Cover Image: If Only I Could Tell You

If Only I Could Tell You

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Member Reviews

If Only I Could Tell You is not a light read - there is a lot of depressing subject matter - suicide, cancer, miscarriage, and broken family relationships.  The premise is built upon a family secret that causes two sisters to be estranged, but no one seems to know the exact cause of the rift. 

This book frustrated me - it took a long time to get to the "reveal" and it was all a huge misunderstanding that could have been avoided if everyone had talked decades ago. The way that Jess handled the situation annoyed me. She seemed to blow up whenever anyone even mentioned her sister, so it was tough to feel bad for her.

I was surprised by many of the twists in the story, and it kept me reading. However, the pace of the novel bored me a bit, and I just wanted to know what the big secret was.  The last 3/4 of the book was the most enthralling, but even then I was anxious to finish it.

Thank you to Netgalley and HarperCollins for the advanced review copy of If Only I Could Tell You!
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So, I got in bed at 8pm last night, and planned to read for a few minutes, then go to sleep around 9.  Instead, I finished this book last night, and I feel like I have a reading hangover (that or I stayed up too late).  This is the kind of book that will stick with you.

All Audrey Siskin wants her daughters, Lily and Jess, to do is reunite after a 28 year estrangement.  However, the secrets that divide them run so deep that the thought is impossible for Jess to comprehend.  What makes this story of a family divided on another level is Hannah Beckerman’s writing.  She continues to give information about the various storylines in the book, and then neatly ties them all up within the last 50 pages in a way that leaves you sobbing.  Beckerman masterfully jumps between the past and the present in a way that seamlessly supports the plot lines, which can be so hard to do.  Keep your tissues handy when you read this.  It’s released on October 15th.

Suicide, miscarriage, and cancer are all discussed at great length and detail.

Synopsis:
Audrey’s dream as a mother had been for her daughters, Jess and Lily, to be as close as only sisters can be. But now, as adults, they no longer speak to each other, and Audrey’s two teenage granddaughters have never met. Audrey just can’t help feeling like she’s been dealt more than her fair share as she’s watched her family come undone over the years, and she has no idea how to fix her family as she wonders if they will ever be whole again.
If only Audrey had known three decades ago that a secret could have the power to split her family in two, and yet, also keep them linked. And when hostilities threaten to spiral out of control, a devastating choice that was made so many years ago is about to be revealed, testing this family once and for all.
Once the truth is revealed, will it be enough to put her family back together again or break them apart forever?

Thank you to Netgalley and HarperCollins for an advanced review copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Unfortunately, this book was a miss for me.  I did not follow the story line.  I found my wondering through the entirety of the book
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I was immediately drawn into this book at the prologue. It takes place in 1988, two sisters witness something, and each believes they know what truly happened. The secrets they now keep will rip their family apart. 

•Audrey Siskin only has months to live. What grieves her most is that her two daughters, Lily and Jess, have been estranged for nearly 28 years. Her granddaughters have also been kept apart because of their mothers’ feud. Audrey doesn’t understand why Jess has such a hatred for her older sister Lily. Jess can’t even stand to be in the same room as her. 

•It all started back in 1988. Jess was so young, only 10, yet they all went through so much together. So why does she hate Lily? Even Lily doesn’t understand. Ever since, the sisters have been living on opposite sides of their mother, with Audrey trying to hold onto a relationship with each daughter. But now her life is about to end; can she bring her daughters back together?

•This book is sad, to say the least. At first, it’s very intriguing, with the tease of the prologue. You really want to know what took place. What did they see or even do? But then for quite a few chapters the collateral damage of the secret is played out in their lives. You see how Jess’ hatred continues to grow against Lily and Lily struggles to find peace in life. There are subtle clues of what was seen or heard that day, and then there is more heartbreak in the family that may lead you down another line of thinking. If only I could tell you a few more details, but I don’t want to spoil anything for you.

