Book Review: Unsaid

Neil Abramson’s poignant novel, Unsaid, is told by Helena Colden, 37, a veterinarian who recently died of cancer. Her lawyer husband, David, is left with the care of his wife’s animals: three dogs, six cats, two horses and a pig. The animals were her passion, but David feels an obligation to carry on with their care.

Jaycee, a friend and colleague of Helena’s, asks David to defend her and Cindy, a chimpanzee, against the Center for Advanced Primate Studies. Jaycee has taught the chimp how to communicate through sign language and other aids. The Center feels the study has failed and plans to return Cindy to the primate population for other experimental work, likely to test human diseases.

Still grieving, David is overwhelmed with obligations to his law practice, running the household, and now being asked to take on a questionable case of animal rights. Out of respect for Helena, he consents to defend Jaycee and the chimp, Cindy.

This story is told from an interesting point of view, that of a deceased person who can be everywhere at once, one who sees and hears all.

This novel touched my heart with the many animal scenes, particularly those with a little autistic boy, the son of David’s newly acquired housekeeper. If you are an animal lover, this is a book for you. I have had and loved animals all my life and this book was balm for my soul. I thoroughly enjoyed Unsaid and highly recommend it.