Cover Image: If Only I Could Tell You

If Only I Could Tell You

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Member Reviews

This book just didn’t do it for me. I liked the short chapters and the writing though.  The content, not so much. I feel like the family drama was way overdone. Very depressing without enough feel good to balance it out. There are many 4 & 5 star reviews out there and that is great. Just not what I expected or was hoping for.
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As this book starts, we know that "something bad" happened when these two sisters were younger, and they have been estranged their entire adult lives because of it. We also quickly learn that their mother is now dying of cancer and wants nothing more than her daughters to get along. The story is well paced, and doesn't drag. We learn little by little what happened in the past.. Although it all felt a bit Liane Moriarity-esque, I think that part is well done. I did want to keep reading. 
I do have two complaints though, and they're pretty big problems. The first, and most problematic, is the premise itself. The way the "misunderstanding" occurred between the sisters, one of whom was only 10 years old,  and the fact that no adult did anything to remedy it in 30 years is completely unbelievable. The younger sister continued to literally act like a child until the very end, and no one thought to get to the bottom of it?  The second, was that the actual storyline really happened in the past tense, but there was a lot of really underdeveloped, drama for the sake of drama, not really relevant at all to the story filler about the sister's current lives. I also really did not like the  way the final chapters were done.
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Reading this book was like riding an emotional rollercoaster!  

Even though Lily and Jess are sisters, they have been estranged for almost three decades.  Jess harbors so much anger toward Lily and neither Lily nor their mom, Audrey know why.  This family has so many secrets and each one is slowly revealed as the book reaches its heartbreaking conclusion.

Hannah Beckerman takes us through pretty much the entire range of human emotion throughout this book; sadness, grief, confusion, anger, hope, and love.  This is the first book I’ve read in a long time that made me feel so deeply.  I loved the storyline and had to keep reading to learn the secrets everyone kept from each other.  Highly recommend!

I appreciate @netgalley and @williammorrowbooks for the gifted copy in exchange for an honest review.
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While I got more into the book the second half, it took me that long to care.

This book is written from three point of views-- two estranged sisters and their ailing mother -- between the present time and a moment during a horrible time during the sisters' childhoods. 

I usually like books written in this way because you get to know all the characters and not just one, but the horrible thing that happened doesn't get explained until later in the book, and once you find it out, it doesn't make sense that it would have been ignored throughout the beginning of this book.

Definitely a tear jerker by the second half, but I still didn't feel very connected to any of the characters.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. It did not influence my opinion.
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When you are a child, you remember things a certain way.  You don’t think of other scenarios, just what you see.  This is the problem go Jess.  This action starts an almost 30 year estrangement between Jess and her sister, Lily.  No one except Jess knows why and she’s not talking. This story unfolds as mother, Audrey, is fighting her own battle and wants to reunite her family.  

This novel was family drama, at its best/worst, all characters evolving and enfolding their own battles.  Have tissues handy as your heart won’t be able to take all the drama. Well written.  Every individual handles grief differently, this family is no different.  Each situation will frustrate you and tug at your heart at the same time.  The last chapter...oh my!  

Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC.  Opinion is mine alone!
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Good book! You will spend 3/4th of the book yearning to uncover what is the driving force behind Jess' hatred. The last 1/4th of the book seemed a bit drawn out and the ending was predictable but good nonetheless. A story that shows that no matter how old you are, you can still be ambitious and make a change. This novel will have you tearing up at this family's tragedies --someone always has it worse than you. Be thankful and kind because you never know what someone has gone through/is going through!
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As hard as I tried to like this book I just couldn’t..  In my opinion the main characters were selfish and self-absorbed. and  I found the circumstances of several characters’ deaths to be dark and disturbing.  In addition I found several situations in the book to be unrealistic including Audrey being able to attend choir rehearsals and fly to New York when she was on the brink of death from Stage 4  cancer.  i requested this book because it said in the description that it would appeal to fans of This Is Us but I didn’t see any similarities between this novel and the show other than the bond between twins or triplets.  Thank you for giving  me the opportunity to read this ARC but because my review is less than favorable I will not be posting it on Goodreads and Amazon. since it is my understanding that poor reviews can hurt the success of a book.
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This is a quick beach read.  It's a bit too chick lit for my taste but I still had no trouble reading and finishing it!  Its a story of untold truths that keep a family apart - it's a reminder to never let our assumptions rule our family lives.  

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me an early release in exchange for an honest and fair review.
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I received an ARC copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for my honest opinion of it. I felt like this book was dealing with way too many issues at one time and I thought it was boring and I honestly could not get through it.
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Thank You NetGalley and HarperCollins for this advanced readers copy .

This book pulls at all your heart strings. It talks about infidelity, about cancer, about death and about families torn apart by these issues. I know for me when we found out about what everybody didn’t want to talk about. It was an extremely hard topic to read and essentially go through with these characters. nonetheless I think this book is really good for someone who may be grieving from a loss that they can’t comprehend yet. I feel that this book helps them see that pushing people away, being angry and not knowing how to deal with loss of a loved one is something that many people go through.

