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An Artist's secrets

The Things We Left Unsaid.

By Emma Kennedy

No spoilers I swear!!

"What's the longest word you know?"

When I picked up this book I wasn't too sure I'd ever read it, being a romantic comedy person myself, and I knew for a fact that this book was going to be more of a drama than that. I was in Waterstones and I had already picked up two books when I looked across at the hardback shelf and there was a book that just stood out and it felt like it was calling me. I sound insane right? But humour me for a moment will you? I read the blurb and realised that the book is about an artist as well as a strained relationship between a mother and daughter who can't stand to be in the same room as each other at the best of times. I laughed to myself as I can relate to that, I love my mum but sometimes it feels like we are distant and cold to one another in that we could quite easily not talk to each other for days. I thought I should give this book a go, I never read anything like this, so personal before and thought I'd give it a chance.

In an attempt of trying not to give too much away, the story is follows both Eleanor and Rachel, mother and daughter. After the death of her father, 6 weeks later Rachel is left at the alter by her fiancee and is forced to move back into her mum's house, who she has a strained and difficult relationship with. Eleanor is a famous artist whose career took off in the 60's and her success and fame has cast a shadow over Rachel making her feel like a disappointment to her mother.

Kennedy's storytelling is brilliant as the lives of Eleanor and Rachel are explored in two time frames. It begins in 1964, when Eleanor is on her way to art college in London and we get to see Eleanor grow from a young, naive, and innocent young lady into this old terror who Rachel sees her as in the present. The story flips back and forth throughout the novel meaning that you are forever saying, "One more chapter" and hanging off the edge of your seat trying to figure out what could happen next.

Although with the present informing what has happened and therefore you feel like you can guess what happened in the past and know the secrets Eleanor kept from her daughter, Kennedy manages to surprise you with spectacular twists and turns.

Without trying to give too much away, this book is about, first love, adulthood, love, friendship and forgiveness. It also has laughs along the way too but it mostly focuses on the secrets hidden from loved ones and the breakdown of communication between mother and daughter.

Heartbreaking, Honest, Tender, I will treasure this book forever.

I felt so much with this book. Not only do I understand the relationship between Eleanor and Rachel, but Eleanor's career of wanting, needing to be a success as an artist. I loved how honest and real the words Kennedy wrote, words that I really needed to hear. One thing I have learnt from this book is that life is too short to be angry with someone forever, kindness costs nothing as Charlie would say. (Reference to book) This is a book I believe we can all relate too, especially the people who have strained relationships with a family member, it really puts life into perspective. I encourage you all to read this. I rate it 5*

After all, tomorrow is another day spent reading,

Till next time,

Phoebe x

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