By Elise Cooper | November 9, 2021
The unheard of
William Morrow Pub
October 26e, 2021
The unheard of by Nicci French, the pseudonym of husband-and-wife team of Nicci Gerrard and Sean French writers, is a gripping psychological thriller. Any mother can relate to this story where the emphasis is on a mother knowing and understanding her child.
âSometimes children can be unreliable witnesses when they try to say something to their mother. Poppy, the girl, can’t express herself in words, so she tells Tess that something is wrong with her attachment, bedwetting, acting, and swearing behavior. Three-year-olds do not express themselves. They cannot describe what happened to them. Children see the world differently.
Tess Moreau is the mother of three-year-old Poppy. She and her partner, Jason, broke up and agreed on a custody schedule. But something went very wrong after Poppy spent a night with Jason, his current wife and her brother who lives with them. The child is clingy, wets his bed, swears and draws pictures of death. None of these behaviors were evident before. Tess gets carried away as she tries to find out if Poppy witnessed a murder, saw an act of violence, or been abused. As Poppy continues to act, Tess surrenders to the police, convinced that a crime has been committed, but has no evidence. She is frustrated because no one believes her, not the police, her friends, her mother, her current boyfriend, her ex-partner and school officials.
âPoppy has changed. Before her trauma, she was bright, connected, enthusiastic, energetic, with a rich imagination. She thinks the world is on her side. But then she becomes violent and aggressive and seems to have an intuitive feeling that something is wrong. ”
Readers sympathize with Tess, understanding her sense of helplessness. She lives the nightmare of every parent of a young child. Her daughter does not yet have the words to express what upset her and has only been able to try to do so through drawings and behavior. But a mother knows her daughter. Tess knows something is wrong and she is determined to find out the truth because she understands better than anyone that something is seriously wrong. The reader takes a trip with Tess as they try to figure out what happened to Poppy, as the suspects pile up.
âTess is fragile, a single mother, sometimes overprotective, fearful, vulnerable and anxious. As the story progresses, she becomes a mother who will do anything to save her child. Tess takes a journey and finds self-actualization. She becomes strong and realizes her own worth. But she is put in hell and comes back. All the men in his life are manipulators. In a way, their masculinity has gone wrong. They use her vulnerability against her. She begins to feel surrounded by illusions and wonders who to trust.
This story will share Tess’ emotions of anger, fear, suspicion and worry with anyone who reads it. Just when someone thinks they know who the culprit is, the authors throw another twist, leaving them guessing and the tension high.