UNSAID is told from the perspective of Helena Colden, a veterinarian who has just died of breast cancer. Helena is forced to witness the rapid emotional deterioration of her husband David. With Helena's passing, David, a successful Manhattan attorney, loses the only connection that made his life full. He tries to carry on the life that Helena had created for them, but he is too grief-stricken, too angry, and too quickly reabsorbed into the demands of his career. Helena's animals likewise struggle with the loss of their understanding and compassionate human companion. Because of Helena, David becomes involved in a court case to save the life of a chimpanzee that may hold the key to unlocking the mysteries of animals consciousness. Through this case all the threads of Helena's life entwine and explode - unexpectedly, painfully, beautifully.
About the AuthorNeil Abramson is a partner in a Manhattan law firm, and his wife is a veterinarian. Abramson is also a past board member of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, an award recipient from the ASPCA for his legal work on behalf of animals, and a founding member of the New York City Bar Association Committee on Legal Issues Relating to Animals.
- Hardcover: 368 pages
- Publisher: Center Street (August 4, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1599954109
- ISBN-13: 978-1599954103
ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT
In a way, this book should have had the word atonement in the title since the story revolves around life, death and getting things right or merely getting things on the right path in order to resolve all those ethical questions that occur in everyone. Helena has just died from cancer and returns to her home and life as a veterinarian to check up on her husband, friends and animals. She finds her lawyer-husband David overwrought and not coping very well with the loss. Helena took in strays of all sorts, from horses to cats and anything in between, so David must cope with the misfit animals while trying to go back to his high powered career. The story becomes a legal thriller as well as one of redemption when Jaycee, Helena's best friend and research partner, requests David's help in a legal issue.
Helena is just an observer and narrates her life history and the current affairs in her loved ones lives in such a profound and beautiful way. Her love of all animals has been a driving force in her life and David never really understood it until he faces the animals he must now care for. The animals are portrayed so perfectly that they just jump off the page with life. There are many little twists and turns in David's healing process and through each step he finds help in unusual ways. He hires Sally, a vet tech who is out of work, to care for the menagerie and along with Sally comes her autistic son, Clifford who really adds another dimension to the book.
The end of the book truly caught me off guard. I really wasn't expecting the book to end this way, but everything is nicely resolved (sorry, no spoilers here). Any animal lover will adore this book since it gets right to the heart of animal rights. Fans of Garth Stein and Temple Grandin will love this sweet and powerful story about the human-animal connection.
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Contest is open to anyone over 13 years old with a US or Canadian mailing address and ends 7.30.11
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