RED MAPLE AWARDS -- 2015 HONOUR BOOK
CLA YOUNG ADULT BOOK AWARD -- 2015 SHORTLIST
SNOW WILLOW AWARDS -- 2015 NOMINEE
STELLAR AWARDS -- 2016 NOMINEE
A 2014 Best Book *Starred* Choice by Canadian Children's Book Centre
a stunning work of historical fiction… Told through flashbacks, journal entries, and letters, Ellen’s narrative moves between past and present like the ebb and flow of water, her lilting style hinting at a gentle Irish brogue. Nicely blending fiction with historical figures and events, Unspeakable is, ultimately, a novel about finding love, losing love, and the difficult decisions made in between.
-- National Reading Campaign, Children's Book Reviews
...complex, distinct characters... true to life and engaging...
Perhaps most impressive is Pignat’s tone. The novel is written in accessible language suitable for teens, yet the prose is polished and the plot intricate enough to satisfy adults as well. Mark Unspeakable as a YA title with huge crossover appeal.
-- Quill and Quire, starred review
Pignat weaves the different narrative threads about the sinking of the Empress of Ireland together extremely well… holding back details from the reader, doling them out at exactly the right moments, keeping us constantly engaged and unable to tell where we would be taken…The story resonates with strong character development employing first person narration and the reflection of memories brought forth from journal entries
-- CCBC Geoffrey Bilson Award Judges
Caroline Pignat has brought history vividly to life in the telling of this tale...a detailed portrait of life aboard the ship, the swift and sudden onset of disaster and the unimaginable chaos that followed. But perhaps the story's greatest strength is in the manner in which it is told...well-paced, well-plotted and skilfully-told, in prose that is elegant and lyrical. It is first and foremost a breathtaking fictional account that will thoroughly immerse readers in Ellen's world. They will likely then be surprised to discover how much they have learned in the process.
-- Canadian Materials Magazine Review
..rich in historic detail… compelling… The characters are complex and multi-dimensional… a highly engaging novel that wraps an important piece of Canada's history in an exciting and accessible package both teens and adults will enjoy.
-- Canadian Children's Book News
Unspeakable is haunting, mysterious, and enchanting, anchored by a tragic historical event and a young woman's search for many things. This book is about survival, about moving on and standing tall, about finding your place, writing your story, even when life is hard and the future is bleak.
--- Me On Books
A harrowing story of a tragic event that is also infused with hope. It inspired me to want to know more about the real story behind this moving work of fiction.
-- A Glass of Wine
Unspeakable is one of those books that stays with you even after you finish the last sentence.
-- Conversations of a Reading Addict
I also really liked Ellie….She is tenacious and she goes for what she wants... I also like that the story is not solely focused on tragedy. It is about rebuilding after horrible tragedy. She has an inner strength that many would not possess.
-- Feeling a Little Bookish
This book blew my mind! I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it or not but once I started I couldn’t put it down.
I felt anxious, and heartbroken for Ellie and Jim’s tragic story but also so curious about the entire ordeal of the sinking of the Empress of Ireland.
Absolutely riviting read that will appeal to adults as well as teens. Fascinating history about the Empress of Ireland, beautiful writing and a strong, likable heroine. Well-worth reading.