When you meet Katie Quinn, she is literally hanging at the end of a rope in one of several suicide attempts. She has lost all will to live and is determined that her time on earth is done. Those on the outside see her as an actress who is beautiful, successful, talented and rich beyond dreams --- in essence, a woman with everything. But “Bella,” as her father used to call her, has demons that do not let her rest. All she wants is “rest” from her pain. Father Steady Capri has known Katie most of her life; he has been her rock and something of a mentor for her. But the time comes when he cannot save her from herself. All his prayers and efforts to guide her back from the darkness of her anguish seem fruitless. He knows that it’s not just a matter of time for Katie; it’s a matter of how.
"Even the most stoic of readers will find it hard not to shed a few tears at the book’s ending. UNWRITTEN undoubtedly would be a terrific movie, either for the big screen or a made-for-TV special. Katie, Sunday and Father Steady Capri will stay with you long after the last wonderful page."
They say timing is everything in life. Living off the coast of Florida in the outskirts of the Everglades, on his own boat, is Peter, known to Father Capri as “Sunday.” He loves the peace of this place, avoiding company at all costs and living quietly and alone in an area known as the Ten Thousand Islands. This is his choice. The one human who he truly loves is Steady Capri. Steady saved him when he thought all had been lost, and now there is a bond. Hiding from the world is really hiding from himself and a painful past that almost destroyed him. Now he chooses to leave memories behind and cope by reading wonderful books, fishing and never looking back. Every now and then, he pays a visit to his dear friend Steady. It’s Christmas, and what better time could it be? Little does he know how his life will change.
Suddenly, there is a tangle of lives coming together. Planned in a kind of haphazard way, Steady has faith that pulling Katie and Sunday together will bring about something good. Steady, Katie and Sunday find themselves heading for France. It is here that Katie begins a long process of healing. In Sunday she has found a trusted friend and a wounded man. The pain they have in common has a healing element to it; though she shares some of her most personal stories with Sunday, she does not know his. She has no idea that he once was a world-famous children’s author, nor does she realize the horror that caused him to retreat from that world and his writing.
Despite Katie’s self-involvement, the help Sunday gives her begins to change him in unexpected ways. His protective layers are peeling away, and he finds that in giving to this lovely, sad woman, he is discovering things about himself. Still, he has not shared his story with her, nor has she asked him for it. It is his unwritten story, and if he did divulge it, what would happen? They move slowly toward a mutual goal of self-healing. Almost there, the world unexpectedly turns upside down, and Katie pulls away from both Sunday and Steady.
Charles Martin has a wide fan base that includes adults and teens alike. Like Jodi Picoult and Nicholas Sparks, his stories are character-driven. Martin allows you to love these people and want their wounded souls to mend in the best of ways. Even the most stoic of readers will find it hard not to shed a few tears at the book’s ending. UNWRITTEN undoubtedly would be a terrific movie, either for the big screen or a made-for-TV special. Katie, Sunday and Father Steady Capri will stay with you long after the last wonderful page.
Reviewed by Sally M. Tibbetts on May 17, 2013