•If you love family drama, heartache, and secrets, you will enjoy this book. Beckerman does string you along for a while, and I was a little frustrated at times, but she brought it home very well. 

**Please be aware that this book does discuss terminal illness, miscarriages, and suicide.
 
Thank you to @netgalley and @orionbooks for this ARC for review.
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How much would you endure to protect someone that you love? That is the question at the heart of this novel, If Only I Could Tell You.  Adult sisters Jess and Lily have been estranged for decades by Jess’ choice, but now their mother Audrey has only been given months to live.  Although this doesn’t change Jess’ mind, it sets events in motion that will change the entire family dynamic.  As the adult sisters navigate their daily lives in modern times, we are given snippets of their lives growing up.  As the deep dark secret of the family is revealed, it will become clear that nothing is what it seemed.  The book asks you to consider the cost of keeping the secrets of others.  This would be a great book club read!
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This book is heartbreaking! Truthfully, it was a tad bit depressing. It covers too many serious topics and doesn’t tack on any hopefulness to string the reader along. It was just sad, sad, SAD! This family drama moved along nicely but I found a couple of the characters very unlikable, so I had a hard time connecting to it. I’ve even been through some of the topics explored and found myself not connecting, which I found strange. It was ok but a bit too sad and overdramatic for me. Thanks to the publisher for the review copy in exchange for my honest review.
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It's been thirty years since sisters, Lily and Jess, have spoken. They have 18 year old daughters who are just weeks apart that have never met, they have had successful careers, the ups and downs of marriage, and they have missed it all. Their mother, Audrey, is heartbroken over the distance that has grown between her daughters but hasn't wanted to face the events that happened thirty years ago any more than her daughters have. Now that she is nearing the end of her life she wants nothing more than to reunite her daughters and find out what pushed them apart in the first place.

I enjoyed this book and the slow buildup and reveal of what happened to drive the sisters apart. It is revealed very, very slowly and I was somewhat frustrated that  having a simple conversation could have solved their problems years ago. There are some sensitive topics in this book that I won't list because I don't want to give any spoilers but if you are a highly sensitive person, tread lightly. Overall, I really enjoyed the characters, the story, I liked the two teenage granddaughters, I liked how the book switches perspectives, and I enjoyed the story as a whole. The ending made me think about what I would do and although I don't agree with the choices, it helped me think about the other perspective.
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Audrey has cancer and is moving into her daughter Jess's house. Her one wish is for Jess to reconcile with her sister Lily. They have been estranged for many years because of secrets within the family. This is an emotional roller coaster of a ride book. The chapters are told in Audrey, Jess, and Lily's voices in alternating chapters. This allows the reader to really connect with the characters. You will definitely need tissues as this is a book that brings out all the feels. I received an advanced readers copy and all opinions are my own.
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Overall: 2.5 Stars
Characters: 2.5/5 Stars
Believability: 3/5 Stars
Personal Opinion: 2.5/5 Stars

This was a pretty heavy read. I wasn’t a huge fan of how heavy and how much focus was spent on the more negative aspects of how people can break apart when faced with grief. While plausible from the perspective that everyone deals with grief differently, I’m struck that I’ve found yet another book in which none of the characters deal with that grief in even remotely healthy ways. I struggled to care about the characters because of that. There is very little in the way of uplifting through this because of that focus.

The story is very well written and can wrench some strong emotions from a reader with some of the subject matter that gets presented here. It just leans too heavily on the negative side of the emotional spectrum for me.

 

*I received a copy of this book from NetGalley. Opinions stated are honest and my own.
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Thanks to Netgalley and Harper Collins for the ARC in exchange for a review. 

I enjoyed this story. It was definitely an emotional one! This book centers on a woman and her two daughters and their life dealing with some major things that happened when the daughters were young. 

The characters and situations are believable. It’s something many people can probably relate to on some levels- the dynamics of family relationships and secrets.
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Thank you NetGalley and Harper Collins for the advanced review copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

So this book should come with a big old trigger warning. All the warnings. For cancer, suicide, and miscarriage. They are all talked about extensively and somewhat graphically in my opinion.