Audrey is a woman/mother who has really been through a lot in her life. Now she is faced I did enjoy this book and I do believe that it has touched on a lot of important topics. I also do believe that this book could really be helpful to someone who may be going through something similar.with the fact that she is dying from cancer. She has two daughters who do not speak to each other and have an aunt in about 30 years. Both of her daughters have daughters themselves and because of this Eestrangement Audrey cannot be with both her granddaughters at the same time estrangement Audrey cannot be with both her granddaughters at the same time. Audrey dying wish is that she can somehow fix the broken bond between her daughters. So that way she knows after she is gone that they at least each have each other..

I did enjoy this book and I do believe that it has touched on a lot of important topics. I also do believe that this book could really be helpful to someone who may be going through something similar.
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If Only I Could Tell You mercilessly tugs at the hearts of its readers. Once you settle into this book, you will not be able to put it down without wanting to get right back to it again. As a mother nearing the end of her life, Audrey desperately yearns for her daughters to come together. Sadly, she is a mother running out of time to help her daughters learn to love each other.

Over the years, this fractured family has only continued in its downward spiral of discontent and disfunction. The broad rift between Jess and Lily is ever-widening. The insidious estrangement of the two sisters has trudged along for nearly thirty years. The bitterness that Jess has cultivated against Lily over the years feels as though it may be insurmountable. In fact, Jess and Lily’s daughters, born within just weeks of each other, have never even met.

It is only natural for us to mourn for this fractured family of women. I longed for Jess and Lily to dig deep to finally find a way to open up to each other. Author, Hannah Beckerman, breaks our hearts with this soul-gripping family epic. Nevertheless, we read on with hope for revelations of truth. And we long for forgiveness and acceptance to come about. I found myself hoping for joy to spring forth, when a lie is ultimately extinguished by a fountain of truth. Thanks to NetGalley for the advanced copy of If Only I Could Tell You.
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If Only I Could Tell You packs a powerful punch in this dramatic tale focused around three woman.  Estranged sisters Zoe and Jess are raising teen age daughters in the same town, but couldn’t be living more different lives.  Zoe is married, a power house in her career and struggles to understand what happened decades ago that stopped her sister, Jess, from speaking to her.  Meanwhile, Jess is raising her daughter as a single-mother, trapped in a job with long hours and not much fan-fare.  Their ailing mother Audrey has just received tragic health news and is determined to mend the cracks between her daughters while exploring all the long forgotten joys in life.  If Only I Could Tell You is filled with real, harrowing and at times complicated and tragic stories.  The novel covers: losing siblings, losing parents, suicide, euthanasia, divorce, infidelity, 9-11 and war.  I felt like I needed a few days to process all that I had read when the story came to a close. Several days later, I find myself still thinking about each character, their complicated stories and the choices they made.  If Only I Could Tell You reminds its readers of the importance of communication and how assumptions can drive apart families and loved ones.  While at times I struggled to keep up with the characters and complex story line, I won’t soon forget them and am touched by their stories.

*A sincere thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review*
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Audrey was in a room she was encouraged to think of as her own. Both Audrey’s daughters -Jess and Lily- were vying for her to move in with them. Audrey felt children should not become responsible for their parents. It upset the natural order of things. Once upon a time her daughters had been friends. It had almost been three decades  since jess turned on Lily because of something she blamed Lily for something and could not forgive her. She now had two seventeen year old granddaughters who had never been permitted to meet but born six weeks apart. Jess had left home and cut Lily out of her life completely. Audrey had tried to reconcile her family several times. Audrey was dying. Audrey had moved in with Jess and Mia -her granddaughter- asked her if she was ok. For the last five months Audrey had become preoccupied with the past. Jess knew first days of shoots there was always a tense anticipation, like the moments before the first guests arrive at a party you're hosting. Jess knew how hard it was for her mother to leave and sell the house she had lived in for forty five years of her life. Jess had wanted to be with her but had to work. At least Mia was with her. 
I didn’t really enjoy this book that much. There was too much sadness and tragedy in this book. Isn’t anything involving happiness in this book? This also has too much going on for me. The back and forth between characters and the past and present wore on me also. Like The sisters split, the mothers cancer, miscarriages, and suicide. This dragged for me. Also Audrey should have been sick with a stage four cancer to go sing in a choir and go sightseeing in NYC. I just lost a friend to cancer and there wasn't any energy for quite a while before he passed. Audrey also had problems breathing how could she have accomplished all this - not realistic to me. Maybe why I didn’t enjoy this as much as many others did . As you can tell this wasn't for me.
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Audrey is determined to find out the cause of a 30 year rift between her daughter Jess and Lily before her terminal cancer diagnosis catches up with her. 

