Unsaid: A Novel
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In this USA Today bestselling debut novel, Neil Abramson explores the beauty and redemptive power of human-animal relationships and the true meaning of communication in all of its diverse forms.
As a veterinarian, Helena was required to choose when to end the lives of the terminally ill animals in her care. Now that she has died, she is afraid to face them and finally admit to herself that her thirty-seven years of life were meaningless, error-ridden, and forgettable. So Helena lingers, a silent observer haunted by the life she left behind-her shattered attorney husband, David; her houseful of damaged but beloved animals; and her final project, Cindy, a chimpanzee trained to use sign language who may be able to unlock the mysteries of animal communication and consciousness.
When Cindy is scheduled for a research experiment that will undoubtedly take her life, David must call upon everything he has learned from Helena to save her. In the explosive courtroom drama that follows, all the threads of Helena's life entwine and tear as Helena and David confront their mistakes, grief, and loss and discover what it really means to be human.
David arrives at a modest house. The dog makes its way up the few stairs, nudges the front door open with a foreleg, and then walks inside the house for water and to rest. This is where David lives now, surrounded by humans and non-humans who care about him and whom he cares about. He chose well. His life is not small. If you were to ask David about the how and the why he came to be here, and if he was inclined to answer, he would offer you some vague explanation about me and Cindy and the need
anything for him now. But it all did come at a huge price.” “Your father.” “He can’t abide being wrong. And that a judge told him publicly that he was wrong is more than he can bear. Then my mother died and my father turned his grief against me. He’s shut Clifford and me out ever since.” “That’s so unfair.” “Maybe. Maybe it’s too hard for him. I like to think he’s doing it for Clifford, that he thinks in the end I won’t make it and I’ll give Clifford back with a termination of parental rights
can leave now.” Allerton waits a few seconds to see if anyone takes him up on his offer. He then nods to the clerk. “Okay, Bev. Go ahead.” Jaycee puts one hand on the cover of the Bible and raises the other as the clerk asks, “Do you swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?” “I do,” Jaycee says. “Be seated and spell your name for the court reporter,” the clerk commands. Jaycee complies. David, a slim binder in his hand, moves to the podium near the counsel
abandon Charlie? We convinced ourselves that if we didn’t do it, someone who cared less about Charlie would take over and hurt him. As far as we know, rationalization is a uniquely human defense mechanism. I was lathered in it. Pygmy chimpanzees actually are not much smaller than regular chimpanzees, and they are about as powerful. If Charlie had fought us on the shots, we never would have been able to administer the supplements without anesthetizing him. But Charlie trusted us by now, as Dr.
method like the work we did with Cindy.” “And the Cornell Language Institute study of Cindy,” Mace says as he grabs the document off his desk, “specifically says, and I quote, ‘the subject’s language capacity and cognitive age equivalent assumes both’ ”—Mace pauses for emphasis—“ ‘both that the interstitial linguistic programming is validated for primates generally and the subject primate specifically and that the modifications of the ILP to make it compatible for American Sign Language are