• Becca McCulloch

Review: Things We Leave Unsaid

The Things We Leave Unsaid

Is it the things we don’t say that haunt us the most? Clare is anxious to start a family with adoring husband, Pete. When she takes on the seemingly simple task of obtaining her late mother’s birth certificate, she finds herself in a family history search that will challenge everything she thought she knew about her life. Scarred by her parents' ill-fated marriage, Tessa lives by three rules – dating unavailable men, building her café into a food empire, and avoiding her father. However, when her carefully planned life is thrown into chaos, Tessa is forced to decide which of these rules she’s willing to break. As Clare and Tessa’s paths cross and their friendship grows, can they both finally unlock their family secrets in order to realise their futures?


Tessa and Clare intersect at turning points in their lives. Clare is trying to settle into married life as Tessa avoids it at all costs. The next few years bring healing and self-revelation as each faces past demons and re-evaluates plans for the future.

The characters were surprisingly likable, especially Tessa, whose first appearance on the page is in a loveless affair with a still-married man. Her lack of remorse turned me off at first but I later understood how she'd come to assume that all marriages were built on an unrealistic lie. I had compassion for the scars that parents leave on their children. As a foster parent, this reality is all-too-plain for me. Unfortunately, the messes our parents make can disrupt generations.

Clare, on the other hand, has a picture-perfect marriage. Pete is completely loyal. All they want is to build the kind of stable, happy family that allows children to choose their own future and succeed. But miscarriage after miscarriage threatens their happy land. As an infertile woman who stopped counting miscarriages, this piece resonated as well.

Unfortunately, that's where my emotional investment ended. The novel attempts to do too much. Childlessness, family drama, messed-up parents, lying parents, missing parents, anxiety, infertility - wow, it's all there. The writing is fairly simple and straightforward. Without poetry or focus, the plot felt a little convoluted and never reached a satisfying emotional conclusion.

The book is meant to be life-reflective, and it achieves that aim. But sometimes we need books to help us focus in on a problem rather than remind us that life is so full of issues that we never really have a chance to understand what happens to us.

Purchase from Amazon UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Things-We-Leave-Unsaid-ebook/dp/B07DHVPZ1V

Author Bio –

Megan Mayfair is a Melbourne-based writer who draws inspiration from her beautiful hometown and regional Victoria to create contemporary women's fiction, containing a big dash of romance and a spoonful of family intrigue.

With a background in public relations, copywriting and higher education, Megan is passionate about words and loves to bring them to life on the page. Megan holds a Master of Arts in professional communication and is a member of Romance Writers of Australia and Writers Victoria.

Megan is married with three children, loves a good cup of coffee and believes you can never have too many scarves.

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