Spanning decades and quietly heartbreaking, the novel explores themes of truth, morality, regret, and family. The reader is left in the dark for the first half about what could have possibly gone wrong in this seemingly lovely family, but once the pieces fall into place the pacing picks up quite a bit.
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An event and misunderstanding has caused Audrey's two daughters, Jess and Lily, to be estranged for almost 30 years. Their teenage daughters are also forbidden to meet. Now as Audrey is nearing the end of her own life, her only wish is for her daughters to be sisters again, but does she have it in her to reveal the truth? Will the truth set her free or break her family apart forever? 

This book is definitely not a light-hearted, fun read. It took me longer than usual to finish because it's sort of depressing and frustrating. It did keep me engaged because I wanted to know what the big secret was but I was anxious to finish reading it. I disliked Jess - I think the whole drama could have been resolved from the beginning if Jess wasn't so immature; however, I really liked the granddaughters. There were some twists that were unexpected and overall well written.  If you like family drama, give this one a try!

Thank you to NetGalley and William Morrow books for a copy of this ARC in exchange for my honest review. 3.5 stars for me!
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I absolutely fell in love with this magnificent story! This book is best enjoyed without reading any spoilers, so I will keep my review spoiler-free. I had NO idea what a roller coaster of emotions I was getting into with this book, but the author did a spectacular job at keeping all the emotions REAL without any unnecessary theatrics. 

Told from multiple points of view, this novel tells the story of Audrey, a mother and grandmother who is trying her best to bring her estranged daughters Lily and Jess back together again. The reader does not know why these two have not spoken in years, only that something happened when they were young to break them apart. What could have possibly happened to drive such a deep wedge between the two sisters?

"She does not yet know it, but by the time she gets home this afternoon, the fabric of her family will have been altered irrevocably, and the morning’s events will repeat in her mind like a record stuck under the groove of a needle for the next thirty years." 

Audrey is heartbroken that her daughters, now adults with their own families, refuse to speak to one another. She must tread carefully but makes it her mission to somehow reconcile Jess Lily and their families. She knows if she pushes to hard, things will be actually get much, much worse.

"Sometimes, nowadays, only photographs reassured her that she hadn’t made it all up, that it wasn’t just a fantasy. That once upon a time her daughters had been friends." 

Lily and Jess live within a few miles of each other but have't spoken in years. They live very separate lives, the only common thread being the relationship with their mother, Audrey. I loved the author's exploration of family, love, forgiveness and marriage. Just when I thought the story was going in one direction, the author surprised me and went down a totally different path. But the common thread was a mother's determination to bring her fractured family back together again. 

"It was the same every time she drove down this road with Jess, whatever time of day or night, whatever day of the week: the hope that somehow fate would bring her daughters together on the streets of west London. But even though Lily and Jess had lived in the same city, three miles apart, for fifteen years, not once had they met by chance." 

What really drove Lily and Jess apart so many years before? The answers surprised me but were revealed in such a way that I really cared about the main characters and actually cried along with them. This is a very emotional story but also very hopeful and very real. I could not put this book down! This was my first book by Hannah Beckmerman and I absolutely adored her writing style. I feel as though I actually know these fictional characters. Beautiful, lush writing and a brisk storyline make this one of my favorite books this year. 

Favorite quote:

"Because she was certain now that a person’s story didn’t follow a straight narrative trajectory from birth to death. There were countless beginnings and endings, countless opportunities to start again. There were as many different beginnings to a life as someone was brave and kind enough to allow themselves."
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If Only I Could Tell You is a heartbreaking novel.  This book has an entertaining plot.  Secrets that has caused a family split.  I highly recommend this book.  My thanks to the publisher for my advance ebook.  This is my unbiased review.
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I love a good family drama. This one sounded like exactly the type of book I like. Lila and Jess are sisters who have teenage daughters the same age, but they haven’t spoken in years. Audrey, their mother has been diagnosed with cancer and she wants to make things right. 

This story is definitely touching and emotional. However, I really did not like one aspect of it. For the first half of the book the author danced around what happened to cause the sisters to stop speaking, without actually stating what happened. I know this was done to build intrigue and keep the reader interested, but it was irritating to me and it had the opposite effect on me. 

There also was a big trigger for me in this book that I wasn’t expecting. I was crying while reading this one. 

People who love family drama and emotional stories full of heart will probably like this one.
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Over how many decades can a covert family secret divide sisters? It's been 28 years for sisters Jess and Lily, but now that their mother Audrey has terminal cancer, and Lily's hotshot lawyer husband is off to the States for six months (maybe more), surely it's time to clear the decks, air the family laundry, expose all the secrets. Isn't it?


Narrated from triple points of view: Audrey, Jess, Lily, this psychological evocation set in London will resonate with fans of Lisa Jewell and Paula Hawkins, any reader who wishes a clearer understanding of Family, or who yearns for Second Chances.
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I thought this was very, very good. Well written and emotionally engaging. I definitely recommend it. Thank you to netgalley for the arc.
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