What I Didn't Say

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 23 Jan 2019

Member Reviews

I read Almost Wife by Jade Beer a few months ago and absolutely loved it. It broke my heart and was a beautiful story that I can’t stop thinking about. I couldn’t wait to read Jade Beer’s next title, Promise Me.

I was delighted to reconnect with my favorite character from the first book, Helen. She has a shop selling wedding gowns but Helen isn’t just a regular gown seller. She forms bonds with the brides-to-be and her store is usually an open place where a lot of sharing occurs. Her daughter, Betsy is also back. This time around, she is planning her own wedding but something isn’t quite right. The story also introduces readers to other new characters, Jenny and Nat.

The story is narrated by the 4 women. Like in the last book, weddings are a prominent theme in this story. However, it isn’t all rings and roses. The author delves into very deep themes. The mother-daughter relationship as portrayed by Helen, Beth and Jenny was uplifting, heartbreaking, quite realistic. There was the theme of grief as portrayed by Jenny and this one had me fighting back tears. I can’t imagine what Jenny was experiencing, having to go through the most important moments in her life without her mom. I love my mom dearly. She is the person that I am closest to and we have been through a lot together. This made me sympathize with Jenny whose mom was no longer around. We also get to see Nat take the journey of self-discovery as the story progresses.

There is a lot to unpack through these women’s journeys. One thing that I can say for certain is that the themes are realistically portrayed. I could identify with each of the women. This story took me on a personal journey. It made me think about my own wedding plans and the relationships that I have. Interestingly, it also made me reconsider some of the decisions that I had already made. For instance; I thought I had found my gown already but I now realize that I shouldn’t just settle for whatever. Getting married is a big deal and like the brides in this story, I want to experience that joy and aha moment when you get the right gown. What I really need now is a Helen!

Promise Me by Jade Beer is a beautiful, poignant, thought-provoking story. It will make you smile, cry and perhaps have some self-reflection. I am so glad that I had the opportunity to read this gem and can’t recommend it enough.
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3.5 stars upgraded to 4. *Spoilers ahead*

This was a quick read for me. At first I was confused with the individual chapters introducing the characters, but then I was able to keep track of the four women who dominate this story. Each has their own complicated life, and how they know each other soon comes to light. I thought Nat's story was the best - I loved the idea of her being a professional bridesmaid.

However, Jenny's storyline didn't really work for me. The grief she felt with the loss of her mother - and the letters left for her to read - was very poignant, her storyline was just a little too 'Murial's Wedding' for my taste. 

Overall I enjoyed this book, read it quickly, and was anxious to get back to it when I had to put it down. Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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A tender and emotional story. We follow the journeys of four women,who's lives are interwoven within the story. A book with lots of mixed emotions within its cover.
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This was a sweet story about four women whose lives become interconnected through a series of events centering around Helen and her bridal gallery. Each of the women has flaws and a complicated life but each manages to find her own happiness by the end. Some of it is tearful as we see relationship breakups and newly-formed relationships but each must make peace with her own life. Now I am on the Beer's debut novel, The Almost Wife as it features Helen, the most likable of characters.
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Amazing book. Loved it from beginning to end. 
Well written which kept me captivated throughout. 
I will definitely be reading other books by this author
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This was a different read for me from my usual murder, mystery and psychological thrillers, but one which I thoroughly enjoyed.  This is a book that follows the story of four women Helen, Betsy, Nat and Jenny, about the changes that are going to happen to their lives as they prepare for Christmas.  They are all brought together through the ‘The White Gallery’ and all have different stories to tell.  This book evokes all kinds of emotions, you will need plenty of tissues at hand.  It is a book with a very emotional storyline, I loved all the characters and the feel good feeling it left me with.  A lovely read!
Thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book.
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I don’t like to give bad reviews, I always try to give the author the credit for the many hours and hard work they put into the story. Unfortunately for this book, I have to be honest, I would not recommend.  It took me a week to finish it, several times I came so close to stopping, and I rarely stop reading a book, I continually checked my reading progress, feeling it had to get better, that just didn’t happen. I could not wait for the ending. 
If the books main focus would have been as the description listed, of letters written by Jenny’s terminally ill mother, it would have had potential, but that was so overshadowed by the lives of the 3 other women, Nat, Betsy, and Helen. All of them in some sort of self centered drama, filled with an all consuming focus of mis-guided events of love, guilt, lies, and loss. Helen was the only one I almost related to, but her feelings of guilt for her grown daughter’s behavior was to much. I had no empathy for any of them. Jenny's lack of professionalism in a medical setting also did not sit well with me.
I was granted the opportunity from Net Galley and Bookouture to receive a free copy for my honest review. This one gets 1*. I wish I could do a little bit better but this book was not for me.
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Oh wow, a weepy!   I had already read The Almost Wife, which features Helen and The White Galley, but this was a really great focus on the shop and Helen herself, together with daughter Betsy as well as Nat, the Professional Bridesmaid.  I really enjoyed their invididual stories and loved how they all linked together.   Jenny’s ‘accidental’ engagement and her story that flows throughout the book is very emotional, with several parts where she reads her mums letters causing me to well up.  Overall, I loved this book.
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As soon as I read the premise of this book, I knew it was one that I had to give a read and I am so glad I did. This is a lovely, heart-warming story that will make you swell with happiness by the end. Be warned though, there are a bit of choppy waters to get through before that blissful ending but it wouldn’t be a good book otherwise, would it? I quickly found myself wrapped up in the lives of the these characters, wondering how it was all going to end up for them.

