All That’s Left Unsaid

HarperAudio. Sept. 2022. 9:36 hrs. ISBN 9780063227767. $4.99. F
The tragic loss of her teenage brother brings Ky Tran back to her family’s home for the funeral. Upon discovering he was brutally murdered in a busy restaurant where none of the patrons claim to have witnessed anything, Ky uses her grief to fuel her search for the truth. Told through alternating perspectives between the witnesses and Ky, present-day events are interwoven with flashbacks that give depth and nuance to the characters, their motivations, and the events that led up to the savage beating that ended a promising young man’s life. Lien’s debut novel explores the bonds and duty of family, the meaning of friendship, and the experience of growing up as a Vietnamese Australian in the Sydney suburb of Cabramatta, a refugee enclave wrought with gang violence and drugs. At times funny, heartbreaking, and hopeful, the narrative explores what it is to be human, make mistakes, and forgive.
VERDICT Vietnamese Australian narrators Aileen Huynh, Yen Nguyen, and Amelia Nguyen give their characters cultural authenticity and bring their personalities to life through vibrant, emotional performances. Recommended for all public libraries.
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