“With a grace that is absorbing and deft, Paul tackles many difficult questions, including filial responsibility, depression, marital strife, and sexual identity. …The author depicts heart-wrenching conundrums as the three siblings are forced repeatedly to evaluate their personal priorities….An engaging tale of family dysfunction and intractable senior citizens”
– Kirkus Review
“An outstanding book that is not only deeply honest, heartbreaking and hopeful, but also brilliant, poignant and original…. It captures what is at the heart of all of us and showcases that life is what we make it…. Brilliant, just brilliant! 5 stars”
– Emily Lewis, Mrs.MommyBookNerd Blog
“A story of the complexity of the bonds between parents and children and how difficult it can be to escape them, “Things Unsaid” clearly showcases author Diana Paul as having a genuine flair for narrative-driven and truly memorable characters. Very highly recommended, especially for community library General Fiction collections”–Midwest Book Reviews, March 2017
This wry, wise novel about coming to terms with conflicting family obligations in middle age also addresses the roles that pain and loss can play in awakening people, and in healing dysfunctional family patterns… A deeply engaging book, filled with compassion. Wonderful!
–Jennifer Dwight, author of The Tolling of Mercedes Bell
Readers are sure to recognize at least a trace of their own family dynamic in these characters…. Paul chose not to make any of her characters full-on slacker types, or ne’er-do-wells,…Rather, they are flawed and completely relatable individuals, which makes the story all the more compelling….Things Unsaid will make readers ask themselves some tough questions, like “What is your family?” “Is (and should) blood be truly thicker than water?” And finally, “When is enough obligation enough?”
–Sara Hodon, Compulsive Reader
….THINGS UNSAID by Diana Y. Paul is a raw and candid look into the life of one family dealing with blow after blow. Struggling to be there for their aging parents makes being there for their own families difficult….Paul delivers a beautiful portrait of life, familial obligations and just how far you will go to try to do it all – and the risks that you take in doing so…Things Unsaid tells of the tightrope act that is fulfilling familial duty and obligation.
–Maggie Franz of Black Dog Speaks
In a carefully crafted cautionary tale, Diana Paul writes a story of a family that could be anyone’s family…In gripping detail, Paul unravels the threads that once bound these individuals together. Family ties are stressed to the breaking point….Moral dilemmas, emotional roller-coasters, sacrifice and duty abound in this tense novel that exposes raw human emotion—sparing no one the pain that comes with such issues.
–Lee Ambrose, reviewer, StoryCircleBookReviews.org
Diana Y. Paul is our first to come from the Buddhist tradition. Her novel, Things Unsaid, dissects family and generational relationships not only from the traditional storytelling perspective – and she tells a compelling story – but also from the wellspring of her philosophical beliefs.
–– Darrell Laurant, reviewer, Snowflakes Arise
I have to say I was hooked on the story as it unfolded and found it hard to put down…. The characters are amazingly well-drawn. It’s almost as though Diana has written about people she knows, she gets into their innermost thoughts and feelings so well….
– Diane Paul, reviewer, BookBlogForBookworms
It is a thoroughly enjoyable book, with solid, believable characters, plenty of salacious family drama, and ultimately a universal theme. It’s a role reversal that most children eventually face and that is caregiving for their aging parents—a matter that will always be relevant to the human condition.
As I read more, I could see a pattern forming…. The scenes played out on the pages of this story are intense…. The author expertly places us in the midst of a very dysfunctional family.
Paul develops each character and situation to its fullest. Her plot development is perfectly executed…For me, I kept seeing my mother and aunt dealing with the difficulties of their aged and ill mother with Alzheimer’s…. Paul skillfully draws the reader in … can I do that when the time comes? Paul is a talented storyteller that has a keen insight into family and emotions. WordsaPlenty.com
Family relationships also figure prominently in this new novel by Carmel-based author Diana Y. Paul. Her protagonist, Jules, is a wife, mother, daughter and educator facing difficult challenges in every arena, and Paul illustrates just how poignant and rewarding those challenges can be. San Jose Mercury News : “Books by the Bay”
Would you do everything humanly possible to maintain your parents’ comfort and lifestyle, even if that comes at the expense of your own family?…Things Unsaid by Diana Paul is a powerful, emotional tale that takes the reader deep into the complex dynamics of a dysfunctional family, alternating between love and obligation. Paul expertly entwines the past and present while exploring Julia’s moral impasse between love and duty for her two families — the one she was born into and the one she has created as an adult. Readers Favorite
Paul’s novel makes for an engaging, yet often disturbing, read. My suspicion is that readers who hail from highly dysfunctional families will get the most from it; they will identify with its characters.
While it seems instinctual and right to take care of our parents, Ms. Paul forces us to reconsider. What if our parents have made life awful for us? What if they insist that they be put first every time, even to the detriment of our lives?… Diana Paul is a good writer – despite my difficulty with the characters, the story itself is compelling. While the story is fictional, it also serves as an important reminder that we all deserve to have good people in our lives, who love and support us just as we do for them. Literary Lindsey