The book follows four women as they navigate their lives during the last few months before Christmas. Each of them has something that needs to change or is about to change in their lives and this book documents how they get through it all. It is an emotional story that is very character-led – which you know I love! – and it was very easy to become fully invested in the characters on the page.

My favourite, by far, was Helen. She was the glue that held all the strings together and I just thought she was such a remarkable character. Strong but vulberable, with such a maternal feel to her as well. I just wanted to wrap my arms around her constantly. It took me a while to warm up to Nick – though I have a feeling I would have done this quicker if I’d read the first book featuring Helen! But warm up to him I did! He is such a loving character and I soon became very glad to see him mentioned!

All in all, this book is a very entertaining and fascinating read. It pulls you through the lives of Helen, Betsy, Nat and Jenny as they get ready for Christmas. It’s a lovely book that was a wonderful way to spend a few hours and is a nice ease into Christmas reading too! The book talks a lot about weddings and brides and bridesmaids too! So if you’re looking for a book that will make you feel a lot of things until you finaly swell with pride anf happiness – pick up this book!
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Wow simply emotional and such an unique story. This was something that is near and dear to me since I lost my mother and missed her words of wisdom and just witty responses this story touched my heart. I thought this was such an emotional journey where the main character had to make choices about what her future was going to look like. Thank you for letting me read this book and write about it.
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Promise Me is not my normal type of read. I do like to step out of my normal reads for a change of pace and Promise Me was just that change of pace that I needed.

Promise Me is a tender and emotional story that explores four very different women through their own emotional journeys. Their lives become intertwined as each woman is somehow involved in weddings.

Jade Beer does a great job exploring the emotions of the four women in this story. Each has different conflicts and relationships that are explored. I loved the dynamics between the characters and I was drawn into each of their storylines.

There is a lot of drama going on here. Sometimes this can cause a story to be weighted down for me however I thought the drama here was needed to move the story forward. I loved the ending and thought it all wrapped up so well for a satisfying ending. I recommend for a light yet emotionally satisfying reading experience. 

Thank you so much to Bookouture, NetGalley & Jade Beer for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book in exchange for a review!
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Jenny is only sixteen years old when her mom passes away and still to this day, twelve years later, she is devastated by her loss. She often wonders if she is the daughter her mother would be proud of. Her mom left her a series of letters to open up on monumental occasions such as First Kiss, First Heartbreak, and Graduation Day and we get to experience some of these letters through Jenny’s eyes.  Jenny mom made her promise that she would live her life to the fullest even if she has to do it without her mom.  

Jenny often struggles with her job as a midwife.  She loves bringing in babies into this world, but she often wonders if she will ever get the chance to be a mom one day. This brings her to tears and makes her ache for her mother even more.  When she is mistaken for a bride to be by Helen, owner of a bridal boutique, Jenny goes along with it, even though she knows she shouldn’t.  But, could this chance meeting with Helen open up a whole new world for Jenny?

Jenny is not the only woman in this story.  We have Helen who is still reeling over the death of her husband and her daughter Betsy who is engaged and dragging her feet over her upcoming nuptials.  Last, but not least is Natalie. Natalie has been a bridesmaid fifteen times.  She has her own ideas of marriage and is often questioning herself about her job of choice.

When each of the women collide with one another centered around this wedding boutique, can these ladies find the courage to embrace life, live in the moment and love each other unconditionally?

