A Black Cat Book Review
Unsaid by Neil Abramson
Helena was a veterinarian who truly loved her animal patients. She not only cared for them physically but also cared for them as fellow travelers through life. When there was no other option she mercifully, and unhappily, ended their lives.
Now Helena is dead. She is dead yet lingers in this earthly realm trying to come to terms with the decisions she made about life and death and telling the truth or telling a lie.
Helena’s husband, David, is so grief-stricken he can hardly hold his life together. There has been a lot of loss in his life and now he must go on without Helena. He is not alone; there are dogs, cats, horses, and a pig, all rescued by his wife. They miss her, too, and need to be cared for.
Helena had two secrets she kept from David that are revealed when her friend, Jaycee, asks him to help save a chimpanzee named Cindy. Jaycee has taught Cindy to communicate with people through sign language and a computer program. The funding for her research has been stopped and Cindy is to be moved to another facility to be used in experimental medical research.
Cindy’s future is a torturous death, in the name of science. Jaycee has spent four years with the chimp teaching her, studying her, and loving her, all with Helena’s help. As a lawyer David can help if he will. Not really an animal lover himself he is not interested in Jaycee’s case until he learns of Helena’s involvement.
All the while Helena is observing what is happening to David, her animals, and Jaycee. She wants to right the wrongs she feels she has been a part of. She cannot move on until she is at peace with herself.
The book while sad and melancholy is a testimony of love; the love of husband and wife, friends, and animals. It questions our morals and ethics and how we justify cruelties of life.
Neil Abramson, himself a lawyer and animal advocate married to a veterinarian, has written a sensitive and thought-provoking novel that is not always easy to read.
Anyone who has lived with and loved an animal will understand the connections the people in the book have with animals. Those who have never had an animal touch their heart should read it and perhaps they will think differently about human-animal relationships and the importance of animals as part of life on earth.