Official Review: What Remains Unsaid by Audrey Kalman

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kandscreeley
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Official Review: What Remains Unsaid by Audrey Kalman

Post by kandscreeley » 04 Oct 2018, 09:36

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "What Remains Unsaid" by Audrey Kalman.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Families can be quite complex. Not many resemble Leave it to Beaver. In fact, I would say most families these days would qualify as dysfunctional; I know mine sure would. In What Remains Unsaid, Audrey Kalman takes a psychological excursion into the family unit.

Sean doesn't feel like his mother has paid attention to him, but he has her attention now. She'll listen to him with the gun pointing at her head. After all, they have a lot to catch up on, a lot to talk about.

What Remains Unsaid is a little over 250 pages and is classified as a psychological thriller. While the aspect of holding his mother at gunpoint might be somewhat thrilling, I would more place this into the literary fiction genre. After the shock of a man taking his mom hostage, the pace is somewhat slower as we explore the depth of their relationships.

The characters are incredibly life-like and realistic. In fact, the book is more character-driven than plot-driven. Sean obviously demands the most attention as he points the gun, but we learn much about his mother and her friends, his father and his wife. The reader is able to get a full view of his life and what might have led to the situation that he is now in. Interestingly enough, there is almost more about the secondary characters than the primary character himself. To me, that kept the book from being boring. As you learn more about those around him, you have to piece together the puzzle named Sean yourself. This kept me engaged throughout the story even though it wasn't what you would call action-packed.

Unfortunately, I don't believe this book was professionally edited for a number of reasons. First, the author tries to write this book in the present tense. This is a good way to create more suspense in the narrative, but it is not entirely successful. When the author flashes back to the past, the story is then told in the past tense. That by itself would be fine. However, in the present, the author often slips back and forth between the past and the present tense. There was no consistency which pulled me out of the story. There were, also, a number of grammatical errors throughout the text. Some of the errors were the typical missing or misspelled word, but the author sometimes changed the point of view. Several times, the narrative slipped from third person to second person or first person. All of this could easily be fixed by a good editor.

I rate What Remains Unsaid 3 out of 4 stars due to the lack of professional editing. While the story was slower in pace, I enjoyed the enigma of the situation between Sean and his mother. The puzzling out of the characters made the book unique, interesting and well worth reading. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good character-driven story but not necessarily traditional lovers of psychological thrillers.

******
What Remains Unsaid
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Post by Debjani Ghosh » 05 Oct 2018, 00:45

I would have loved to get my hands on this psychological thriller, however, the errors that you pointed out will detract from the reading experience. Hence, I am going to skip this one. Thanks for the review!

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Post by Noraine Alissa Poria » 05 Oct 2018, 02:10

I love psychological thriller and this book seems interesting and intriguing. I love your review too, it is detailed but you didn't spoil anything.

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Post by sonya01 » 05 Oct 2018, 05:38

I'm not sure that the emphasis on the boy's relationship with his mother would be quite what I'm looking for in a psychological thriller. I appreciate it's a thriller with a difference, but I will probably pass on this one. Many thanks for the review.

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Post by BookReader+6 » 05 Oct 2018, 07:14

[/quote]
As you learn more about those around him, you have to piece together the puzzle named Sean yourself.
This observation makes the book sound really interesting to me. Even though there are some editorial errors, I think I'll read it to find out what made Sean take such an extreme approach to talk to his mother.
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Post by kandscreeley » 05 Oct 2018, 07:27

Debjani Ghosh wrote:
05 Oct 2018, 00:45
I would have loved to get my hands on this psychological thriller, however, the errors that you pointed out will detract from the reading experience. Hence, I am going to skip this one. Thanks for the review!
It was definitely too bad about the errors, but they could easily be fixed. Thanks!
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Post by kandscreeley » 05 Oct 2018, 07:28

sonya01 wrote:
05 Oct 2018, 05:38
I'm not sure that the emphasis on the boy's relationship with his mother would be quite what I'm looking for in a psychological thriller. I appreciate it's a thriller with a difference, but I will probably pass on this one. Many thanks for the review.
I understand. It's not for everyone. Thanks for your comments, though.
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Post by kandscreeley » 05 Oct 2018, 07:28

BookReader+6 wrote:
05 Oct 2018, 07:14
As you learn more about those around him, you have to piece together the puzzle named Sean yourself.
This observation makes the book sound really interesting to me. Even though there are some editorial errors, I think I'll read it to find out what made Sean take such an extreme approach to talk to his mother.
[/quote]

Yes, the errors can be overlooked. I hope that you enjoy this if you do decide to read it! Thanks.
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Post by Cecilia_L » 05 Oct 2018, 07:48

I considered this book because of the intriguing plot. It's a chilling premise for any parent, and thrillers involving family secrets always interest me. Too bad about the editing issues, but I enjoyed your excellent review.

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Post by kandscreeley » 05 Oct 2018, 08:26

Cecilia_L wrote:
05 Oct 2018, 07:48
I considered this book because of the intriguing plot. It's a chilling premise for any parent, and thrillers involving family secrets always interest me. Too bad about the editing issues, but I enjoyed your excellent review.
Thanks! It was definitely interesting to see the characters and how their lives intertwined. :)
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Post by kfwilson6 » 05 Oct 2018, 09:55

"Sean doesn't feel like his mother has paid attention to him, but he has her attention now. She'll listen to him with the gun pointing at her head. After all, they have a lot to catch up on, a lot to talk about. "

That is quite a compelling introduction to the storyline. I'm curious as to what led Sean to take such an extreme action. Sounds interesting!

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Post by kandscreeley » 05 Oct 2018, 10:18

kfwilson6 wrote:
05 Oct 2018, 09:55
"Sean doesn't feel like his mother has paid attention to him, but he has her attention now. She'll listen to him with the gun pointing at her head. After all, they have a lot to catch up on, a lot to talk about. "

That is quite a compelling introduction to the storyline. I'm curious as to what led Sean to take such an extreme action. Sounds interesting!
Thank you! It really does make you wonder, right??
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Post by jcoad » 05 Oct 2018, 10:35

Sounds great. I think you had me from pointing a gun at his moms head. Great review and makes me want to read the book! A "deep" psychological thriller, doesn't come around often.

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Post by kandscreeley » 05 Oct 2018, 10:38

jcoad wrote:
05 Oct 2018, 10:35
Sounds great. I think you had me from pointing a gun at his moms head. Great review and makes me want to read the book! A "deep" psychological thriller, doesn't come around often.
You're right about that. Sometimes there's a lot more thriller than psychological in this particular genre. I hope you enjoy if you do decide to read it.
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Post by Eva Darrington » 05 Oct 2018, 13:57

The exploration of the relationship between a mother and her son, under these tense circumstances, sounds pretty interesting. I feel curious to know what life events would lead to such a thing. Maybe the author will clean up the editing problems. Thanks for the great introduction to this book.
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