Promise Me by Jade Beer is everything a great story should be.  It will pull every emotion out of you from sadness to laughter as you delve deep into each of the women’s lives and at times even feel some sort of connection to each of them.  Beer has easily written real women with real life issues that anyone can relate to in some way. I especially love the letters from Jenny’s mom.  They were so sentimental and heartfelt and made me think of my own mom and the special relationship that we share.  I found myself teary eyed as I read through the letters and if a story can pull that emotion out of me, then it deserves a spot on my keeper shelf. Beer easily pulls you right in and does not let go until the last page is read and that is when I found myself wishing there was more because I did not want to let these women go.  What a beautiful, moving and touching story. 

Promise Me delivers a heartwarming and emotional story that is sure to make you laugh and cry and hope that the story never ends.  I connected with each of these women and found myself rooting for them even when life has them down.  Have a box of tissues ready because the tears will come…..a lot.  I do not think this book can have been any more perfect! Jade Beer definitely has a new fan! I cannot recommend this book highly enough and it is well deserving of five stars.
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3.5 stars.  

An emotional, charming and lighthearted romp with a touch of romance.  Not my usual genre of choice, but extremely refreshing to branch out and try something different. 

This novel revolves around four women who are each at a turning point in their lives.  Jenny, Nat, Betsy and Helen are four independent, hard-working women who each face a life decision/struggle that they are challenged by.  Their lives intertwine and intersect in surprising ways that lead them toward figuring out their path toward true happiness.  

My favourite part of this novel was the letters from Jenny’s mom who passed away when Jenny was sixteen.  Before cancer took Jenny’s mother, she wrote several letters to Jenny with notes on the envelopes explaining when she wanted her to open and read them.  These were extremely emotional thoughts and reflections from mother to daughter that I found deeply touching.

While I enjoyed branching out and exploring a different genre, I also felt reminded of why I don’t often read lighthearted chick-lit.  A little too much drama and predictability for me.   

This was a Traveling Sister read with Norma and Brenda.   It was a great change of pace book for us and made for a fun discussion.  

Thank you to NetGalley, Bookouture and Jade Beer for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Promise Me is available now!
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As a major cover lover, can I just say how absolutely STUNNING this cover is?!?! Wow! Simplistic yet so mesmerising. I love it!

So, Jade Beer unintentionally set the bar incredibly high for herself with her debut novel, ‘The Almost Wife’, and I had everything crossed that she would blow me away a second time.

Did she?

Well, with a storyline that centres around multiple women and their own individual heartbreak, heartache, and general uncertainty where both romantic and family relationships are concerned, I can safely say that Jade Beer blew me away in a completely different way than before.

For me personally, Jenny’s story was the one which tugged on the heart strings more than the others due to the mother-daughter relationship. My little girl is far too little to think of marrying anyone except Mr Tumble or Olly Murs, but the whole ‘if you could wish one thing for your daughter, what would it be?’, sent my emotions into a frenzy. Being truthful with your own emotions is a lot harder than pretending, and I think that the way Jenny handled her situation will no doubt resonate with a lot of readers in various ways.

Jenny’s story isn’t the only one in this book, and I loved how different each one was as it highlighted so many different emotions and outlooks on life, being the voice of reason for many readers young and old. Whilst I didn’t agree with Betsy’s choices, I had to remind myself; ‘who am I to judge?’. Hell, who are any of us to judge? Yes, all the ladies in this book have made decisions that are guaranteed to raise a few eyebrows, but how can anyone sit there and judge a situation that they only know a snippet of?

‘Promise Me’ is a tender, enchanting read which rugs on the heart strings left, right and center. Jade Beer has once again showcased her beautiful, beautiful way of story telling and I have to say that she has done every one of her characters proud. An enchanting, escapism of a read where romance has its time in the spotlight, just like a bride on her wedding day.
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Too many characters. Professional fake bridesmaid, wannabe bride, midwife and all. There is emotion. It was interesting one time read.

Note: I received a free e-copy of the book via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. Special thanks to the author and publisher for giving me a chance to read it.
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A festive and beautiful story filled with wedding bells and Christmas trees....

I absolutely loved Jade Beer’s first novel “The Almost Wife”.... so I was so delighted to see that this book featured some of the characters I had grown to adore in that book, Helen the owner of the wedding boutique and her daughter Betsy... Helen was an absolute stand out  in the previous book, and she definitely did not disappoint in this one! She is The mother everyone deserves, and the mother who is not completely appreciated by her own daughter....

The blurb for this book is a bit missleading, the focus is not solely on Jenny but also on Helen, her daughter Betsy, and Nat... all these women bring something wonderful and different to the story... Helen brings her heart, Jenny brings her vulnerability, Betsy brings her confusion, and Nat brings her sass.... and what we get is a lovely and engaging read filled with romance, friendship, and laughter! You will cry for these girls... you will laugh with these girls... you will roll your eyes at these girls... you will want to reach through the pages and hug these girls... and by the end of this book you will adore each and every one of them!

