Thursday 7 March 2019

If Only I Could Tell You by Hannah Beckerman

If Only I Could Tell YouIf Only I Could Tell You by Hannah Beckerman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 368

Publisher - Orion

Source - Review Copy

Blurb from Goodreads

Audrey's family has fallen apart. Her two grown-up daughters, Jess and Lily, are estranged, and her two teenage granddaughters have never been allowed to meet. A secret that echoes back thirty years has splintered the family in two, but is also the one thing keeping them connected.

As tensions reach breaking point, the irrevocable choice that one of them made all those years ago is about to surface. After years of secrets and silence, how can one broken family find their way back to each other?

My Review

The prologue opens in 1988 with an event that we, the reader, aren't too sure exactly what it is but will have a lasting impact on the family across the years. We flip to current day 2016 with Audrey, Audrey has to make huge changes to her life for health reasons and finds herself, as always, split between her two daughters, Jess and Lily. They haven't spoken in years and Audrey wants more than anything for these two to reconcile before it is too late but can you move on in the future when you haven't dealt with a past that is tearing you apart?

There are no two ways about it this book is a hell of an emotive rollercoaster, it touches on so many life issues that will evoke tears from the most hardened reader. Family, secrets, lies, love, loss, grief, heartache, health issues and so much more. It is hard to mention all the themes because you run the risk of spoilers and I never do a spoiler review.

I think depending on the life experiences you have had, grief and losses will absolutely impact upon how you receive this book. I hate using the word trigger but for many there will be triggers in this book, it reflects on the hardships, loss, grief and utter injustice that life sometimes hands out to folk, hence being an emotive read. I think what some will take comfort from in this story whilst others may feel too raw in their own experiences. It is testament to the authors writing skills to pen a book that can draw out different responses from so many from certain scenes.

The sisters I found hard to fathom at times, more so Jess in how she behaved in view of what was going on in that particular moment. That said, as the book reveals its secrets you get a better understanding of why the characters behave the way they do. Again for me, depending on your own personal experiences will impact on how you react to some scenes and Jess I felt I could reach in and slap/shake. This comes down to my own life experiences and any writer that can get a reader to pull reality from fiction, strong emotions is doing their job and then some.

This book has been so loved and I enjoyed it if enjoy is the right word to apply considering some of the content. If you aren't emotionally vulnerable going in you may well be when you finish it, a story that kicks you in the emotionals and keeps you going page after page hoping and praying for it to go the way you want it to, 3.5/5 for me this time. This was my first dance with Beckerman, it won't be my last.

View all my reviews


  1. I felt the same as you about Jess. You're right in that personal experience may affect how you read it. I loved it for the writing which I thought was just so emotive.

  2. I really don't read enough of these books! Great choice: I'll have to add it to my TBR :D


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