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September 23, 2018

The One Unspoken by Sarah Bryant ~ A Review

by MK French

The One Unspoken
April 2018; Curiosity Quills;
ebook, print ( pages); historical, fantasy
Sidonie Verdier was born in the middle of a storm and is raised by Adelis, the midwife and former slave that birthed her. Her father had run off while her mother was still pregnant, and her mother died soon after the childbirth. Sidonie and Adelis were close, especially as it became clear that they both were able to see and communicate with ghosts. When her father returns to make a Creole debutante out of her, Sidonie's only escapes are her music and occasionally talking with her neighbor, Gabriel St. Martin, the only son of a free black plantation owner.

Antebellum New Orleans and Louisiana make up the setting of the novel, including its gorgeous architecture, socially rigid structures based on class and race, as well as the heartbreak and cruelties of slavery and the state of marriage in the day. Sidonie, not brought up with those perspectives, is as horrified by those stories and injustices as we are while reading about it. Gabriel is at least a free man of color, so his lot is much better than the slaves' are. Even so, the microaggressions and the laws are against the free people of color, so those with money and talent have to go to Europe for further training.

There are hints at a larger kind of mystery, as multiple people know Adelis and her gift. Sidonie's mother had it as well, as there are complicated ties between Sidonie's family and the St. Martin family. It's eventually revealed, and the ties between them have tightened further as Sidonie's and Gabriel's relationship deepened and changed over time. The story is beautiful and beautifully tragic, as any interracial love would be in that period. Both are very likable characters, even with mistakes or unkind words that they say.

The plot really draws me in, and I lost track of time while reading the book because I was so immersed in it. This is a fantastic and gripping novel.

Buy The One Unspoken at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and golden retriever.

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  1. This sounds fascinating. I love the setting and that cover is fabulous!