Saturday, November 6, 2021

Book Review: Every Word Unsaid by Kimberly Duffy


  • Title: Every Word Unsaid: A Novel

  • Authors: Kimberly Duffy

  • Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery & Suspense, Inspirational Fiction

  • Publisher: Bethany House (November 2, 2021)

  • Length: (368) pages

  • Format: Trade paperback, eBook, & audiobook 

  • Tour Dates: November 1-14, 2021


Augusta Travers has spent the last three years avoiding the stifling expectations of New York society and her family's constant disappointment. As the nation's most fearless--and reviled--columnist, Gussie travels the country with her Kodak camera and spins stories for women unable to leave hearth and home. But when her adventurous nature lands her in the middle of a scandal, an opportunity to leave America offers the perfect escape.

Arriving in India, she expects only a nice visit with childhood friends, siblings Catherine and Gabriel, and escapades that will further her career. Instead, she finds herself facing a plague epidemic, confusion over Gabriel's sudden appeal, and the realization that what she wants from life is changing. But slowing down means facing all the hurts of her past that she's long been trying to outrun. And that may be an undertaking too great even for her.


“Duffy shines in elegant, flowing prose and delicate precision that underscores the nineteenth-century setting."— Booklist, starred review

"An author to watch."— Library Journal

"Duffy's writing is beautiful, deep, and contemplative."— Jocelyn Green, Christy Award-winning author of Shadows of the White City


Kimberly Duffy’s admiration for India shines in Every Word Unsaid. Although Gussie’s journey starts in America, circumstances bring her to India, an exotic setting brought to life by Duffy’s stunning descriptions. An example: “America, with its youthful zeal and brazen thirst, whispered a sonnet to Gussie’s heart. But India sang, her voice a thunderous roar, to the percussion of drums. It reached inside her and wrestled with the accusations that had chased her across the ocean.” Beautiful prose.

Every Word Unsaid follows Gussie’s path to maturity. A life of monetary privilege coupled with youthful ignorance and family dysfunction leads Gussie to reckless decisions. Some readers may not appreciate the duration of her immaturity, but as the story progresses, Gussie comes into her own. Her time in India begets insight into her passions and gifts, an awareness of injustice, and a true understanding of the power of words. The latter stands as my favorite theme in this novel. Gussie’s wrestling with words spoken over her is a relatable struggle for many, including myself. I loved seeing her overcome the disparaging words by choosing to believe the truth.

While Every Word Unsaid briefly mentions Nora and Owen from A Mosaic of Wings, this novel is a stand-alone and might be my favorite story by Kimberly Duffy. Every Word Unsaid will appeal to readers who enjoy inspirational historical fiction with character development, serious themes, and a friends-to-lovers romance. 4.5 Stars.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I was provided a copy of this book by the author or publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.


Kimberly Duffy is Long Island native currently living in Southwest Ohio, via six months in India. When she's not homeschooling her four kids, she writes historical fiction that takes her readers back in time and across oceans. She loves trips that require a passport, recipe books, and practicing kissing scenes with her husband of twenty years. He doesn't mind.



1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Jolene. Duffy is a talented writer. I love that the novel is set in Victoria era India and hope to find more novels like it in the future. Best, LA