In a placid California suburb, a mother ends up at the wrong end of her son’s Colt .45.
Sean has taken Ginny hostage in her kitchen. “I don’t want to hurt you,” he says. “I want you to listen for once.”
While Ginny squirms in the ladderback chair, wrists chafing against the rope, lunch spoiling on the counter, Sean chronicles the thousand ways he has suffered and demands answers from his mother. Ginny watches him pace. After thirty years of missed connections, how have they arrived here?
Finally, coaxed by fear and desperation, she shares the secret at the center of their family. But will her revelation come too late?
What Remains Unsaid is about the stories we can’t imagine behind the faces we think we know—and how sometimes even the promise of forgiveness may fail to save the ones we love.
Praise for What Remains Unsaid
…an engrossing character-driven novel that explores one of the most complex human experiences: our relationships with other people… Everyone is flawed; everyone is struggling. That’s what makes them relatable. We may even glimpse parts of ourselves in their interactions and thoughts… If you enjoy introspective reads that will make you evaluate your own life circumstances, this book is for you.
— Carrie Rubin, Author of The Bone Curse, Eating Bull, and The Seneca Scourge
Never mind that this dark and dramatic novel contains the most authentic scene I’ve ever encountered describing mental illness from inside the character’s mind. I keep thinking about the choices of all the other characters. They were just ordinary small-town America teenagers from a range of families in the late 60s and early 70s, but their journeys span their lifetimes along with my own. Kalman is a writer’s writer, with beautiful turns of phrase and enlightening descriptions set among all the personal twists. Expect to turn pages quickly.
— Elise Miller, Author of The Berkeley Girl
I started this book at the gym… and read it steady for two days, and I had no idea until my hour was up that anything was happening except what was in the book. It was that engrossing. Partly it’s the story, and the real-life feeling of the characters, but mostly I think it’s her literary skill, the way her descriptions keep you in the moment, the way you feel her characters own emotions. This is a book to get lost in, and come out at the end, and start thinking about it.
— Martin Sorensen, Founder, Sand Hill Review Magazine
A meditation on the tragedy and hope of the human condition, “What Remains Unsaid” is an original and compelling novel by skilled novelist Audrey Kalman that will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to community library General Fiction collections.
— Midwest Book Review
This is a work of literary fiction that is steeped in darkness as it explores the lines between a parent and a child and all the tangents that connect them and lead to missed connections between them… The characters are very gray and incredibly unlikable at times, but deep down you can’t help hoping that something will change for them… takes you on a journey into the minds and hearts of people who can’t seem to help destroying themselves.
— Kourtney Heintz, Author of The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts series and The Six Train to Wisconsin