I'm a big fan of family saga/dual time novels and as soon as I read the blurb for Unspoken I knew that I had to read it.
Alice has been keeping a dark secret, and with her one hundreth birthday looming fast, she decides that it's time to share this secret with her much-loved great grandaughter, Jess. The question is - how will Jess react to her revelation?
The telling of Alice's secret is through her diaries, which have been squirelled away in the attic, safe from prying eyes until now.
Alice didn't have much luck growing up. Her father turns to drink after her mother's death and Alice finds herself having to keep the family farm running at the tender age of 18. Then she meets Frank, who brings a whole host of problems to her door.
While reading through Alice's diaries, Jess soon realises that their lives are very similar, as she has a man in her life who is causing her problems, in the form of live-in boyfriend Calvin.
Unspoken is a wonderful, all encompassing, book that I devoured in a few days. I loved the relationship between Alice and Jess. It was clear that there was a strong bond between the pair right from the beginning, but this grew as the story developed and Jess found out more about Alice's youth. Both character's were so superbly written that I felt like I was right there in the book with them. The treatment that these two women received from their respective partners was, at times shocking, but both Frank and Calvin were men who made poor life choices.
The transitions between time frames was seamless with both stories holding my interest. I found Alice's story particularly interesting, with her life on the farm and the author clearly did a lot of research on farming practices as well as social attitudes of the time for these parts of the book.
If family saga's and dual time novels are your thing, you'd be hard pushed to find a more enjoyable one than Unspoken. It's got drama, love, intrigue, revenge and secrets - so basically everything you need for a captivating read and that's exactly what I thought it was. I've also heard on the grapevine that there will be a sequel. I really hope that this is the case, but failing that, another book from this talented author would make me very happy!
You can find out more about T. A. Belshaw, his books and connect with him using the links below:
Also, I'll be hanging out with Trevor, here on The Hippo in the very near future 😉
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With kind thanks to Emma at damppebbles for my review copy and stop on the blog tour.