What happens when women speak out? They rise up!
Alecia, Ivy, Thia, and Fiona are in a book club with only two rules: discuss the book and drink as much wine as possible. When the women discover their daughters are harboring a terrible secret, they set out to uncover the truth, forcing them to examine their own lives, motivations, and loyalties.
An empowering story of breaking the silence of the assault on girls and women.
Alecia Caulding has built a perfect life for her husband Everett and their 13-year old daughter Hannah in the glossy suburbs of Westchester, New York. Her own abusive childhood is deeply hidden beneath the veneer of perfection.
Ivy Barnet left a high-powered career as an attorney to be a stay-at-home mom to her three sons. She will stop at nothing to help her friends protect their daughters, even if it means confronting truths she’d rather not face.
Thia Daniels, dental hygienist and practicing Wiccan, spends her days wrangling her unruly children, and wondering why she isn’t as happy as she should be.
Fiona Payne is co-parenting with her ex-husband and his new wife, who happens to have been Fiona’s divorce attorney. Fiona thought Chloe had adjusted well to their version of a modern family, and she wonders how she could have gotten it so wrong.
Forthcoming: April 2021 release, purchase here for pre-release opportunities. (Plus a special free ebook bonus for those pre-ordering the hard copies!)
Book Clubs: Order 10 or more books using code BOOKCLUB and get 25% off the order.
Also by Rebecca Chianese:
What People are Saying:
"A MUST for your TBR list! Fast-paced! Riveting! Exciting! Addictive! Not only is this a very well-written book with wonderfully-interesting characters, but the suspense builds at just the right pace as the story unfolds. It was an artful melding of twisted psychological thrills and nail-biting suspense that kept me guessing the whole way!" Tam
"So excited to recommend Rebecca Chianese’s new book - Unspoken. The book pulls you in from page one as you meet each of the main characters and follow them on an unexpected journey. These 4 friends will be pushed to decide how far they are willing to go to be a good friend, a good wife, and most of all, a good mother." Patti G.
"Twisty and disturbing with a glossy rose-colored glasses world that eventually implodes. Best read with a glass of wine toward the middle." Jillian L.
"Just finished Unspoken and absolutely loved it, could not put it down. The writing is so smart and pulls you into each of the characters. It’s a must read, pre-order!" Carol L.
"A compelling page-turner and an important read. Cared deeply about the characters! Five Stars!" Carol D.
"I just finished!!! Didn’t want to say goodbye to those characters! I felt like they were so real!" Alysson D.
"Amazing new read. if you're looking for a page turner with well developed characters and psychological depth, pick this one up." Grace C.
"Unspoken is a fraught page turner with deep insight and a sprinkling of humor. You will get to know the characters so well they will feel like new friends." Laura C.
"What a graceful way to tackle a lot of tough topics. Rebecca Chianese is an artist with words and truly knows how to paint a vivid picture. From the first few sentences it was possible for me to step into the pages and to become an observer, rather than a reader.
While I think the first half of the book was maybe a bit slower than the second half, I appreciated the way each of the four characters and their families and goings-on were introduced in an individual chapter, allowing for a better grip on the various story lines.
So in the first half we slowly but surely get to understand the daily struggles of each of the four main characters, as well as their relationships with one another and their families. To me, this ultimately helped me better understand their individual reactions to the happenings in the main plot line. And once that main plot line started to develop, everything seemed to spin out of control rapidly and I was truly invested to find out what would happen next.
Overall, I think the author has a graceful way to describe the delicate issue of (sexual) abuse, wrapping it with important conversations about grief, healing, faith, friendship and motherhood. This book gave me a lot to chew on." Denise, goodreads
"Unspoken is a story with themes that spoke to me so very loudly. Writing a novel about sexual abuse is something not everyone can achieve. Rebecca Chianese doesn't write a gruesome story with unnecessary graphic details for shock value, but she doesn't shy away from the reality of it either. While my heart was breaking, I didn't have to stop reading or skip a few pages for my own mental health. This is contemporary, because it's unfortunately to this day the horror many have endured (and still do, every day somewhere in the world). Because we're still living in a world where the truth is too often unspoken and buried so deep inside the subconscious. The journey to finding the truth give us other important themes. Friendship, families dynamics (especially mother/daughter relationship), and how something can involve and impact everyone forever.
This story begins with the introduction of four women, different in every way except motherhood and book club. But when the mental health of one daughter once happy becomes concerning without anyone being able to find out why, their lives will become more connected, especially as her best friend is the daughter of another women from book club. What happened to her and how is it connected to any other character? The bond between those women as they try to find out the reason behind one of the daughter's behavior was well-written and empowering, and the fact they're so different from one another gives the place to some dialogues that are a welcomed break while reading this book, without too much amusing moments that would feel like the main theme isn't taken seriously. Because it truly is, and I've never read a better fiction about it.
Is this novel perfect? No. But I didn't care for its imperfections, which is how I know a book is a new favorite. I would definitely love for everyone to read it, even though my review is very short. I feel like I have so much to say about this book, but I cannot find the words to express how I feel. What I can say is that this review was written by someone who's known sexual abuse, dissociation and self-harm and that I thank the author for writing Unspoken. If you've been a victim of sexual assault or witnessed someone being the victim of sexual assault, please reach out to someone. Another theme of this book is that the journey to healing is possible once the silence has been broken." Catherine, Goodreads
"Imagine a happy, healthy child who quite suddenly becomes shy and reclusive. Her best friend is somehow involved. And her mother is totally puzzled, at first, finding no reason for her daughter's sudden change or the distressing new cutting habit she's adopted. What's a concerned mother to do?
Investigate, of course. And what she finds is eye-opening.
Hannah's mother Alicia Calding has spent her life making sure her daughter's world is dream-like perfection, from the beautiful bedroom Hannah inhabits to creating perfect meals for her family. She's involved in other things, too, like her book club, so her family focus isn't singular and she feels she's being realistic in her ambitions and focus: "This, she knew, was her best character attribute; the genuine desire to make others comfortable and happy. Alecia, however, possessed enough self-awareness to understand the pitfalls — the terror — of coming up short."
When Alicia discovers that she has failed her daughter in an epic and frightening way, she hatches a scheme of redemption that involves not only her family, but an innocent spectator who also suffers from a dangerous discovery.
Unspoken is a riveting, emotionally astute, unsettling story of abuse's ripple effect on family and community. It delves not just into secrets, but how they are perpetuated and their widespread impact.
It also probes damaged mother/daughter relationships, ideals reconsidered and found lacking, and two families who find that tragedy entwines them in unexpected ways, eventually involving the entire community in a conundrum fostered by a single man's choices.
Rebecca Chianese does an outstanding job of contrasting the rationales of two different mothers and their daughters. She does cursorily explain the male's perceptions, but the main focus is on the women of the community and their involvements with one another. The contrast between two mothers who hold very similar values and their different methods of tackling their daughters' challenges is nicely outlined, as are each mother's desire to recover from trauma, themselves, albeit in different ways: "She wanted, more than anything, a couple of hours to be alone in her house, away from other people and the burden of fixing them. A trait she knew, people desired from her and despised her for."
Unspoken crafts a drama that builds, then evolves. It begins with the issue of self-injury and its rationale and moves into unexpected circles of confrontation, redemption, and change. Unspoken is an outstanding story that lingers in the mind long after its reading and is especially recommended for women's fiction readers and those who enjoy stories of contemporary mother/daughter relationships, community connections and struggles, and accounts of predators and their impact upon all."
~D. Donovan, Sr. Reviewer Midwest Book Review