Cover Image: If Only I Could Tell You

If Only I Could Tell You

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I am so sad to say that this book just didn’t do it for me. The content fell flat. The family drama was just way overdone. Too much sad without enough happy to balance it out.
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Good story and beautifully told.  The lack of communication within the characters is frustrating but overall a good read!
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This is my first novel by Hannah Beckerman and this one is packed with emotion, including many triggers.

The synopsis of this book sounded like a perfect fit for me and what I enjoy reading - dysfunctional family, drama, with some secrets thrown in for a twist. I enjoyed reading this - and it was heart wrenching at points, but overall this one just didn’t do it for me. I was frustrated by the character Jess and how she dealt with “the secret” that was a factor ultimately resulting in the estrangement of the two sisters in the story, Jess and Lily. It just didn’t seem realistic to me, it didn’t help I wasn’t the biggest fan of Jess. While I don’t mind unlikable characters, I just couldn’t seem to care about her. Sometimes, the book just doesn’t fit with the point in your life where you read them, that said, I would give this authors next book a try since I found her writing to be very readable. 

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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Hannah Beckerman’s book, If I Could Only Tell You, tells a truly beautiful but sad story that is poignant yet a brutally emotional story.
It’s a type of story that will require some tissues because if a few tears aren’t shed over this story, then you’ve missed the meaning of this emotionally heartbreaking novel.
Cancer is cutting short the life of Audrey, mother to Lily and Jess. Audrey’s only wish before she dies is to reunite her two estranged daughters.
Jess blames Lily for something that happened over thirty years ago and will never forgive her. Now adults with separate lives and each having their own daughters, Audrey hopes that she has the strength to help her two daughters find forgiveness and love again.
There are so many tragic turns to this story  that will rock you to the core. Hannah Beckerman’s story is both beautiful and harsh at the same time. Life isn’t all a bed of roses and families have secrets along with things that they aren’t always proud of. Her story shows that families aren’t without fault, confusion, bitterness, estrangement but also love, hope and forgiveness. 
Hannah Beckerman has written a real and genuine novel that will evoke real emotion and profound gratitude.
I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley. #NetGalley #IfICouldOnlyTellYou
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William Morrow Paperbacks and NetGalley provided me with an electronic copy of If Only I Could Tell You. I was under no obligation to review this book and my opinion is freely given.

After their young lives are pulled apart by tragedy, can Jess and Lily ever find their way back to each other? The only thing that Audrey wants is for her daughters to let each other back in, so that her granddaughters can know each other. When circumstances become dire, will the family fracture completely or will Audrey, Jess, Lily, Mia, and Phoebe finally become one?

The animosity, anger, and hurt overwhelms this novel, almost to the point that I was about to give up reading. The pull between past and present did help to tell the story eventually, but was a bit distracting at first. As the truth is finally revealed, the plot itself was propelled forward. Without spoilers, the strength of this novel lies in the last third, with a certain realism that struck a chord with me. The realistic nature of the conclusion was very powerful, with images that sat with me long after I finished reading. If Only I Could Tell You was a good read, but would have been better had the author not overwhelmed the plot with bitterness and the repetition of the animosity from one sister to the other. Readers who like novels about family dynamics may like If Only I Could Tell You for its relatable quality and good characterization.
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*I was given an eARC of this novel from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion. All thoughts are my own. 

When I first read the blurb (which said this book would be good for fans of This is Us, I was intrigued. I'm a sucker for a good book that will make me cry. The premise of this story is that sisters Jess and Lilly got into an argument when they were younger and haven't spoken in years. They have daughters the same age who aren't allowed to meet. And their mother wants them all back together. Seems interesting enough, and I wanted to know what the secret was that tore them apart in the first place. 
It took me a while to read this book, because frankly it didn't hold my attention. It wasn't horrible, I just didn't CARE about any of the characters. They were all sort of one dimensional. Lilly is the high powered business woman married to the cheating jerk, while Jess is the hot mess single mom who can barely pay her bills. And that's ALL they were. Things didn't get interesting until the last third of the book. I honestly didn't care that much about the mom's part of the story either. 

As far as the secret goes: I called that not even halfway in. It was absolutely ridiculous. These grown ass women couldn't put their differences aside for five minutes for their dying mother, and their differences were because the younger sister was too stubborn to just ask a question, instead of going around assuming her older sister was a horrible person. 

Needless to say this was NOTHING like This is Us, which had me crying in the first episode. The best I can come up with here was, "meh".
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This book is interesting as it’s told in different viewpoints however I was very frustrated by the secrets and how easily everything could have been resolved if they just talked to each other.
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If Only I Could Tell You by Hannah Beckerman

This book features many trigger warnings - estranged family, loss, suicide, and cancer. 

This book is impactful but this did feel unrealistic and far fetched in places and was difficult to follow along and be invested in the characters.
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If Only I Could Tell You is a book featuring many important topics, estranged family, loss, suicide, and cancer. The  book appealed to me because I have experienced each of the above – and clearly I love torturing my emotions. However, I did not cry once during this novel. I felt so estranged from the plot and storyline, as the center of the topic felt so unrealistic and far-fetched. The storyline is so impactful, but the “mystery” of the book was so ridiculous it took away from the actual quality and impact the story was trying to bestow on the reader. 

