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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.