyle, even if that comes at the expense of your own family? These are the questions Julia has after another argument with her husband about her parents.

Robert and Aida Whitman, Julia’s parents, live in Safe Harbor, an assisted living community that costs five thousand dollars a month. Moreover, Julia’s father has invested in penny stocks and lost almost everything he had. Julia and her two siblings, Joanne and Andrew, are now supposed to compensate and keep up the lifestyle to which their parents have become accustomed. Except that Andrew and Joanne have their own financial crisis. Julia is left to bail her parents out even as her own family’s finances are at risk, including her daughter’s college fund that is slowly draining away.

Things Unsaid by Diana Paul is a powerful, emotional tale that takes the reader deep into the complex dynamics of a dysfunctional family, alternating between love and obligation. Paul expertly entwines the past and present while exploring Julia’s moral impasse between love and duty for her two families — the one she was born into and the one she has created as an adult.

Marylee MacDonald

Diana Paul has written a heart-wrenching and vivid novel about a family struggling to keep its collective head above water, all the while struggling against the undertow of aging.

Julia is a middle-aged woman with a loyal husband who has gone about as far as he can go. Julia's parents are heroically flawed, which is to say, as blind as King Lear about his daughter Cordelia.

By the time you finish this book, you will know these characters as well as you know your own family members. In fact, Julia's parents refusal may remind you very much of your own efforts to help elderly relatives intent on maintaining their independence and illusions.

I felt sympathy for every one of the people in this book. I understood why the parents were the way they were, how life had shaped them and robbed them of their dreams.

For anyone in the "sandwich generation," this is a stunning and important book to read. And for anyone younger, well, it will hint at what lies ahead.

An excellent book for book groups, THINGS UNSAID has its finger on the pulse of where we all live now...watching our parents become diminished versions of themselves and knowing that we must balance love for our family of origin with love for our children and spouses.

I bought five copies of this book and have been giving it to my reading friends.

Diana Y. Paul, author of

I am so excited that THINGS UNSAID is a SILVER AWARD winner in the category of Drama for Best Fiction by Readers Favorite! My debut novel is also the2016 WINNER in Best New Adult Fiction from Beverly Hills Book Awards and listed under the "Top 14 Books About Families Crazier than Yours" on the brit.co website! Thank you, readers everywhere!

Diana Y. Paul, author of

I am so excited that THINGS UNSAID is a SILVER AWARD winner in the category of Drama for Best Fiction by Readers Favorite! My debut novel is also the2016 WINNER in Best New Adult Fiction from Beverly Hills Book Awards and listed under the "Top 14 Books About Families Crazier than Yours" on the brit.co website! Thank you, readers everywhere!