Book Review: Things Left Unspoken

7 Jun

Jo-Lynn Hunter is at a crossroads in life when her great-aunt Stella insists that she return home to restore the old family house in sleepy Cottonwood, Georgia. Seeing the project as the perfect excuse for some therapeutic time away from her self-absorbed husband and his snobby Atlanta friends, Jo-Lynn longs to get her teeth into a noteworthy and satisfying project. But things are not what they seem, both in the house and within the complex history of her family. Was her great-grandfather the pillar of the community she thought he was? What is Aunt Stella hiding? And will Jo-Lynn’s marriage survive the renovation? Jo-Lynn isn’t sure she wants to know the truth–but sometimes the truth has a way of making itself known.

Eva Marie Everson is a successful speaker, a popular radio personality, and the award-winning author of Things Left Unspoken. She is co-author of The Potluck Club series and The Potluck Catering Club series. She lives in Casselberry, Florida.

My Impressions:

Things Left Unspoken is the June pick of my book club, By The Book.  (We will be discussing the novel this coming Friday.)  I loved it!  Everson’s book is part historical, part mystery, part relationship fiction.  And while that seems like an awful lot — it really works.

Jo-Lynn Hunter returns to the big house in Cottonwood to attend her Uncle Jim’s funeral.  While there she is offered the job of restoring the family home to its former beauty.  Already emotionally distanced from her husband Evan, Jo-Lynn makes the physical move to restore the house and in turn her own life.  But the project becomes dangerous.  There are those who want the secrets the house holds to stay that way.

I loved how Everson revealed the history of the family through the flashbacks of Jo-Lynn’s Aunt Stella.  A dynamo even at the age of 90+, Stella was a stunner in her youth; a woman determined to live her life on her own terms.  The unfolding story is full of surprises and twists.  A wonderful mystery to keep the reader turning the pages.

Jo-Lynn’s own story develops as well.  From the start, her twenty-five year marriage to Evan seems doomed or at least one that will not be enough for her.  But the relationship continues to be restored, just as the work on the house progresses.

Everson also keeps you guessing until the end.  I like that in a book.  I don’t want to be able to figure everything out in the beginning and then watch how the author reveals it.  It’s great to keep questioning up until the final pages.  And if you are hankering for a truly Southern vibe, complete with caramel cake, fried chicken and potato salad  — you will find it in Things Left Unspoken.

Highly Recommended.

(This book was not a solicited review.  I purchased it for my Kindle for my book club.  Just so you know.)

Have you read Things Left Unspoken?  I would love to share your comments with my book club.  Please leave a comment.

3 Responses to “Book Review: Things Left Unspoken”

  1. Barbara H. June 8, 2011 at 8:24 am #

    I read and enjoyed this a while back. Thanks for reminding me about it!

  2. Brenda June 8, 2011 at 4:23 pm #

    Sounds like a book that I would enjoy, I love books that evoke a southern flavor. Will definitely be checking this one out!

    • rbclibrary June 8, 2011 at 5:14 pm #

      It’s very “Southern” from the idioms, to the food, to the locale — small town near Savannah. I could hear the twang in the dialogue! 🙂

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