I’m pleased to welcome you today to my stop on the blog tour for impressive debut novel All That’s Left Unsaid by Tracy Lien. Thank you to HQ for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book.
About the book:
They claim they saw nothing. She knows they’re lying.
1996 – Cabramatta, Sydney
‘Just let him go.’
Those are words Ky Tran will forever regret. The words she spoke when her parents called to ask if they should let her younger brother Denny out to celebrate his high school graduation with friends. That night, Denny – optimistic, guileless Denny – is brutally murdered inside a busy restaurant in the Sydney suburb of Cabramatta, a refugee enclave facing violent crime, and an indifferent police force.
Returning home for the funeral, Ky learns that the police are stumped by her brother’s case. Even though several people were present at Denny’s murder, each bystander claims to have seen nothing, and they are all staying silent.
Determined to uncover the truth, Ky tracks down and questions the witnesses herself. But what she learns goes beyond what happened that fateful night. The silence has always been there, threaded through the generations, and Ky begins to expose the complex traumas weighing on those present the night Denny died. As she peels back the layers of the place that shaped her, she must confront more than the reasons her brother is dead. And once those truths have finally been spoken, how can any of them move on?
About the author:
Tracey Lien is the author of the debut novel All That’s Left Unsaid. Born and raised in South Western Sydney, Australia, she earned her MFA at the University of Kansas and was previously a reporter for the Los Angeles Times. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
All That’s Left Unsaid by Tracy Lien is an impressive debut that kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. A powerful and moving story centered around the aftermath of the brutal murder of Denny Tran, it is a thought provoking and often harrowing read that really does get under your skin.
Set in 1996, the story takes place in Cabramatta, Sydney, Australia as Denny Tran celebrates his high school graduation with friends. Later that night Denny is brutally murdered inside a busy restaurant located in Cabramatta, a refugee enclave facing violence and an indifferent police force. Returning home for the funeral, Denny’s older sister Ky is haunted by the words she said to her parents when they called to ask her if they should let him go out to celebrate with his friends: ‘Just let him go.”
Determined to uncover the truth of what happened to her brother, Ky sets out to track down and talk to witnesses herself, but is met by silence and a refusal to admit to seeing anything happen at all. Ky’s torment at her own part in what happened to Denny is palpable as she struggles to understand her Vietnamese parents approach to grief, the cultural divide between them widening as she finds herself feeling more and more alone.
With flashbacks of Denny’s life meaningfully scattered throughout the narrative, Tracy Lien ensures he is still very much a part of the story, making the senselessness of his death even more painful as the horror and devastation of a life cut short is brought sharply into focus as the loss of the optimistic, likable Denny begins to become a stark reality.
A richly detailed and complex debut that once started I found hard to put down, All That’s Left Unsaid is a moving and unforgettable read that explores themes of grief, cultural divides and a family in turmoil. Tracy Lien has written a powerful and thought provoking story that I know will stay with me for a long time to come.
With a compelling cast of characters, All That’s Left Unsaid is a beautifully written literary crime debut that I would highly recommend.
All That’s Left Unsaid by Tracy Lien is available to buy now: