Thursday, January 27, 2022

Book Review: Every Word Unsaid, by Kimberly Duffy

Welcome to my first book review of 2022!

Last year, I read a whopping 55 books! Definitely a record for me. 

If you're new to my blog, I regularly review books for Graf-Martin Communications' Nuts About Books review program. I had three books to read over the holidays, so hold on to your seatbelts - we've got three reviews coming in over the next few days!

Last year, I read and reviewed Kimberly Duffy's A Tapestry of Light. 
(True confession - I was about to write that I read this book in 2020! Pandemic time warp is a real thing!!!)

I loved Kimberly's detailed and engaging approach to historical fiction, so I jumped at the chance to review her latest offering.

Every Word Unsaid opens in Deadwood, 1897. If you've ever studied anything about the Wild West (or watched HBO's Deadwood series), you'll know this is a dramatic spot for an opening chapter.

Here we meet Augusta (Gussie) Constance Travers - a New York socialite with a taste for adventure. Her magazine readers know her as Miss Adventuress - a fearless, modern traveler. Her writing and photographs bring tales of exotic lands to housebound American housewives. But not everyone values her work, and when scandal threatens her family, she embarks on a journey overseas. A trip to India and a visit with friends drops her in the midst of a pandemic, a love story, and her greatest adventure yet.

First, can I say how bizarre it is to read a story set in a historical pandemic? Some of our characters are in the medical field, and it's painful watching them struggle with illness and death, knowing the limits of their own scientific knowledge.

Second, I loved these characters! Actually, I pretty much loved everything about this book. It was emotional, fun, heartbreaking, and beautifully descriptive. Gussie's relationship with her uncle might have been my favourite in the whole book.

As always, I loved googling the different locals and historical figures referenced in the story. One of my favourites was the Kodak Girl. As Kodak started to develop portable cameras, they created a savvy marketing campaign targeted at the new, modern woman. The Kodak Girl was a fresh incarnation of the classic Gibson Girl, with smart clothes and an independent spirit. Gussie aspires to be just such a modern woman and references the iconic character several times. 
(Ryerson University in Toronto has a really interesting article about the Kodak Girl HERE.)

What's Left Unsaid
is an engaging, dramatic, beautifully written piece of historical fiction. I turned down many page corners and circled many wonderful passages of writing. 

I can't wait to see what Kimberly writes next! 

Kimberly Duffy's site offers a free short story, as well as a special invitation for all Book Clubs!
You can find out more at: 

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

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