Saturday, May 1, 2021

"What's Not Said" by Valerie Taylor

"What's Not Said" by Valerie Taylor is the May pick for the NoMo/Gateway Women book club, where we read & discuss books where pregnancy/babies/children/parenting are not major plot points. 

As the novel opens, Kassie O'Callaghan, a 54-year-old marketing/advertising executive, is on the verge of leaving her husband of more than 30 years, Mike Ricci, and moving in with Chris Gaines, the hot young lover she met five years earlier on a solo trip to Venice. Unfortunately, her meticulous plans go awry when Mike winds up in the hospital, and she learns he has chronic kidney disease -- has had it for the past several years, but hasn't told her about it. And that's not the only secret he's been keeping from her. Chris has a few secrets of his own too... 

 A few of the reviews I read on Goodreads used "soap opera" in their descriptions of this book, and I don't disagree. There is plot twist after plot twist after plot twist -- secrets and lies (and more secrets and lies) and miscommunication galore -- almost to the point of ridiculousness. (Also plenty of steamy stuff, for those who like it.  ;)  )

None of the characters is particularly likeable (and we get to view events from all three perspectives).  I did like Kassie's best friend Annie, and I did appreciate that, in a youth-obsessed culture, Kassie & Mike were an older, childless couple in a long-term relationship, even if it wasn't a happy one.  (Kassie had a miscarriage early in their marriage and we learn that Mike was reluctant to bring a baby into their lives, which drove a wedge between them.)

This wasn't a long nor difficult read, and I will admit that it did keep me turning the pages, just to find out what would ultimately happen.  It's the first in a planned three-book series (the second expected in August).  Not sure I will be picking up any of the sequels, but I will look forward to our book club discussion about this one! 

Three (3) stars on Goodreads. 

This was Book #24 read to date in 2021 (and Book #1 finished in May), bringing me to 67% of my 2021 Goodreads Reading Challenge goal of 36 books. I am (for the moment, anyway...!) 13 books ahead of schedule. :)  You can find reviews of all my books read to date in 2021 tagged as "2021 books." 

1 comment:

  1. NoMo/GW Book Club organizer Lisa features a guest post from author Valerie Taylor on her blog: