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Every Word Unsaid

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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 scand 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 at the worst possible moment, she's forced to leave America entirely. Arriving in India, she expects only a nice visit with childhood friends, siblings Catherine and Gabriel, and adventures 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. As she grows closer to friends, old and new, and allows their words of truth to heal parched places, she pictures a new future. But when the fallout of her past decisions finds her in India, will it ruin her chance to finally stop running?


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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 scand 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 at the worst possible moment, she's forced to leave America entirely. Arriving in India, she expects only a nice visit with childhood friends, siblings Catherine and Gabriel, and adventures 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. As she grows closer to friends, old and new, and allows their words of truth to heal parched places, she pictures a new future. But when the fallout of her past decisions finds her in India, will it ruin her chance to finally stop running?

30 review for Every Word Unsaid

  1. 4 out of 5

    Heather Wood

    I have a hard time reviewing books that I generally like, where the author writes her characters consistently, there are no complaints with the prose, the scene setting is done well, in short, where the author did her job, but I disagreed with the message and the main character on a philosophical level. I'm torn. For a bit of background, I had the same trouble with this author's first book, but loved the second, because she was very solid and clear with the truth and theology she presented, and i I have a hard time reviewing books that I generally like, where the author writes her characters consistently, there are no complaints with the prose, the scene setting is done well, in short, where the author did her job, but I disagreed with the message and the main character on a philosophical level. I'm torn. For a bit of background, I had the same trouble with this author's first book, but loved the second, because she was very solid and clear with the truth and theology she presented, and it gave me hope for the author's trajectory, but unfortunately, this book was more like the first in that the main female character was profoundly self-centered and her resolution was in an external change of circumstances, which in my opinion, is not the deeper answer her heart needed. As a result, I felt "okaaaaayyy, I don't reeeeaaaally DISAGREE with the message," but it was not accompanied with the power of the gospel like in A Tapestry of Light, which would have taken this book from "meh" to powerful. Am I splitting hairs? I ask myself this, but I really don't think so, because I believe the readers need a more powerful message and I know this author is capable of delivering it. So like I said, the character (Gussie) is self centered, which I think is a lot of my problem with fictional feminist historical characters, and I really liked the background and explanation of her family life that made you empathize and gave depth to her reasons for being so. Better yet, her goal in life wasn't the stereotypical "have a man's job," which was unique; she just wanted freedom from the expectations of a society that was not her native culture. The male MC appears to suffer from anxiety, which was another novel thing for a Christian fiction book and gave the book nuance. So, there were definitely things I liked! The entire message of the book was about finding your identity, not in what people say you should be, but "who you are," which included "the One who made you" in the list but wasn't really FOUNDED on Him. This message felt very 21st century to me and very out of place for 1899. (The main couple was also very handsy, which I also thought was out of place for the era). Gussie is searching, wandering, running in her search for her identity, and when she arrives in this exotic location and falls in love with an old friend, her heart comes home. Oh, yikes. My dear, dear friend- Jesus is the answer to your searching, wandering and running, not a man or an exotic place or in "being you." There are references to the characters praying, but little else about their character arcs displayed the heart of a true Christian- no surrender, no dependence on God. Here are some quotes from the book: "You are whole, entirely enough." (Then why did Jesus have to come and die? He's the one who makes you whole.) "The library offered Gussie her only solace." (I'm wondering if she's been in the Word today?) "Perhaps she could find meaning and purpose in Hampi." (Oh cringe. Don't you have anyone to speak truth to you and counter this thinking?) "Now, having discovered there is, after all, a place I wish to rest, I have learned it isn't where I wander that gives my life purpose, but the people I love. The things I fight for. Who and what I believe in." (Um... What DO you believe in and why is it last on your list?) I would encourage readers who do struggle with their identity and find freedom in the idea from this book that your identity is not in others' expectations of you, to take it one step further and ground your identity in Jesus Christ, in His sacrifice and life-altering love for you. Please don't stop where Gussie stopped, because I believe it is not enough for true peace. This book is a good first step in the right direction, but the real richness can be found in a deeper place. The publisher provided me with a copy through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, but all opinions are my own.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jill Williamson

    This book was absolutely fabulous. Gussie was so much fun. I simply adored her sense of adventure and her desire to have a meaningful life, even if that meant risking her reputation with society's rules and her family's rules. Gussie's ability to see people deeply was inspiring. I loved that she wanted to write something that mattered. I think she might be an Enneagram 1, like me. ❤️ Gussie's uncle James, who had the main task of chasing Gussie all over the world and bringing her back to her pare This book was absolutely fabulous. Gussie was so much fun. I simply adored her sense of adventure and her desire to have a meaningful life, even if that meant risking her reputation with society's rules and her family's rules. Gussie's ability to see people deeply was inspiring. I loved that she wanted to write something that mattered. I think she might be an Enneagram 1, like me. ❤️ Gussie's uncle James, who had the main task of chasing Gussie all over the world and bringing her back to her parents--he made me smile. I also loved how he spoke truth to Gussie about who she was--compared to the nagging lies the rest of the family spoke over her all her life. He told her she was talented and courageous and adaptable and creative. That she was "so many good things" and "Don't let what people say define you." I'm so glad Gussie had him in her life all these years to contrast all the negativity. And Gabriel/Specs, who is Gussie’s childhood friend/romantic interest--he was a delightful character. I love a guy who suffers from fear and anxiety yet becomes a doctor and moves to India. No, that's not dangerous at all! I also enjoyed how he continually encouraged Gussie to be brave yet struggled to do the same for himself. It felt very authentic. This book was filled with people doing their best to live lives that make a difference. I found it thoroughly entertaining and inspiring. This was my first time reading Kimberly Duffy's work, but she is already a new favorite! If you enjoy historical fiction with a lot of adventure and a little romance, I highly recommend this story.

  3. 5 out of 5

    E.C.

    This is one of these books that's hard to rate, partly because there are so many good things about it, but also so many things I wasn't a huge fan of. First off—I really loved how Duffy crafted such an independent female character of the times without resorting to the traditional "I can do everything a man can do and better" "strong" female character I see way too much in fiction nowadays. Gussie has her flaws, but her ambitions were realistic considering her childhood and the strong influence of This is one of these books that's hard to rate, partly because there are so many good things about it, but also so many things I wasn't a huge fan of. First off—I really loved how Duffy crafted such an independent female character of the times without resorting to the traditional "I can do everything a man can do and better" "strong" female character I see way too much in fiction nowadays. Gussie has her flaws, but her ambitions were realistic considering her childhood and the strong influence of her parents. In other words, I really enjoyed how the author crafted a character whose past explains who she had become. It made her more sympathetic overall. However, I still found her unsympathetic and selfish at times — that could be because I didn't understand her sense of adventure — and I feel like throughout the entire story, her arc is something we already know and have to wait and wait for her to figure it out. But maybe that's just me. I'm also not sure I'd categorize this book as Christian fiction. While it certainly mentions God and the main character, Gussie, has awareness of God (a relationship is not mentioned), God was absent in the majority of the story. And that's something I don't quite understand, to be honest. There are multiple scenes where Gussie talks about God to her uncle, when she's caring for the sick or in turmoil about her future does she kneel and talk to Him, causing her to make the wrong decisions a lot, and to me at least, increase her unsympatheticness. :P My favorite part of this book was the writing style. The author's word choice, and the way she strung them together into sentences was pure gold, and it flowed so well with the overall aesthetic of the story. From describing emotions to the surroundings of Africa, everything felt so vivid and colorful. So, if you decide to read this book for one reason only, read it for the writing style. It's that good, guys. Overall, though, I'm not quite sure how to rate this book. I feel that there were major issues with it, but at the same time, the themes were beautiful and the author's heart behind them is clearly genuine. So, I suppose I won't rate this one at the moment. ;) Would I recommend it? Perhaps, if you're looking for a clean read that takes place during some key times in India. Otherwise, I'm not sure. XD I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kristianne

    This was my first taste of Kimberly Duffy’s writing, and I was not disappointed! The amount of depth she was able to weave in without sacrificing the pacing was remarkable—the mark of a truly great writer! Gussie Travers was fascinating and multi-dimensional in every way. Her character voice was especially fun to read. As someone who has lived overseas myself, I could relate to her love for travel and how India was like a homecoming to her—I feel the same way about my overseas home! I would heart This was my first taste of Kimberly Duffy’s writing, and I was not disappointed! The amount of depth she was able to weave in without sacrificing the pacing was remarkable—the mark of a truly great writer! Gussie Travers was fascinating and multi-dimensional in every way. Her character voice was especially fun to read. As someone who has lived overseas myself, I could relate to her love for travel and how India was like a homecoming to her—I feel the same way about my overseas home! I would heartily agree with Gussie that traveling overseas is a most magical journey that changes you in a million wonderful ways. Specs reminded me very much of Mr. Knightley—gently acting as the voice of reason to Gussie’s spontaneity—and my Jane Austen-loving self adored that! I loved watching their friendship flourish into something more. The only thing I didn’t like so much was that the physical side of the romance advanced a little too quickly and there were a few scenes that were too descriptive for my taste. But other than that, I thought it was well done. Duffy’s prose was delightful to read! Her rich, evocative writing pulled me in from the first chapter and brought India to life before my eyes. I could almost taste India through her descriptions! And yet, somehow, they didn’t distract from the story or drag the pacing. Although full of vivid descriptions, Every Word Unsaid has a surprisingly serious quality to it you don’t often find in historical romance. It holds that delicious bit of depth, the layer upon layer kind that makes you want to read more! Duffy did a fantastic job pulling off Gussie’s internal journey to discovering what her true purpose in life was. As a writer myself, I connected deeply with the theme of words and how they have the power of life and death. And as Gussie discovered, “How lovely people could be—more than the highest mountain peak or deepest ocean. And how much more interesting. There were stories to tell about places, but they were in people.” This is a book that will captivate you from the moment you pick it up. It’s a delightful journey you won’t regret taking as you find yourself whisked away to the colorful world of late 19th century India with Miss Adventuress herself!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Monzon

    Kimberly Duffy has the artful ability to pair words and sentences and made them dance across the page. She sweeps the reader up with her lyrical prose and introduces us to new people and places. I love that I know I’m going to be transported to India within her pages as well as take a closer look at aspects of humanity.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Carrie Schmidt (Reading is My SuperPower)

    You don’t have to read very far into Every Word Unsaid to realize that this is, in many ways, a love letter from the author to India. The richness of her descriptions elevates the country to another main character, a heroine in her own right, in this spellbinding story. We are not treated to simply the tourist highlights, but to the vibrant beauty of the less common pathways and the people from every walk of life. From abject poverty to affluent wealth, and everything in between, the faces of In You don’t have to read very far into Every Word Unsaid to realize that this is, in many ways, a love letter from the author to India. The richness of her descriptions elevates the country to another main character, a heroine in her own right, in this spellbinding story. We are not treated to simply the tourist highlights, but to the vibrant beauty of the less common pathways and the people from every walk of life. From abject poverty to affluent wealth, and everything in between, the faces of India are engraved on the reader’s heart even as they are on Gussie’s. I liked Gussie right away, though other reviewers found her to be too self-centered. And, okay, I’ll give them that. But that doesn’t make her unlikable – rather, it makes her even more relatable. Most of us won’t have the privilege of traveling the world, going from one adventure to the other, but we’ve all struggled with being self-centered. Whether it was for a moment, a season, or something we battle every day, seeing the world through only our own lens is something we have all done. Fortunately, for most of us, there comes a moment of awareness where our view is expanded to include the people around us – and we are more often than not the better for it. It makes us human. And it’s this growing awareness in Gussie that makes Every Word Unsaid exquisite. And while the romance between Gussie and “Specs” wasn’t the focus of this story, their friendship-to-more tension and swoonilicious kisses made my KissingBooks-reader heart happy. For his own part, Gabriel (Specs) is an intriguing character – a young doctor yearning to make a difference, a protective brother, a loyal friend. He has loved Gussie for years, and he longs for her to stop searching for the next adventure and finally see him. When he’s free to put some action to his feelings, watch out – much swooning and fanning will commence! I know this review is getting long, but I can’t quit without mentioning Gussie’s Uncle James and how much I loved him as a character. He sees her as she is, perhaps better than anyone; he knows her flaws and her strengths, and he loves her no matter what. He also has the unenviable task of chasing down Gussie in her impulsive escapades and attempting to convince her to come back home where her parents would expect her to be a sedate, “good” daughter to avoid society’s disdain. Yet he also speaks great truth into her life, reminding her of her worth before the God who created her & that it’s what should define her, not the hurtful things her family have said to her for so long. He made me smile every time he showed up on the page. Bottom Line: Every word in Every Word Unsaid is pitch perfect, evoking a wide range of emotions from readers and taking us on an unforgettable journey. The nineteenth century comes alive under the author’s masterful pen, from the familiar to the exotic and particularly Gussie’s adventures in India. The sights, smells, sounds, and tastes of that country are so vivid that I nearly forgot I wasn’t right there with her. And while Gussie may take a bit of warming up to for some, her external & internal quest to find where she belongs, to discover her worth apart from what others say, is one that many of us can understand. Another exquisite offering from Kimberly Duffy, with much that is timely & relevant to us in today’s world as well as the past. (I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book) first reviewed at Reading Is My SuperPower

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Purcell

    I identified with Gussie, though I didn’t agree with her every choice. She can come off a bit selfish at times, but Duffy gives this character a depth that pulled me in and made me root for her. With Gussie, Duffy explores a lot of things, but what struck me the most was the idea that words have the power to hurt or heal. The juxtaposition of Gussie’s parents with Uncle James and Gabriel was not lost on me, nor were they lost on her. These relationships drew out the complexity of relationships, e I identified with Gussie, though I didn’t agree with her every choice. She can come off a bit selfish at times, but Duffy gives this character a depth that pulled me in and made me root for her. With Gussie, Duffy explores a lot of things, but what struck me the most was the idea that words have the power to hurt or heal. The juxtaposition of Gussie’s parents with Uncle James and Gabriel was not lost on me, nor were they lost on her. These relationships drew out the complexity of relationships, especially valuing someone’s opinion so much that their disapproval hurts you even more. And Duffy does a great job of pointing it all back to our relationship with God and considering how He views us with a love we don’t deserve. In her past novels (A Mosaic of Wings and A Tapestry of Light) I have found myself wishing we could have the romantic interest’s point of view. But with Every Word Unsaid, I wished it even more. I wanted to explore more of Gabriel’s journey, the way anxiety affects his life. But perhaps all we needed to see was Gussie’s acceptance of him, the way she acknowledges his fears but reminds him that he cannot control everything. Overall, Every Word Unsaid is a compelling historical novel that romance and women’s fiction fans alike will devour. (Note: I received a complimentary copy. I was not required to post a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.)

  8. 4 out of 5

    Toni Shiloh

    Every Word Unsaid delves into the matters of the heart that we run from until life forces us to examine them. Gussie is an adventurer but one who secretly longs to feel fulfilled. She finds herself and purpose in India, and what a tale we're taken on. Kimberly Duffy carefully crafts a tale with beautiful words, gorgeous imagery, and a friends to more romance that will keep readers turning the pages. *I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. My review was not required nor influenced. Every Word Unsaid delves into the matters of the heart that we run from until life forces us to examine them. Gussie is an adventurer but one who secretly longs to feel fulfilled. She finds herself and purpose in India, and what a tale we're taken on. Kimberly Duffy carefully crafts a tale with beautiful words, gorgeous imagery, and a friends to more romance that will keep readers turning the pages. *I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. My review was not required nor influenced.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jolene -

    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. 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.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Classic Jane Austen

    After giving it some thought, I'm going to post a warning about this book. It's in no way meant to disrespect the author or her work, but I thought maybe someone who has gone through something similar might want a warning. I'm going to post this review to discuss the way miscarriage was represented in this book, which you can find at the bottom of the review. I'd like you to know that it might *spoil* a bit of the book, so read at your own risk. This book had a lots of really powerful one-liners After giving it some thought, I'm going to post a warning about this book. It's in no way meant to disrespect the author or her work, but I thought maybe someone who has gone through something similar might want a warning. I'm going to post this review to discuss the way miscarriage was represented in this book, which you can find at the bottom of the review. I'd like you to know that it might *spoil* a bit of the book, so read at your own risk. This book had a lots of really powerful one-liners and I particularly felt the message of "finding self-worth" was important. However, the story was a bit chaotic at times. The heroine and hero's romantic relationship was very hot/cold. When things were resolved between them at the end, it was done very brusquely. There seemed to be very little trust or understanding between them up until the very last chapter. The heroine was also hard to love. I enjoyed her streak of independence and adventure, but overall she came across as difficult to root for because of her occasional disregard for others while she was trying to be adventurous. Potential *SPOILER* TW: miscarriage I had an issue with the way miscarriage was represented in this book. The heroine told her best friend (who was expecting a child, who had fallen down the stairs while carrying the child, and who couldn't feel her baby move anymore) that she thought the baby was still alive inside her. This felt like extremely false hope/a tactless thing to say to the friend, who was later upset with the heroine for telling her that her unborn baby was alive when she clearly had no medical authority to make that call. Then in the epilogue, about twenty pages after the baby is lost, the best friend is heavily pregnant and married all over again without ever introducing us to the new spouse. It made the grief the friend had just felt about losing her first child and previous husband hard for the reader to process, because she was so angry and upset just moments before... and then the next time we see her in the book she is pregnant again and happily married to someone we'd never met before. It wasn't explained well and didn't feel like that part of the storyline was given much of a thoughtful conclusion. This is inspirational/Christian fiction, but it did not feel preachy. I was given an e-book ARC from Netgalley/the publisher. All opinions are my own.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mimi

    Kimberly Duffy has a gift of transporting your heart and mind to India! Her characters immediately work their way into your heart and only grow fonder as you turn the page. The story is as rich and deep in the telling as is the India the author describes. We meet Gussie as she's on an adventure, which is NOT approved by her family. Nothing she does is looked favorably upon by them, and that is the crux of Gussie's running. Never accepted. Never meeting expectations. How can anyone bear up under t Kimberly Duffy has a gift of transporting your heart and mind to India! Her characters immediately work their way into your heart and only grow fonder as you turn the page. The story is as rich and deep in the telling as is the India the author describes. We meet Gussie as she's on an adventure, which is NOT approved by her family. Nothing she does is looked favorably upon by them, and that is the crux of Gussie's running. Never accepted. Never meeting expectations. How can anyone bear up under that? India is where she ends up after her identity is revealed, and it appeals to her adventurous nature. It's also where her dearest friends, Specs and Catherine, live. We're also introduced to her Uncle James early in the story, and honestly, I come to love him right away. He's always just one step behind her as he chases her everywhere she goes. As opposed to her immediate family, he sees the gem she is and speaks love & truth into her life. I adored him and his love of Gussie. As Gussie lands in Poona, India, through the author you can imagine what she is seeing and experiencing. This is where we meet the most wonderful characters who are living in the midst of the plague! Catherine's sisterly love for Gussie is exactly what she needs. Specs, let's just say, he's changed since they were all separated as children. I was enthralled with how Specs, Gabriel, saw Gussie. Of course, nothing is as simple as just realizing how you see someone, especially if you've spent your life running, trying to find yourself, and searching for adventure. The people who come into her life to help Gussie realize how God truly sees her. That her worth isn't limited to the hurtful things spoken to her. The things meant to bring her in line with expectations - which are completely unrealistic for her. Honestly, Gussie's hurt spoke deeply to me, and I was able to understand her in ways others may not. I am so thankful for authors such as Kimberly Duffy who pour themselves into a story like this and touch the reader so deeply. She uses her characters to speak Truth to the readers, for which I'm incredibly grateful! *I received this book for review. This is my personal opinion.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Scott

    Every Word Unsaid was beautifully written. I loved the heroine's adventurous spirit and the vivid setting! Looking forward to more from this talented author. Every Word Unsaid was beautifully written. I loved the heroine's adventurous spirit and the vivid setting! Looking forward to more from this talented author.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Goshorn

    Every Word Unsaid is another excellent novel by Kimberly Duffy. The story gripped me from the opening scene with vivid descriptions and luxurious prose and never let me go. Skeptical? Try this snippet and tell me that doesn't make you want to read this book. “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 ac Every Word Unsaid is another excellent novel by Kimberly Duffy. The story gripped me from the opening scene with vivid descriptions and luxurious prose and never let me go. Skeptical? Try this snippet and tell me that doesn't make you want to read this book. “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.” Page after page, Duffy brings the setting to life from dusty Deadwood, South Dakota, to the plague-ridden streets of Pune, India. The heroine, Augusta (Gussie) Travers, wants to shrug off the restraints of New York society and be a travel photographer. Her family indulges her temporarily, hoping the urge will pass, if she keeps her identity secret. When she is outed to New York Society on her sister's wedding day, the ensuing scandal sends her to India, far away from the gossip but not from the unkind and often cruel words that her family have spoken over her which plague her memory. In India, she reconnects with her childhood friends, Catherine and Gabriel. I loved Gabriel. I loved that their romance was a slow, steady burn built on a solid foundation of friendship. The romance is there but not as integral to the story as this romance lover would have preferred. If I must find fault with Every Word Unsaid, it would be that I would have enjoyed scenes from Gabriel's point of view. His unconditional love and acceptance are integral to Gussie's journey of self-acceptance. I admired Gussie's spunk and determination to follow her dreams. She is a strong yet complicated heroine who is not only independent but also shackled to the discouraging words spoken over her by her family who wish her to conform to their expectations. These words cause her to doubt her talent and Gussie struggles to believe she can use the gift God has given her to its fullest potential. When Gussie arrives in India, she has the opportunity not only to show the beauty of an exotic land through her Kodak lens, but her images can show simplicity, pain, sorrow, compassion, strength, poverty, disease, suffering, and resilience. It can transport people to another time and place where they can learn to think about the world beyond themselves not simply admire its beautiful landscapes. Through it all, Gussie learns God has given her a unique talent and an audience whereby she can make a difference by sharing the honesty of the human experience—both good and bad. Some of the reviews I read for Every Word Unsaid seemed to think the heroine too selfish, and her catharsis too minimal. I would have to politely disagree. First, I like flawed characters. They seem realistic and relatable and look whole lot more like myself and those around me. These are the characters and stories that bid me to look deeper inside myself, to examine my own heart. and in the end, strengthen my faith. Second, while the heroine undoubtedly made some selfish decisions throughout the story, Gussie grew and changed emotionally and spiritually. God used the people she met and the experiences she had in India to widen her perspective, to soften her heart. She learns compassion and understanding. Isn't that all we can ask of others, of ourselves—that we learn, grow, and change for the better by the end of our own stories? Duffy brings a strong cast of secondary characters to the page. From the endearing Uncle James, who I kept hoping would choose to stay with Gussie in India, to her mentors Bimla and Ramabai, they brought life and depth to the story. They seemed to innately understand her emotional wounds while gently challenging Gussie to step from the shadows into the woman God had created her to be. Spiritual Takeaway: Gussie is a deeply wounded character. She takes with her the scars and brokenness of "never being enough" for the people in her life, especially her family (with the sole exception of Uncle James). I could relate to Gussie who struggled to get unkind words spoken to her out of her head. Words have the power to lift us up or tear us down, and the most dangerous ones are the ones we repeat in our own mind every day. As the story unfolds, Gussie learns to cast off her emotional wounds and not allow the hurtful words from her past define her. As her friend and mentor, Bimla, tells her, "Nothing anyone else says or believes of me can diminish my value—that my worth is found in Christ and He is meant for everyone, even those who mistreated me." Every Word Unsaid brings a powerful reminder that we have eternal value not because of what we do or say, or because other's have a favorable opinion of us, but because Christ purchased us with His shed blood on the cross. That is what completes us, what makes us 'enough.'

  14. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    There is something familiar in Kimberly Duffy's writings that take the readers to exotic places without ever leaving their homes. With the protagonist's travels, Kimberly once again takes her readers to India in the late 1800s to a time under British rule, unspeakable poverty, desperate conditions, and astounding beauty. Augusta "Gussie" Travers escapes her family's climb into social status by writing for Ladies Weekly magazine as "Miss Adventuress." She travels throughout the United States, tak There is something familiar in Kimberly Duffy's writings that take the readers to exotic places without ever leaving their homes. With the protagonist's travels, Kimberly once again takes her readers to India in the late 1800s to a time under British rule, unspeakable poverty, desperate conditions, and astounding beauty. Augusta "Gussie" Travers escapes her family's climb into social status by writing for Ladies Weekly magazine as "Miss Adventuress." She travels throughout the United States, taking photographs and writing articles that allow her readers to escape the drudgery of daily life. Her writing is light-hearted and witty, and her photographs are breath-taking illustrations of her travels. When her identity is leaked on the morning of her sister's wedding, she is denigrated and renounced by her family. Her parents decide to exile her to her aunt's in Chicago, where she might learn some of the finer societal manners, and where she won't be able to harm their social status by her outrageous behavior. Her boss at Ladies Weekly offers to send her to India for a more exotic trip than she's been on before. As Gussie is leaving for Chicago in the company of her uncle--once a Pinkerton agent--she ditches the train she's on and heads to Boston to catch a ship to England and then India. While in India she meets up with her childhood friends Specs and Catherine. And while in India, she finds that she has come home. She has found the place where she is accepted for who she is, where she is valued for her thoughts and ideas, where she is treated with respect and honor--all things that have been missing from her family's treatment and opinions of her. She also finds love. It's a topsy-turvy road to romance for Gussie (and dare I say it, a rather formulaic road to romance). I am not sure where Kimberly came up with the title for Every Word Unsaid, because there were not many words left unsaid by the time the book is finished. Gussie and Specs hashed, rehashed, and sometimes over-hashed their words with each other. But this book is one that was surprisingly compelling. There are events that bring out anger, compassion, excitement, betrayal, understanding, and several other emotions. It will cause readers like me to lose sleep because they just can't put it down, but it's worth every minute. I looked back to see that I have read all of Kimberly's books and they are all just as enjoyable as this one. Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and a ride on an elephant to fulfill a bucket list item. Bethany House and NetGalley.com provided the copy I read for this review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rachael

    I was expecting Gussie to be more of a hardened journalist, but instead she is a delightful, fun-loving, soft-hearted adventurer. She could stand to be less impulsive and thoughtless, but I loved her right from the start. I loved that "proving herself in a man's world" wasn't even on the table. She is great at her job and doesn't doubt it (though, to be fair, her family hates it). Now, when it comes to pushing herself to write where she is feeling led to write (as opposed to what she was hired w I was expecting Gussie to be more of a hardened journalist, but instead she is a delightful, fun-loving, soft-hearted adventurer. She could stand to be less impulsive and thoughtless, but I loved her right from the start. I loved that "proving herself in a man's world" wasn't even on the table. She is great at her job and doesn't doubt it (though, to be fair, her family hates it). Now, when it comes to pushing herself to write where she is feeling led to write (as opposed to what she was hired write), there the doubts assail her, and every word that people have spoken against her come back to haunt her. Words . . . they can build us up or tear us down, both the words spoken and the words withheld. Gussie has grown up with constant iterations of what she does wrong and rarely an affirmation for what she does right, or even affirmations she deserves simply for being a beloved daughter and sister. It's no wonder she is constantly running away to see the world when she feels so unloved at home. No one in the book is perfect (except maybe her uncle--I loved him and the way he's constantly following and keeping an eye on Gussie while still allowing her her freedom); her friends are fighting fear, feelings of worthlessness, the desire to control. Sure, sometimes they feed off each other, but most of the time they are able to encourage each other, uphold each other, and speak truth into each other's lives. Thank you Bethany House and NetGalley for the complimentary e-book. I was not required to write a positive review, and all opinions are my own.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rosalyn

    This book not only has a gorgeous cover, it has a story contained within its pages that is just as lovely, if not more, than the outside. I love Kimberly Duffy's words throughout this book. Her writing style is just perfect. Gussie is a fabulous heroine, I really loved her. She does not like her family's expectations they've placed on her. Behaving as a respectable young lady, and doing what she can to make a good match. Her job of choice is traveling the country as Miss Adventuress. Then, when sh This book not only has a gorgeous cover, it has a story contained within its pages that is just as lovely, if not more, than the outside. I love Kimberly Duffy's words throughout this book. Her writing style is just perfect. Gussie is a fabulous heroine, I really loved her. She does not like her family's expectations they've placed on her. Behaving as a respectable young lady, and doing what she can to make a good match. Her job of choice is traveling the country as Miss Adventuress. Then, when she finds herself in the midst of a scandal, she sails across the world to India, where two of her childhood best friends reside. Gussie loves India, it's cultures and it's rich colors. I loved seeing the country through her eyes, and India really came alive for me as never before. It also is about the bubonic plague. Sadly, some of this felt all too relatable. It's quite intriguing to me to read about plagues we've had in the past, and see similarities and differences to what our world is experiencing today. Overall, I found this to be an intriguing historical fiction. I loved it, and look forward to reading more books by this author. Disclaimer: I receive complimentary books from various sources, including, publishers, publicists, authors, and/or NetGalley. I am not required to write a positive review, and have not received any compensation. The opinions shared here are my own entirely. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

  17. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    "Every Word Unsaid" is a Christian romance set in 1897 mostly in India. When Augusta's family became rich, she longed for the life they had before, when she was valued rather than a failure at the required social graces. She rebelled by periodically running off to see the world and writing about her adventures for a lady's magazine. Yet her family's hurtful words still follow her, making her feel worthless and like she'll never belong. When she visits her childhood friends in India, though, she "Every Word Unsaid" is a Christian romance set in 1897 mostly in India. When Augusta's family became rich, she longed for the life they had before, when she was valued rather than a failure at the required social graces. She rebelled by periodically running off to see the world and writing about her adventures for a lady's magazine. Yet her family's hurtful words still follow her, making her feel worthless and like she'll never belong. When she visits her childhood friends in India, though, she realizes that some people do value her. Still, she struggled to believe their healing words over the hurtful ones. Her childhood best friend, Gabriel, is now a handsome man. He still supports her and builds her up. He loves her even though he struggles with the fear of losing his loved ones like he did his parents. He knows Augusta's impulsiveness and love of adventure, though, so he doesn't let himself hope she'll stay. This is a story about how past hurts shape our futures if we listen to the lies and hurtful words. How we find our worth in God, not in how others view us. The main characters were complex, reacted realistically to events, and I cared about what happened to them. There were no sex scenes or bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this interesting and enjoyable historical. I received an ebook review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lifeofliterature

    Kimberly Duffy has a true gift for storytelling! Her beautiful prose draws you into the story from the very first page and makes you fall in love with the characters by the end of the first chapter. And her ability to develop characters throughout the novel is truly a remarkable talent. I loved Gussie. She has gumption, courage, and tenacity, and she’s willing to stand up for what she believes is right, almost to a fault. I also love how she changes and grows in the story as she faces new obstac Kimberly Duffy has a true gift for storytelling! Her beautiful prose draws you into the story from the very first page and makes you fall in love with the characters by the end of the first chapter. And her ability to develop characters throughout the novel is truly a remarkable talent. I loved Gussie. She has gumption, courage, and tenacity, and she’s willing to stand up for what she believes is right, almost to a fault. I also love how she changes and grows in the story as she faces new obstacles and fears. Additionally, Kimberly Duffy once again transports us to exotic India, with vivid descriptions that cause you to be lost in the sights, smells, and sounds of both the beauty and tragedy of this beautiful country. I have never traveled to India, but I almost feel like I have a better understanding of its culture just from reading her novels! My favorite part of this story, however, is the expert way the author weaves deep spiritual truths into the novel that have you, as the reader, pausing to reflect on your own spiritual journey as you realize your true worth comes not from others but from our great God. This book is everything that is fantastic and wonderful and I cannot recommend it enough. An absolutely incredible read! I received a complimentary copy of this book from an Austen Prose tour with Laurel Ann Nattress. Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Emily Flynn

    Gussie is an adventure. I love the side of her that is Miss Adventuress and I love the side of her that discovers the rest of her. I love Specks and Catherine and of course Uncle James. I feel for Gussie in her family. In books I often see the misunderstood girl who doesn't quite fit, but she is very much still loved which is the important factor. Based on her impressions, that is not what I get from her family, which adds a different dynamic to this story. I love the author's imagery of India. T Gussie is an adventure. I love the side of her that is Miss Adventuress and I love the side of her that discovers the rest of her. I love Specks and Catherine and of course Uncle James. I feel for Gussie in her family. In books I often see the misunderstood girl who doesn't quite fit, but she is very much still loved which is the important factor. Based on her impressions, that is not what I get from her family, which adds a different dynamic to this story. I love the author's imagery of India. The writing was beautiful even if the plague was not. The native characters brought perspective and understanding to an outsider. It was truly like I was there with them. While there is an element of love, I hesitate to say romance, but there is definitely a good build on the relationship, this story is mostly about Gussie finding who she is and what she wants to become. There is the element of faith and growth in that. I can't say enough about how I loved this story. The beauty of this story is timeless and I loved every minute. I was given an early copy through the publisher and NetGalley and this is my honest review.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Paula

    Every Word Unsaid is a lovely story about Augusta, or "Gussie" who takes pictures and writes stories for a women's magazine. She travels all over the U.S. and writes of her adventures as "Miss Adventuress" Soon, the opportunity to go to India comes up, which excites her, because her two best friends from her childhood live there. Her family is very critical of everything she does, so she prepares to go to India without telling anyone. Her beloved uncle, of course, follows her as he has always do Every Word Unsaid is a lovely story about Augusta, or "Gussie" who takes pictures and writes stories for a women's magazine. She travels all over the U.S. and writes of her adventures as "Miss Adventuress" Soon, the opportunity to go to India comes up, which excites her, because her two best friends from her childhood live there. Her family is very critical of everything she does, so she prepares to go to India without telling anyone. Her beloved uncle, of course, follows her as he has always done, which surprises her at how fast he finds her. But he is the only family member that shows her affection and understanding of why she is always traveling. When she meets up with her friends in India, she doesn't recognize Gabriel at first, whom she has always nicknamed "Specs" because of his glasses. He and his twin sister, Catherine, are happy to see her, except there is a pandemic of bubonic plague going on in their part of India. She soon learns that there is so much more to life than what she has written, so she writes her own book of her travels that is unlike her series in the magazine. She also notices how grown up and handsome her old friend Specs has become. A very clean and wonderful story I will enjoy reading again and again.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Iola

    Short review: outstanding. Proper review to come.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Paty

    As her previous two novels set in India, author Kimberly Duffy has outdone herself again! She has a unique talent in weaving stories in an extraordinary culture, as is India. I have been to India more than ten years ago, and the descriptions of the places, the flora and fauna, the colorful and original clothing, their mannerisms, their customs and their beautiful architecture comes to life from her vivid and detailed descriptions. I felt as if I was tgraveling through time, from the amazing Niaga As her previous two novels set in India, author Kimberly Duffy has outdone herself again! She has a unique talent in weaving stories in an extraordinary culture, as is India. I have been to India more than ten years ago, and the descriptions of the places, the flora and fauna, the colorful and original clothing, their mannerisms, their customs and their beautiful architecture comes to life from her vivid and detailed descriptions. I felt as if I was tgraveling through time, from the amazing Niagara Falls to a particular Indian town called Poona, the whole book is like traveling for free! Augusta -Gussie- Travers has always been a free spirit. But her family does not agree of her choices and behavior. For the last three years, she has avoided New York’s society expectations and social events in every way she can, and her life has been devoted to her exciting career as a Lady’s Week special columnist: Miss Adventuress. Her fearless and exciting stories, that she tells with humor and vivacity, and captures with her Kodak camera, have the ability to capture many women’s attention and make them travel with their imagination, while they can’t go out due to their domestic duties. But her family, not only mocks her publishing, but fiercely insists that she settles down, and after a scandal during her sister’s wedding, her parents decide to send her to her aunt in Chicago, to banish her for a while. But a professional opportunity appears in form of a six-month trip to India, and it is too tempting and providential for her to not make the most of it. While she thinks it will be another adventure to a very exotic place and a chance to visit her childhood friends, she slowly discovers this trip was meant to change her life and way of seeing things. Gabriel MacLean -Specs- is no longer the lanky, geeky boy of her childhood, but an honorable, kind and generous doctor. And as she gets to meet interesting and hurting women to which she in some ways relate, she begins to question if her dreams of being successful in her career are what she really wants, as she faces a plague epidemic, her surprising appeal to her childhood friend, and the new friendships that will make her questions who she is, who she wants to be, and the need to deal with her broken heart by her family’s rejection. Is she meant to go back to New York, or is the feeling of home that India gives her, means that this may be the place for her new dreams to take place? This was an amazing story that touched my heart deeply, made me reflect about my own priorities, and about what God really wants from me, and the value of every human life, beautiful in spite of external limitations. The beauty of the heart. The characters were endearing, and there was a lot of character growth lo learn from. Gussie was adorable: well, she was a bit selfish at first, but she was spunky, determined, courageous, yet vulnerable, naïve, and she had an apparently rebellious, but very kind heart. I loved how she grew up through the story, how she dealt with the insecurities from her family’s lack of support, how she learned to see more than what she could see through the lens of her camera, the beauty of every soul, the beauty of God’s creation, and how she discovered who she was, not what others expected from her but the One who made her: God. Gabriel was a swooning hero: gentle, yet also determined, protective and selfless. I admired his dedication to the sick and needy people. There were also wonderful secondary characters from whom I learned a lot too: Bimla, Ramabai, Catherine (Gabriel’s twin) and Uncle James (ex-Pinkerton agent who always followed her in her escapades). They each had a story to tell. The plot, even if it was not fast paced, never felt dragging to me, on the contrary, it was engaging in a way I didn’t want to part with the story as the character’s struggles felt mine, and I wanted to know how they were going to get their happily ever after, which didn’t seem so easy at times. And as I said, her prose, her writing style is almost poetical that mesmerized me. Here’s a quote I liked: “So much of India was found in the things not seen -in the shadows that the sun cast and behind the screens that protected women from view. In the things not said -in the words spoken by lowered eyes and the whispered shuffle of a servant’s step. This country was a paradox, so unlike New York with its candor and direct aggression. It was like a wrapping of a sari, round and round, until the form was lost beneath gauzy layers.” I totally recommend this book to Historical Romance Lovers! A journey you’ll not soon forget! I received a complimentary copy from the Publisher but wasn’t required to post a positive review. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    Every Word Unsaid by Kimberly Duffy Dreams of India collection Bethany House Rated: 4 Back of the Book: “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 t Every Word Unsaid by Kimberly Duffy Dreams of India collection Bethany House Rated: 4 Back of the Book: “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.” Impressions: This was an interesting book. When I started reading, it felt familiar, as if I were to know the characters and I just needed to remember. I didn’t recall the characters being in the previous books of this collection, however. Ultimately, I decided that there was just a lot of information given at the beginning for a fuller development of the characters and story. Towards the middle, everything started to make more sense. I loved the spunk and grit of all the characters. Gussie’s growth in this book was so descriptive and accurate in her growth to mature. Her internal pull with wanting things her way and the eye-opening experience of seeing life beyond herself was powerful. I really enjoyed reading this book and all the lessons learned along the way. Quotes: “‘When I’m with you, the anxiety that follows me around like a great, hulking dog is muzzled. Maybe it’s because I can’t hear it due to your endless prattling, or maybe it’s because you are so fearless that I don’t wish to seem timid in comparison.” - I just liked this quote. Do you have someone who is a comfort to you by just being present? “God could have set me in any place, any era, and I would have had the opportunity to minister to the oppressed. But he set me here. Now. I will not waste it.” - What an inspiring attitude and reminder that God put us here with a purpose. “’ But nothing I do ever feels like enough.’ ‘Who does it need to be enough for?’” “‘Perfect love casteth out fear.’ Stop running from the things God has called you to because you’re afraid of what others will think.’” -This relates to the previous quote. Who am I living for? Who am I trying to impress? “‘All of life is an adventure if you’re spending it with the right people.’” “‘Don’t let what people say define you. Stop repeating their lies. You are called to a different sort of life, Augusta. That can be a hard thing for others to understand.” “‘Growing up is not an easy process. You could have chosen to continue on in your ignorance, but you’re doing the hard work of becoming the woman God has always planned for you to become.’” “‘...nothing anyone else says or believes of me can diminish my value. That my worth is found in Christ.’” “‘No matter where you are in your journey or where your travels take you- near or far or somewhere in between- appreciate those little, seemingly insignificant things that fill your everyday. In the chasing of something significant, you might very well miss the fact that you already are.’” I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review shared here.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    J.R.R. Tolkien once wrote that “not all those who wander are lost.” That is certainly true for some; for others, they have convinced themselves they are on a mission, all the while searching for a true purpose. It is this concept, as well as the topic of another of Tolkien’s classic lines— “Faithless is he who says farewell when the road darkens”—that is explored in Kimberly Duffy’s latest historical fiction novel, Every Word Unsaid. In the America of the late 1890s, Augusta Travers is on a missi J.R.R. Tolkien once wrote that “not all those who wander are lost.” That is certainly true for some; for others, they have convinced themselves they are on a mission, all the while searching for a true purpose. It is this concept, as well as the topic of another of Tolkien’s classic lines— “Faithless is he who says farewell when the road darkens”—that is explored in Kimberly Duffy’s latest historical fiction novel, Every Word Unsaid. In the America of the late 1890s, Augusta Travers is on a mission to prove to herself, her family, and society’s naysayers that a woman can be an adventurer. “Nothing brought [her] more joy than slipping away.” (Loc 37) With her Kodak camera, she travels around the country, documenting her escapades with photographs and whimsical depictions in the popular column she writes anonymously for a ladies’ magazine. Her readers “expected greater things from Gussie than her own family, who only wanted her to marry well.” (Loc 209) Her elite, social-climbing New York family not only disapproves of her and her work, but also fears the scandal they may be embroiled in by association if her identity is ever revealed and her reputation ruined. She spends all of her time escaping her family’s suffocating condemnation. “Life at home… It stifles me. I feel as though I’m drowning in the tedium of it. I can’t breathe there. Exploring and writing and taking photographs makes me feel alive.” (Loc 326) When the feared scandal eventually occurs, Gussie once again sees an opportunity to flee the oppressive expectations of her status as a young woman in a wealthy family. This time, though, she journeys to India, where her steadfast childhood friends now reside. And it is unlike anything she has ever experienced or expected. “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.” (Loc 1058) The colorful chaos of India’s welcoming embrace encourages Gussie to hope for a more meaningful life. But as her eyes are opened to the cruel injustices beyond her camera lense, will she choose to shine a light on the shadows or slip away from the suffering? This was a beautifully written tale. And I usually admire flawed characters; relatable flaws lend authenticity to stories. However, I could not quite overcome my aversion to this heroine. Her family situation simply did not convincingly explain her spoiled behavior throughout the story. The way Gussie treated even the people who loved and admired her most was distastefully immature. I expected her to eventually evolve through her experiences, and to a certain extent, she did. Yet even after witnessing real adversity—like plague and famine and the violent plight of truly oppressed women—she just could not seem to dismiss her self-centered focus. She was not cold-hearted by any means, and she was certainly affected by what she witnessed, but that was ultimately the issue—she was absorbed by how it all affected her. This is the first time in a long time that I did not want the hero to fall for the heroine. There are so many other wonderful elements woven into the fabric of this tale that redeemed it for me. The fascinating secondary characters had a depth and heart to them that made me wish to know more about them. The book’s stunning and intriguing cover art merely hints at the loveliness of the lyrical prose behind it. The descriptions of both beauty and agony are visceral and hypnotic. Readers will appreciate the delicate essence of shared experiences that transcend both time and borders in Every Word Unsaid. 4 out of 5 Stars https://austenprose.com/2021/11/01/ev...

  25. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    First sentence: Nothing brought Augusta Constance Travers more joy than slipping away. And nothing frustrated her more than the companion meant to keep her from doing so. Gussie Travers, our heroine, is Miss Adventuress. She takes photographs on her Kodak camera and writes [fluff] travel pieces. Her work is supposed to be anonymous. No one is supposed to know that she comes from society. But. All secrets come to light...eventually. Such is the case with Gussie's "big" secret. Much to her family's First sentence: Nothing brought Augusta Constance Travers more joy than slipping away. And nothing frustrated her more than the companion meant to keep her from doing so. Gussie Travers, our heroine, is Miss Adventuress. She takes photographs on her Kodak camera and writes [fluff] travel pieces. Her work is supposed to be anonymous. No one is supposed to know that she comes from society. But. All secrets come to light...eventually. Such is the case with Gussie's "big" secret. Much to her family's shame and disapproval. A daughter that TRAVELS the country on her own??? A daughter that WORKS???? Who would ever want to marry such a strange and unnatural girl? After she is outed, Gussie travels to India--expenses paid by the newspaper/journal/magazine. She'll start her once-in-a-lifetime adventure (as Miss Adventuress) by spending some time with old family friends (who are conveniently living in India, don't you know). But to her utter SHOCK AND DISMAY they aren't exactly thrilled (jumping up and down at her arrival) because they are in the midst of a pandemic--bubonic plague. No worries for Miss Adventuress. Surely bubonic plague isn't dangerous or even all that contagious! She'll do just fine going wherever she wants and doing whatever she wants. No worries. She is free; she is independent. She is going to take photographs of everything and everybody! Hooray for full-time adventures! She soon finds herself in love with the place and the people. Will she ever want to leave India? What if she wants more from life than adventure? What if she wants something completely different that she has always shunned before? I have a love/hate relationship with this book. On the one hand, it kept me reading. I loved the hero--a doctor. And it's a friend-to-lovers romance. Also possibly marrying your best friend's brother??? Regardless of which it truly is, it has some satisfying moments. On the other hand, there were plenty of moments when I truly did want to shout at the characters. There were moments where you doubted the characters had any intelligence at all. (These moments were few, thankfully!) Before reading this one, I had no idea of the 1897 Bombay Plague and the resulting Epidemic Disease Act of 1897. To be fair, I didn't learn much history from the novel. But it did make me curious enough to do an internet search to find out if the bubonic plague was a plot device--so the historical characters could voice strong opinions on pandemics and politics--or historical fact. There were definitely things that I enjoyed/liked about this one.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Augusta “Gussie” Travers is a woman who loves adventure. She does not like the staid life that her wealthy family wants for her, and she instead travels around the United States writing a Miss Adventuress article for Lady’s Weekly. Her family sends her Uncle James, a former Pinkerton agent, after her to bring her home for family events. When her identity as the author of the article is revealed, her family is horrified, Gussie decides it’s time to embark on a new adventure that her editor sets u Augusta “Gussie” Travers is a woman who loves adventure. She does not like the staid life that her wealthy family wants for her, and she instead travels around the United States writing a Miss Adventuress article for Lady’s Weekly. Her family sends her Uncle James, a former Pinkerton agent, after her to bring her home for family events. When her identity as the author of the article is revealed, her family is horrified, Gussie decides it’s time to embark on a new adventure that her editor sets up for her to explore India. While she is there, she will be able to reconnect with her childhood friends. Will Gussie determine what path she wants to take in life? I LOVED Gussie. I loved her adventuress spirit and how this was really her story of what she wanted out of life. I enjoyed that she wanted to break expectations of society and explore the world. I loved the description of the locals, her photography, and articles. I loved seeing India through her eyes and watching her mature with the story. Gabriel is Gussie’s old friend and love interest. I thought it was an interesting narrative choice to have Gabriel suffer from anxiety. It was a friends to lovers trope with a very slow burn romance. The book was primarily Gussie’s journey with the romance as a secondary story. Uncle James was wonderful as well. He had one of my favorite quotes in the book, “You are fearfully and wonderfully made. You are the daughter of my heart, knit from my own dreams and hope. There is nothing wrong with you. Nothing that makes you broken.” My other favorite quote is about India: “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 o drums. It reached inside of her and wrestled with accusations that had chased her across the ocean.” I really enjoyed Duffy’s writing style. It was lyrical and descriptive. It was an interesting voyage to India that included a terrible plague as well as the horrors of the caste system. Overall, Every Word Unsaid is an enjoyable novel with an unforgettable heroine. Review copy from Bethany House as part of the Austenprose PR Book Tour. Thank-you! I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. This review was first posted on my blog at: https://lauragerold.blogspot.com/2021...

  27. 5 out of 5

    Monique

    Every Word Unsaid is the newest release by Kimberly Duffy, and I’m very happy to say we get to see more of India! This beautiful country played a big part in her previous books, and I’m really happy it was featured in this book again, in a very new, original way. But first things first. We have a very feisty woman named Gussie who knows what she wants in life: to have adventures and travel the world and write about them, and to make photographs. However, she feels very unsupported by her family, Every Word Unsaid is the newest release by Kimberly Duffy, and I’m very happy to say we get to see more of India! This beautiful country played a big part in her previous books, and I’m really happy it was featured in this book again, in a very new, original way. But first things first. We have a very feisty woman named Gussie who knows what she wants in life: to have adventures and travel the world and write about them, and to make photographs. However, she feels very unsupported by her family, who only see her as a potential scandal waiting to happen, and really want her to settle down and marry rich. Her uncle, aka my favorite character, is a former Pinkerton detective and follows her on her journeys, while she tries to throw him off her trail. However, she can’t manage to shake off that inevitable scandal, and if forced to live with relatives. So of course she secretly goes to India! Paid by her editor at the newspaper for whom she writes lively columns. However, India has a way to change your heart, and she might discover another side of herself, and when see meets her childhood friends, one of whom has grown into quite the handsome man, she might lose her heart, right in the middle of a pandemic. I love how this story is mostly about self discovery. Gussie starts out as, let’s be honest, a very selfish character who makes instant decisions without thinking them through. It was really hard to like her, as I wanted to shake some sense into her! This made the start of the novel hard, but the adventures she had were enough to make up for it. And I understand where it comes from, she feels abandoned by her family, and is adrift, but it is still hard to read as she is so much in denial! However in India things get better as she learns from other women about her worth and how she has been blessed with gifts and an open heart. I really loved those conversations! Gabriel helps her too, but supporting her work. And I loved the theme about how words can have such an impact too! The title was well chosen. We got to see a lot of India, how the harmful political decisions impacted the Indian population, and how widows and orphans were treated. It gave the story more depth! Of course the beauty is also not ignored! The themes were close to my heart and I think they were truly well done, not preachy but honest. And now about the romance, which we’re all waiting for, right? Gabriel is awesome in the beginning, a nerdy intelligent doctor and childhood friend, so it doesn’t get much better in my opinion for a start. And I absolutely loved him, they seemed perfect together! But near the end some things happened that made me dislike him a little bit, their relationship is very, very bumpy. I mean, it’s not really put me off from reading and I still loved it very much, but there were some decisions he made I really couldn’t understand. But the ending was very nice, and I do love the story and everything that happened! This book is about so much more than romance, there are multiple female friendships and side plots, way too much to mention in this already too long review. All in all, I loved this original story - and I secretly hope uncle gets a sequel! I got an e-arc from Netgalley, but it hasn’t influenced my opinions.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Yvonne

    Augusta (Gussie) Travers is a photographer who writes columns anonymously for a ladies' magazine. Gussie's unwillingness to conform to her family's and society's rules has resulted in a scandal that only banishment from New York can avert. James Travers, her uncle and ex-Pinkerton detective, understands Gussie's restlessness, for she has inherited his love of excitement and adventure. They play a strange game that involves James pursuing Gussie wherever her latest escapade takes her to ensure her Augusta (Gussie) Travers is a photographer who writes columns anonymously for a ladies' magazine. Gussie's unwillingness to conform to her family's and society's rules has resulted in a scandal that only banishment from New York can avert. James Travers, her uncle and ex-Pinkerton detective, understands Gussie's restlessness, for she has inherited his love of excitement and adventure. They play a strange game that involves James pursuing Gussie wherever her latest escapade takes her to ensure her safety and eventually restore her to her family. While being escorted to her aunt's home by James, Gussie escapes to India, the home of her childhood friends, Gabriel and his sister, Catherine. India provides more of the excitement that Gussie craves and awakens a need to write more meaningful articles inspired by her reaction to the injustices and beauty of this colourful and exotic land and its people. She also faces a personal dilemma when her feelings for Gabriel become more than childhood affection. In Every Word Unsaid Kimberly Duffy evokes the sights, smells and sounds of a vibrant India, and writes informatively of the beliefs, laws and traditions of Indian society. In particular, she draws our attention to the sad plight of widows, such as Bimla, who likens herself to Gussie as they are both perceived as worthless by their families and their respective societies. Gussie was a character I didn't warm to at first. Her actions suggested she was a courageous young lady and a rebel, which indeed she was for the time in which the story was set, but rather than support this aspect of her character, they highlighted her selfishness and immaturity. However, as the story progressed, I enjoyed how Gussie reassessed her life, evaluated her feelings for Gabriel, and aided by a betrayal, found self-worth and a new direction for her career. I admired that she was willing to compromise without sacrificing too much of her personality and dreams. The Indian setting is what drew me to this novel. Reading it proved to be an engaging and heart-warming experience and I'm happy to recommend this book to others. I received a complimentary copy of this book as a participant in a blog tour. *https://adarngoodread.blogspot.com

  29. 5 out of 5

    Anita Ojeda

    Augusta Travers has escaped the strictures of New York high society and the condemnation of her family by repeatedly running away from home. And every time, her family sends her Uncle James, a retired Pinkerton agent out to find her. Gussie doesn’t really run away, she simply ignores her family’s wishes and travels all over the United States photographing the wonders and writing a column for Ladies Weekly under the pseudonym of Miss Adventuress. She even takes along a companion to maintain propr Augusta Travers has escaped the strictures of New York high society and the condemnation of her family by repeatedly running away from home. And every time, her family sends her Uncle James, a retired Pinkerton agent out to find her. Gussie doesn’t really run away, she simply ignores her family’s wishes and travels all over the United States photographing the wonders and writing a column for Ladies Weekly under the pseudonym of Miss Adventuress. She even takes along a companion to maintain propriety. Although she has no qualms about ditching her companion when Gussie can no longer stomach her wet-blanket attitude. After all, it’s 1897 and women have proven themselves perfectly capable. They don’t need protection from a man to board a train, mount a horse, or sail to parts unknown. When someone reveals Gussie’s identity to New York society on the day of her sister’s wedding, her parents insist she removes herself to Chicago and lives in seclusion until the furor dies down. If she can find a suitable husband while in exile, even better. Gussie would rather die. She takes off for India, instead. When she arrives in Poona, she surprises her childhood friends, Catherine, and her twin brother, Specs. Only Specs has morphed from a shorter-than-Gussie gangly teen into a taller-than-Gussie-and-very-handsome physician. As Gussie struggles with her changing feelings for Specs, she embraces the city and country that fill her with a sense of belonging. Something she hasn’t felt in her own home or city since her parents’ change in social status. Why I Loved this Book Duffy paints word pictures as lush and exotic as an Indian sari. Historical fiction lovers will love the attention to detail. Romance lovers will love Gussie’s discovery of her new feelings towards a childhood friend. Those interested in social justice will find a new hero in Pandita Ramabai Sarasvati. But most importantly, every child of God who has ever felt the sting of disapproval, unkind words, and misplaced expectations will find healing in Gussie’s story. If you could only buy one book this month, choose this one.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Phyllis

    Beautiful descriptions! Every Word Unsaid brims with fantastic depictions of India in the late 1890s. The sights, sounds, and smells of the country were vividly described along with the tastes of the amazing foods. I enjoyed Gussie's travels and could relate well to her desire to photograph everything she saw. I can imagine she would have so loved being able to shoot digitally and have hundreds of pictures instead of carefully hoarding her film! I wasn't really a fan of hers at first. She appeared Beautiful descriptions! Every Word Unsaid brims with fantastic depictions of India in the late 1890s. The sights, sounds, and smells of the country were vividly described along with the tastes of the amazing foods. I enjoyed Gussie's travels and could relate well to her desire to photograph everything she saw. I can imagine she would have so loved being able to shoot digitally and have hundreds of pictures instead of carefully hoarding her film! I wasn't really a fan of hers at first. She appeared to care more about having her adventures than for those around her. However, as I came to know and understand her, I began to appreciate her more. Portions of the story focused on the relationship of Gussie with her family. Their lack of compassion towards her and dedicated focus on making the right impression to the right people was heartbreaking! This being the catalyst for her journey to India. However... Another part of the story introduced me to Pandita Ramabai, a remarkable Indian woman, and her ministry to the outcast women and girls. As she fought oppression towards women, she also provided a safe, caring place for them. Yet another section pertained to the bubonic plague, which ravaged Pune. The methods of treatment and attempts at preventing the spread were wretched! I felt the guilt, fear, grief, and pain overwhelmed the other parts of the story. It wasn't that they shouldn't have had been there - they just consumed everything else. I would have enjoyed it more if these elements were less prominent than they were. Readers who enjoy historical fiction of a more somber nature will want to read Every Word Unsaid. Originally Reviewed on Among The Reads I was given a copy of this book. I was not required to give a favorable review nor was any money received for this review. All comments and opinions are my own.

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