Jade Beer paints this delightful story about women for women.... what I love so much is on the surface this appears to be about weddings, wedding dresses, wedding drama,  etc. etc. etc. but at its heart this book is about women and how strong they are, and how smart they are, and how amazing the bond is between them.... just like a woman this book is pretty and soft on the outside, but on the inside it is fierce! A ferocious story in a fluffy package!

Absolutely recommend to anyone who is a fan of women’s fiction, this is an author not to miss!

*** A huge thank you to Bookouture for my copy ***
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This was the first book I have read by Jade Beer, and I am excited to read more by her. 

This story follows four different woman who are all interconnected. 

Jenny who lost her mom at 16. Jenny has letters from her mom for each milestone of her life, but what about those moments that aren't milestones? 

We also meet Nat, who is a professional bridesmaid. There to make the bride's day easier whatever that may mean. Though she has been in countless weddings that doesn't mean she has any interest in a romance herself. 

Then we meet a mother daughter duo. Betsy a young woman who is engaged to be married and her mother Helen the owner of two bridal boutiques. Both woman are going through their own life but also working on their own relationship with each other. 

I loved getting into the book and personally found Nat's story the best. I found myself looking forward to her chapters the most. The letters from Jenny's mom were tear jerking and touching. Though Jenny as a character was unlikable. I wanted to like her but found her decision making to be confusing and hard to rationalize. 

Overall a very enjoyable read. Light hearted and quick.
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It’s not everyday that I come across a book that stops me in my tracks and leaves me speechless. This beautiful book did exactly that. 

I absolutely adored this book. It really is heartwarming. When I wasn’t reading, I was thinking about it. 

I loved all the characters in this book, they are very different to each other but all tied to the bridal boutique, The White Gallery. 

Helen, who owns the boutique helps many women find the perfect dress for their perfect day, but can she open her heart to love? 

Nat, a professional bridesmaid, seems to have her work cut out, many women wanting different things from their weddings and some that aren’t worth considering, in my book anyway! Does she have it in her to take a step down and focus on herself? 

Betsy, she is the one I felt connected to the most throughout my reading journey, with her complicated love life, who will she choose? 

Jenny, is another one I felt a deep connection to. Losing her mother when she was just sixteen was devastating, but her mother leaves her a bundle of letters, one for every occasion, ‘you’re engaged’ etc... which prompts Jenny to make some drastic decisions. Will Jenny tell the truth? 

Jade Beer expertly delivers this book with such a heartfelt sincerity that really shines through to the reader. 

Definitely a book that will stay with me and one I won’t stop bragging about!
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Reading this beautiful novel took me through a tidal wave of emotions from tears to laughter, but what a read it is! Charged full of emotion I found it nigh on impossible to put down. 

The story takes you on a journey of four women whose lives intertwine for varied reasons. Jenny's story is a standout piece in the book reducing me to tears with every letter read from her mother. But for me, I would have liked her storyline to come to a more detailed conclusion as I do feel that we left her at such a vulnerable moment that I'm still wondering if she will be ok as I formed such an emotional attachment to her character through the beautiful writing.

Nat's journey doesn't reach the emotional heights found in other storylines but creates moments of light relief and pure joy to contrast the deeper elements in the book. She is every girl's best friend and the glue keeping characters together and I loved living vicariously through her unique line of work.

Helen's piece moved me greatly at the amount of love one woman can show to so many people in such a selfless manner. An instantly likeable character and a one I wish I could meet in everyday life, she is brave yet vulnerable with a fierce protection towards her daughter Betsy. 

But for me, Betsy proved the most difficult character to get along with as I found my affections towards her kept turning hot and cold, but this certainly held my attention and kept me reading on and I loved the major cliff-hanging moments to her storyline. 

These four main women added so many special qualities to the book creating an emotional storyline but I have to mention the comedy gold moments that came from Jenny's roommate Marianne, whose crass antics had me in fits of giggles creating extra light relief when needed and adding even more layers to this wonderful piece of writing.

Promise Me captures female relationships magnificently, in all their flawed glory, creating a standout piece of writing that moved me greatly. I loved everything about this book and didn't want it to come to an end and I can't wait to read more from this author in the future.
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The cover initially drew me to this book. There are many different characters in this book, which can be slightly confusing. I thought the development of the book was well thought out. 

I will read more by this author. 

Thank you Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest opinion.
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