I love impactful books because it allows the reader to not feel alone in their struggle and see that characters (fictional or not) display the same feelings. The story follows three women, a mother, Audrey, and two daughters, Jess and Lily. From the beginning of the book, the reader knows a tragedy has taken place, but the explicit incidence is not revealed until much later in the novel. Jess blames Lily for a past event and Jess is filled to the brim with so much hate and hostility it makes her unlikable. I mean what could be so horrid she treats her mother and sister so poorly much of the novel? Audrey wants to bring her family back together despite this unknown hostility between her two daughters. 

This novel features so many triggers, suicide, miscarriage, illness, infidelity, etc. So, one would assume this novel would be so impactful. However, all I could feel was disinterest due to the far-fetched estrangement of the two sisters. I really loved the storyline and most of the characters (except hostile, resentment filled Jess), but the overall mystery aspect disconnected me from the story.
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CW: cancer, suicide, loss of a parent, loss of a child, miscarriage, infertility

I'd heard that this book was incredibly sad, but it just made me angry. I felt like this whole family riff was caused by some terrible parenting choices that just infuriated me. Props to the author for evoking such a reaction, but this book was not an enjoyable read. This book just wasn't for me.

Thanks to William Morrow and Netgalley for my copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Like a Hallmark or Lifetime movie, novels that fall under the “women’s fiction” category promise a specific type of experience for the reader. For women and by women, familial relationships are at the heart of these stories, and secrets threaten to tear them apart. Often set in sensual locales, with generous description and plenty of angst, they feature poetic titles, sympathetic heroines, and bittersweet but satisfying endings.

To read the complete review, click on the link below.
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This was a very enjoyable book that I read quickly. I felt that I could predict the storyline coming at me the entire time, but I was wrong in many ways. Which was delightful! A few twists and turns that weren't over the top, but were also surprising. I would recommend this for beach or vacation reading, as it has some heavy themes, but at the core of it: forgiveness, communication and family.
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2.5 stars rounded up

Two sisters and their mother, caught in a continuous web of misunderstandings, grief, hidden truths and many regrets. 

A story line that I feel had so much potential had it been written in a completely different way, one that led the reader to the answer through character development and growth as a family... instead what I read was a non-stop “catch me if you can” game of dangling the truth in front of me in order to get me to keep reading this book. If it hadn’t been for just wanting to find out what on earth happened... I don’t know that I would’ve finished this book. It was also a bit too dramatic. 

The ending was good. A little twist. 

I just am not a fan of this story unfortunately. Jess was a 10 year old child in a 30 (or 40?) year old body throwing a grief-riddled temper tantrum her entire life, ruining her life, her daughters, her sisters, her mothers, and anyone else that walked along her path. They book talks briefly about her job and then randomly that part of the story just goes away and it never comes back. 

Lily is a feeble push over that never stops trying to please and let’s every single person she knows walk all over her. She allows her sister to carry on this ridiculous tantrum for 20-30 years without ever really trying to get her to tell her. SURE sure we find out in the end “why” which was an eye roll in my opinion and was simply to tie up a loose end.

And the mom. I liked her most but she had issues in the book too.

There’s just bits and pieces of this story that don’t make sense and are just thrown together or randomly disappear with no explanation. I like to read a book to enjoy simply the story, the people, the writing... not simply bc I want to know the answer and could care less about half the people in the book. 

Oh and I’m still mad there was NO reconciliation of the daughters with their mothers, no more info on or character/story development on Daniel, no telling Phoebe, etc. 

I hate writing reviews that lean more on the negative but clearly I just really wasn’t a huge fan of this book.. :(
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Honestly I would say for me this was a 2.5.  Three characters who see see the events over the years unfold....I could not connect with any of them and there were too many ugh as ifs for me to reallly fall into this book.
Audrey is the mother of 2 adult daughters, Lily and Jess.  The book evolves over the three of them covering how the family came to be torn apart.   There are also 2 granddaughters who cannot have a relationship due to the family secret that tore the family apart.
I feel like the book tried too hard and the person who decided to compare it to 'This Is Us' really should not have.  Nothing like the show in terms of connection and character development.  They all seemed annoying and whiny to me and as all the 'secrets' unfolded I did not like them any more.  If anything I thought HOW did this go on for 30 years?
Thank you Netgalley for the ARC.   Sorry for the review but I cannot lie.
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I didn't enjoy reading this book - and I think most of that hinges on the way the story is told. It is obvious early into reading the book that something traumatic has happened to the family, they each talk about it constantly without really talking about it. But since the perspective is told from each of the different women, having them talk about it, without really talking about it because increasingly frustrating. All of their internal dialogue felt clunky and inauthentic because of this secret they were holding from the reader. It took their trauma and turned it into a suspenseful plot point. Additionally, I guessed wrong - as I think most readers probably would, and that was disorienting too.
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Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Beyond amazing I enjoyed this book so very much. The characters and storyline were fantastic. The ending I did not see coming  Could not put down nor did I want to.
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An engrossing family drama. A secret divides the family and although Audrey, the mother, wants to bring her daughters back together; is it possible?   I cared for and felt compassion for each of the characters.
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I loved this book! It was beautifully written, and I loved the way the author told the story from three different perspectives-this made the story so much richer. This is a story about loss, how misunderstandings can change the whole direction of a life, and how we must be willing to open our hearts and forgive, no matter how hard that sometimes is. Highly recommended!!
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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. 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.
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This book is very sad and depressing, but it is so beautifully written. It flows so nicely, and I loved the shorter chapters. The overall structure was nice as well with the alternating POVs. 
While it started as a bit of mystery, the ending was a bit predictable, but it was almost appreciated since most of the plot was heavy!
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