Unsaid made me feel like wet laundry put through an old fashioned wringer washer—emotions that I’d forgotten existed were squeezed out of me, but as in Greek tragedy it was a liberating catharsis.
The premise of the story sounds a bit odd—a vet observes her survivors coping with her death. This is how we learn about the recently deceased narrator’s husband and their menagerie of pets, as well as the events/decisions that still haunt her. Several subplots swirl around the main story revealing more information about the narrator and main characters.
A courtroom drama resolves the story. The husband, a lawyer, represents the narrator’s best friend in a case that allows for an airing of animal rights issues —especially chimpanzees— as property. The author’s prose engages the reader’s senses, intellect and emotions from the start. The writing style never gets in the way. It’s one of those books you enjoy, even while your heart is breaking. For those who feel a connection with animals (particularly but not limited to dogs and chimpanzees) this book will resonate with what you always suspected, but probably left unsaid.
I suggest seeing the docudrama film Chimpanzee as a companion to this book.