Monday 11 February 2019

Review: If Only I Could Tell You by Hannah Beckerman

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?

Review: I should not have started this book before bedtime because then bedtime ended up being 4am with an alarm set so I could wake up and immediately finish reading this. This book covers so much: Family, friendship, love, loss, grief and honesty. I really didn't know which direction this book was going to turn in next, there is just so much depth and so many hidden messages throughout the novel. 

I loved the family featured in the novel. Audrey is mother to Lily and Jess and grandmother to Mia (Jess's daughter) and Phoebe (Lily's daughter). I love the fact that Audrey's pattern of two daughters is repeated with her having two granddaughters. They live so close to each other and yet are so far apart in so many ways. Although Audrey is the lynch pin of the story, the majority of the time we either see things from Jess's perspective or Lily's but we do sometimes have an Audrey narrative as well, just to add another layer to the events that unfold. 

There is so much grief and loss in this novel in so many different ways and I love the fact that this author shows how loss can affect people so differently and in just so many ways that may not become clear until a long while after the fact. We know that it can affect life choices and either bring people together or drive them apart. And then there is the loss that we can experience even when nobody has died, the loss that we experience through rifts in families or marriages and all of this is explored so tenderly and so beautifully in this novel. I expected to cry a lot but I didn't because I was marvelling at the clever way Hannah Beckerman has woven this novel with its layers and its mirroring of feelings and events, it really is a spectacle. 

I loved the setting of this story with so much of it taking place in one corner of London. It was easy to picture and easy to imagine these characters placed in that setting. There definitely is a care warning for grief and loss in this novel so make sure you are in the right place to do so before picking this one up. These characters became very real to me as I was reading, their lives and their unique perspective of themselves and each other and I imagine that they will stay with me for a while to come. This is a beautiful novel so full of real life and so full of loss but in a very tender and sympathetic way. I definitely recommend adding this one to you TBR now. 

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK (published 21/2) or US (published 10/22)

1 comment:

  1. Ohhhhhhhhhh, this sounds wonderful. I love books that give good emotion. Even better when they keep you up at night. The Midwife's Confession by Diane Chamberlain did that for me (I distinctly remember clicking page after page on my nook while the clock crept closer to 3 am and thinking, "I'll regret this..." Fortunately, it was a weekend, and so when I woke up at 9 am, the first thing I did was turn my nook on and continue reading #readinglife). This is definitely one to keep an eye out for!