Contemporary Fiction, Review

Things Left Unsaid by Courtney Walsh

about the book

Things Left Unsaid by Courtney Walsh

Things Left Unsaid by Courtney Walsh

Lyndie St. James is thrilled that her best friend, Elle, is getting married but unprepared for the emotional storm of the wedding week and returning to her childhood summer home of Sweethaven. The idyllic cottage community harbors some of her best—and worst—memories. It’s not only the tragic death of her childhood friend Cassie that has haunted her for ten years, it’s the other secrets she’s buried that have kept her from moving on.

But Lyndie isn’t the only one with secrets.

Cassie’s mother, father and brother, still struggling with the loss, have been drifting further and further apart. And Elle herself, the last to see Cassie alive, carries an impossible burden of guilt. Now reunited, each of them has a choice: to reveal the truths of that night or continue to live in its shadow. That means embarking on a personal journey of the heart—to escape the darkness and all its regrets and to finally come to terms with the past and, especially, with each other.

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my thoughts

These characters and their stories are wrapped around my heart and the message of faith, forgiveness, and grief welcomes a wave of gratitude through my spirit. The pull of emotions and biblical truths outlast even the most gracious supply of midnight oil, propelling this eager reader into a rare compulsion to swoof before letting the story rest in my heart and mind. Y’all, those two sentences were written at two in the morning, immediately after I read the final page.. not sure I can say it any better but I feel like I need to expound just a smidge…

Painful memories and grief remain to plague Lyndie and Elle a decade after the tragic and preventable death of their friend, Cassie, while her family struggles to overcome the fractures that continue to grow between them. Young people need to read this story, parents need to read this story. Mentors, counselors, and pastors need to read this story. Things Left Unsaid depicts the prison of bitterness, blame, and addiction, the power of communication and forgiveness, and the sufficiency of saving grace.

Walsh expresses the emotions of her characters with respectful yet bold authenticity. Borrowing from C.S. Lewis, her stories aren’t safe but they are good. Reader hearts will ache and cry and mourn yet the healing, restoration, and redemption are worth the cost and more. I highly recommend this story and plan to purchase my own copy to place on my all-time favorites shelf.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was under no obligation to post a review. The opinions expressed are my own.


about the author

Courtney WalshCourtney Walsh is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling novelist as well as an artist, theater director, and playwright. She is the author of the Sweethaven series—including A Sweethaven Summer, which was a Carol Award finalist in the debut author category—as well as the small-town romances Paper Hearts, Change of Heart, Just Look Up and the forthcoming Just Let Go. Things Left Unsaid is her ninth novel. She lives in Illinois, where she and her husband own a performing-arts studio and youth theater. They have three children.

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Courtney Walsh has generously provided a print copy of Things Left Unsaid for one fortunate Faithfully Bookish reader!

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30 thoughts on “Things Left Unsaid by Courtney Walsh”

  1. I enjoy reading emotional stories, but I have to alternate them with lighter ones. Catherine West writes stories that break your heart and then put it back together again. I always have to read a rom-com after her books.


  2. Emotional stories are my favorite ones. When an author can get me to feel a deep range of emotions that connect me to the characters, it’s a book I think about long after finished.


  3. Thank you for your review on “Things Left Unsaid” by Courtney Walsh. I have this book on my TBR list and can’t wait to read it. Love emotional stories!
    2clowns at arkansas dot net


  4. I love reading emotional stories, and have those go-to authors that will definitely do so in a way that makes me happy I invested in the characters by the end. I do like to mix it up between them and read something lighter, but usually by the time one of those authors releases a new book I am ready. Courtney never disappoints, so I am excited to read this eventually. Thanks for the chance!


  5. Yes, emotional stories can be a good thing. I usually mix it up with historicals, contemporary, and throw in emotional ones periodically. Thanks for the chance, and good luck to everyone!


  6. Yes, I enjoy reading emotional stories….ones that tug at my heart and can make me laugh and/or cry are some of my favorites. I just can’t read them all of the time and I have to switch them out for lighthearted stories once in a while.


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