What's Not Said: A Novel

· She Writes Press
3 reviews

About this ebook

“Taylor’s dialogue is snappy and contemporary . . . A witty and often amusing family drama.”—Kirkus Reviews

Kassie O’Callaghan’s meticulous plans to divorce her emotionally abusive husband, Mike, and move in with Chris, a younger man she met five years ago on a solo vacation in Venice, are disrupted when she finds out Mike has chronic kidney disease—something he’s concealed from her for years. Once again, she postpones her path to freedom—at least, until she pokes around his pajama drawer and discovers his illness is the least of his deceits.

But Kassie is no angel, either. As she struggles to justify her own indiscretions, the secret lives she and Mike have led collide head-on, revealing a tangled web of sex, lies, and DNA. Still, mindful of her vows, Kassie commits to helping her husband find an organ donor. In the process, she uncovers a life-changing secret. Problem is, if she reveals it, her own immorality will be exposed, which means she has an impossible decision to make: Whose life will she save—her husband’s or her own?

Ratings and reviews

3 reviews
Literary Titan
November 28, 2021
What’s Not Said is a witty and entertaining rom-com written by Valerie Taylor. The narrative follows Kassie in the midst of concocting a plan to divorce her intolerable and emotionally abusive husband, Mike, which is suddenly halted by the revelation of Mike’s chronic kidney disease. The novel opens from Kassie’s point of view, in which the reader learns about all the hardships that Kassie had to endure under Mike’s hand; manipulation, lies, infidelity- the list is endless. Mike is painted as an archetypal storybook villain. But the plot thickens further when we are introduced to Mike’s point of view, and learn all the intricacies of the pair’s turbulent marriage. In this story, there seems to be no innocent party. The main character Kassie is revealed to have a lot of dark secrets of her own, and at times this makes it harder to empathize with her. But Kassie is written with such humor and wit that it makes her so undeniably charming. So, while I found myself ultimately rooting for Kassie and her happiness, all the layers and intricacies of her situation make it very challenging to form the simplistic “A is the hero, B is the villain” perspective that most books typically command. This was intriguing, as it made the narrative more complex and urged me to continue reading to learn the entire context of the situation. Due to this, the story was gripping. Furthermore, there were so many twists and turns in the story, conflicts mimicking that of a soap opera. While some twists were a little predictable, several truly shocking ones kept me on the edge of my seat. The book only has a few characters, as the narrative events are centered heavily on Kassie and Mike’s relationship dynamics. Due to this, all the characters were explored fully, making the story feel more realistic and engaging. Taylor’s writing explored the characters and their perspectives deeply, so the narrative was richer and more interesting overall. I loved the witty and vibrant writing style, and the characters were riveting overall. There was no end of surprises and layers to the story, keeping the reader on their toes at all times. I would love to read more of Taylor’s work in the future.
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October 2, 2021
WHAT’S NOT SAID was a great women's fiction book that I found to be a great read! I really liked Kassie O’Callaghan and boy did she take me a tear jerkier of a ride. There were times were I just wanted her to forget about her husband and walk away and other times where I felt like I could really understand her choices and sympathize.
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Anil Das
February 20, 2021
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About the author

Valerie Taylor was born and raised in Stamford, Connecticut. She had a thirty-year career in the financial services industry as a marketer and writer. After her divorce, she spread her wings and relocated her career, first to Boston and then to Seattle. When she retired, she resettled in Shelton, Connecticut, to be near her two grown children and granddaughter. She’s a published book reviewer with BookTrib.com; and a member of the Westport Writers’ Workshop, the Independent Book Publishers Association, and the Women's Fiction Writers Association. She enjoys practicing tai chi and being an expert sports spectator. What’s Not Said was her debut novel, followed by the sequel, What’s Not True in 2021. The final book in the trilogy, What’s Not Lost, launches in February 2023.

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