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Things Unsaid: A Novel by [Paul, Diana Y.]
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Things Unsaid: A Novel Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 109 customer reviews

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Length: 247 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews


“With a grace that is absorbing and deft, Paul tackles many difficult questions, including filial responsibility, depression, marital strife, and sexual identity. The author depicts heart-wrenching conundrums as the three siblings are forced repeatedly to evaluate their personal priorities. An engaging tale of family dysfunction and intractable senior citizens.”

—Kirkus Reviews

"Would you do everything humanly possible to maintain your parents’ comfort and lifestyle, even if that comes at the expense of your own family? Things Unsaid by Diana Paul is a powerful, emotional tale that takes the reader deep into the complex dynamics of a dysfunctional family, alternating between love and obligation. Paul expertly entwines the past and present while exploring Julia’s moral impasse between love and duty for her two families―the one she was born into and the one she has created as an adult."
―Ica Iova, Readers Favorite, 5-star review

Things Unsaid is a powerfully written story that explores the moral dilemma of love, duty, and sacrifice for the family you are born into versus the family you create as an adult. Jules, the well-etched protagonist, seeks to find her way through the tangled tentacles of her mother’s narcissism, her father’s weakness, and her siblings’ secrets and selfishness. This tale of relationships grabs you on the first page and stays with you long after you’ve read the last words.”

Matilda Butler, author of Rosie's Daughters

“At first blush it appears to be a classic dysfunctional-family novel. Yet Things Unsaid is written by a scholar of Buddhism. And so, under its skin, it is a lively, accessible meditation on redemption, and on the transformative value of good intention and deed.”

—Rebecca Coffey, author of Hysterical: Anna Freud's Story

“A satisfying and provocative read, Things Unsaid is wisely contemplated, meticulously detailed, and powerfully and artfully rendered. A wonderful book, well worth your attention.”

Tom Parker, author of Small Business and Anna Ann Annie

“A bold and poignant story that brings deep insights into the messy and complicated world of family relationships, and shows how one woman is able to survive them with her sanity and spirit intact.”

—Wendy Nelson Tokunaga, author of Love in Translation and His
Wife and Daughters

“In a carefully crafted cautionary tale, Diana Paul writes a story of a family that could be anyone's family…In gripping detail, Paul unravels the threads that once bound these individuals together. Family ties are stressed to the breaking point. A crisis of health for some, relationship for others, and self-awareness for Jules, culminates in the realization of the toll that ill-placed priorities can take. Jules is forced to confront the difficult issue of choosing between the family she was born into and the one she created as an adult. Moral dilemmas, emotional roller-coasters, sacrifice and duty abound in this tense novel that exposes raw human emotion―sparing no one the pain that comes with such issues.”

—Lee Ambrose, reviewer, Story Circle Book Reviews,

Things Unsaid is a raw and candid look into the life of one family dealing with blow after blow. Struggling to be there for their aging parents makes being there for their own families difficult.... Family is never easy to deal with, elderly family is even more difficult. Things Unsaid tells of the tightrope act that is fulfilling familial duty and obligation.”

—Maggie Franz, Black Dog Speaks

“Diana Paul’s novel Things Unsaid dissects family and generational relationships not only from the traditional storytelling perspective―and she tells a compelling story―but also from the wellspring of her philosophical beliefs.”

—Darrell Laurent, Snowflakes in a Blizzard

“I was hooked on the story as it unfolded and found it hard to put down. It's well written, for a start, with plenty of attention to detail and a strong sense of place. The characters are amazingly well drawn. It's almost as though Paul has written about people she knows, she gets into their innermost thoughts and feelings so well . . . Then I discovered she has a degree in psychology and philosophy. Perhaps that has something to do with her ability to get inside the heads of these people and understand their motivations. I wanted to get hold of Jules and give her a good shaking, and was expecting one of the children or grandchildren to stand up and give this ghastly couple some home truths. But it's not to be, and the couple never quite get Jules’s dilemma in this charade.”

—Diane Paul, Bookblog for Bookworms

“The scenes played out on the pages of this story are intense. The reader feels the desire to sit down with Jules and shake some sense into her. The author expertly places us in the midst of a very dysfunctional family. Rating: 4 out of 5.”

—Diane Coto, reviewer, Fiction Zeal

“While it seems instinctual and right to take care of our parents, Ms. Paul forces us to reconsider. What if our parents have made life awful for us? What if they insist that they be put first every time, even to the detriment of our lives? Diana Paul is a good writer, and despite my difficulty with the characters, the story itself is compelling. While the story is fictional, it serves as an important reminder that we all deserve to have good people in our lives, who love and support us just as we do for them.”

—Lindsey Stefan,

“Paul presents a solidly-written cast of characters who are relatable in their imperfections and sense of duty to both their blood and created families. Readers are sure to recognize at least a trace of their own family dynamic. Paul chose not to make any of her characters full-on slacker types, or ne’er-do-wells. Rather, they are flawed and completely relatable individuals, which makes the story all the more compelling.”

—Sara Hodon, Compulsive Reader

“An outstanding book that is not only deeply honest, heartbreaking and hopeful, but also brilliant, poignant and original. It captures what is at the heart of all of us and showcases that life is what we make it. Brilliant, just brilliant! 5 stars.”

—Emily Lewis, Mrs.MommyBooknerd

About the Author

Diana Y. Paul was born in Akron, Ohio and is a graduate of Northwestern University, with a degree in both psychology and philosophy, and of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, with a PhD in Buddhist studies. She is the author of three books on Buddhism, one of which has been translated into Japanese and German (Women in Buddhism, University of California Press), and her short stories have appeared in a number of literary journals. She lives in Carmel, CA with her husband and two cats, Neko and Mao.

Product details

  • File Size: 1196 KB
  • Print Length: 247 pages
  • Publisher: She Writes Press (October 13, 2015)
  • Publication Date: October 13, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B013Y6PAC4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #341,843 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer reviews

Rated by customers interested in
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