I chose this book for the cover and because of the JoJo Moyes blurb. I thought it would be a nice familial drama that made me cry. Since this book has been out in England, there are a lot of reviews that are 4 and 5 stars. I guess some people really liked this book. I, however, am not one of those people. I am rather disappointed with this book because I was expecting a nice good cry, and I ended up with a whole lot of nothing.

I like sad books when the mood is right. This is why I requested this book, a change from all of the sweet romance I’ve been reading the last month. But this book was just a lot of sadness. I want to call it melodrama because the book just didn’t know how to stop being so ridiculous. It just seemed like everything would get worse and worse for the characters. There was not even a little glimmer of hope and happiness, it was just all dreary and sad until the ending. I feel like I wasted my time reading this book.

Jess and her sister Lily have been estranged for thirty years because of some secret. Their mom is dying and wants them to reunite before she is gone. Like it’s just over and over with the secret and you can’t figure it out because the mystery isn’t revealed til later, and it kind of really bugged me that was used as a plot device because it took away from the story. So you get sisters that are not speaking and a mother who wants to make it all better. Then the book is really sad the entire time. I don’t want to give anything away and it’s impossible to really talk about the book without doing so. You just have a lot of bad events in this family, and then the book is over. The miscarriage scene is hard to read... the suicide is very descriptive... there’s even someone coming out and it’s just handled so poorly...  I ended up skimming the end of this book because I just needed closure. I suppose if you want a sad book with nothing happy at all, this is a good one for you. After this one read, I don’t plan to ever pick up a book by this author... it’s really not for me,
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“Can one rewrite the script if their life before it is too late “
Audrey has months to live and before she leaves this world she’d like to see her two daughters end their 30 year feud.  Although neither girl will tell her what started this 30 years ago 
Told by three points of view and the past and present, and do beautifully written, this book deals with secrets, cancer, miscarriages, death.  It is not an easy read but it is written with so much depth and understanding
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A story of a family saga from the points of 3 people, a mother and two daughters. It follows them from the aftermath of family tragedy during the girls childhood that has led the sisters to become estranged.  

The first half of the book had a big question mark revolving around what happened with little past snipits leading up to the event, after the event, around the event and left the readers hanging well past the middle point.  While I normally enjoy a good mysterious revelation in this particular story it was way too drawn out and detracted from becoming engaged with the story.  This felt like a lukewarm book version of a lifetime movie.  I just didn't feel any deep connection to the characters to make me fall in love with them and their stories.  This was blurbed as a must read for fans of This is Us.  If you are big on family drama and conflict you may enjoy this.
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WOW!  This book was a roller coaster ride because I knew something happened but I couldn't figure out what, The things that happened will blow you away.  There is so much to this book, how a chain of events affected the lives of so many family members.  It separated two sisters, and when they had kids, the two girls found each other on social media.  But they didn't know what happened and why their mothers didn't have anything to do with each. As I read the book, I had guessed at what would be happening but I was always wrong.  This is definitely not a book that you will know what is going to happen. This is a book that will keep you turning the pages but only one at a time, so much happens that you could miss things if you missed a page or two.
It is a book that will bring out emotions as you read the book. and I asked myself what would I do if faced with the same things.  Read the book and I wonder what you would do.  
I received an ARC from NetGalley and I have to say this was the perfect book to kick me into fall and I loved it.  Still, don't know what I would do but it gave me a whole new perspective.
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Publisher’s description: A secret between two sisters.

A lifetime of lies unraveling.

Can one broken family find their way back to each other?


Audrey’s dream as a mother had been for her daughters, Jess and Lily, to be as close as only sisters can be. But now, as adults, they no longer speak to each other, and Audrey’s two teenage granddaughters have never met. Audrey just can’t help feeling like she’s been dealt more than her fair share as she’s watched her family come undone over the years, and she has no idea how to fix her family as she wonders if they will ever be whole again.

If only Audrey had known three decades ago that a secret could have the power to split her family in two, and yet, also keep them linked. And when hostilities threaten to spiral out of control, a devastating choice that was made so many years ago is about to be revealed, testing this family once and for all.

Once the truth is revealed, will it be enough to put her family back together again or break them apart forever?

*************
Wow...just wow. Talk about feeling all the feels.

Hannah Beckerman’s “If Only I Could Tell You” is the story of Audrey and her daughters Lily and Jess. Told from each of their viewpoints, intertwined through the entire book, we see all of their stories and get pieces of their secrets. I had a hunch about the big reveal, and I was trying to figure out how it was going to play out. But when the bomb finally dropped, I was just blown away. I really would never have guessed it. 

This is a heart-wrenching story of love and secrets and forgiveness and...oh, so much. This one will break your heart and it is totally worth it. 

A huge thanks to NetGalley and HarperCollins for an advance copy of this title in exchange for an honest review. This title is scheduled for release on October 15, 2019.
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"If Only I Could Tell You" by Hannah Beckerman is the lovely but heartbreaking story of Audrey and her two estranged adult daughters, Jess and Lily.  Audrey, who is dying of cancer, desperately wants her daughters to reconcile.  The story switches between the points of view of the three women and also between the past and present, but is never confusing and this method is very effective in building suspense toward the big reveal of why the sisters are estranged.  The plot is very realistic, so much so that, at times, it was not easy for me to read because it triggered my emotions so deeply.  This book deals with several heavy topics such as suicide, cancer, miscarriage, adultery, and the death of a child.  This is a great book, but it is definitely not light reading!  I give it 4/5 stars, subtracting a star because the story was a bit repetitive at times and the ending was fairly predictable.

Many thanks to NetGalley, Hannah Beckerman, and HarperCollins Publishers of the privilege of reading an advanced digital copy of this beautiful story of family, love, and loss.
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If Only I Could Tell You was one of my highly anticipated fall reading picks. I love books that weave family history into present-day issues and this book kept me guessing while also having a relatable storyline. This was definitely heartbreaking at many moments but also had elements of hope. 

Sorrow and loss and the choices we make can have life long ramifications that many readers will be able to relate. This book consists of big tragedies and smaller everyday ones and while I think this will affect readers differently, I connected a lot with this. I enjoyed how the story slowly evolved and I felt like it had a satisfying ending. I love books that suck me in while also having me think about things that have happened in my own life and this was a great balance. 

Thank you to Harper Collins & NetGalley for an ARC of this book. All opinions are my own.
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What a roller coaster of emotions! Hannah Beckerman did an amazing job of not only keeping me on the edge of my seat throughout this entire book but she did a fantastic job of keeping so many secrets under lock and key until the very end. I had so many suspicions as to how this story would pan out, and I was wrong every time. 

This is such a heart-breaking and heart-warming story, but totally worth reading. I think the storyline was very much relatable, and it’s stories like this one that are so raw and real that draw me in even more. Highly recommend!

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2983371055
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Jess has been angry at her older sister for thirty years. She keeps her daughter away from her cousin. Audrey is dying from cancer and her family is fractured because of a tragedy and secrets. THe author keeps readers guessing just what that tragedy is. I admit, I had The wrong idea about what occurred. It's only until halfway brought an important aspect of the story is revealed and then it Became predictable. It's a novel about sorrow, deep seated misplaced anger, and healing.
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Beautiful. Tragic. Beautiful. What an emotionally draining read. It was also impossible to put it down, and I read it in under 4 hours.

Audrey, Jess and Lily have survived the unthinkable. But, it takes them 28 years to come out on the other side.

The prose was absolutely beautiful. Figurative language that will gut you.

I’m such a sucker for tear jerkers. As a mom and as a daughter who lost a parent to cancer, this story reduced me to tears more than once.
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