Title: If Only I Could Tell You
Author: Hannah Beckerman
Publisher: Orion Books
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?
If Only I Could Tell You is a powerfully emotional read. The synopsis for this novel doesn’t give much away, so I’ll keep this review as vague as possible!
Hannah Beckerman doesn’t have to resort to really cheesy scenes or cheap shocks to drive home the poignancy and sadness of what is happening within Audrey’s family.
I love the characters, though I have to admit that as I read on, I felt Jess was a bit too harsh and unmoving considering what her mother (and indeed her sister) were going through, but I did understand where she was coming from. I ended up really liking both Jess and Lily (poor Lily! I felt for her so much), as well as lovely Audrey. Some of the characters’ decisions were questionable at times, which just made this novel feel more real – they’re not perfect and we can’t expect them to be if they’re proper, convincing people. As a family they’ve faced a horrendous amount of heartbreak, and we as the reader learn more through the switching of perspective, between Audrey, Jess and Lily – I really like this structure.
If Only I Could Tell You is definitely a novel about not just family but friendship, difficult decisions and forgiveness. There are some surprises in this novel as well as some heart-warming parts, and I have to admit that I definitely finished this book feeling emotionally drained but really satisfied too. I would highly recommend this beautifully written book to anyone who fancies something deep, heartfelt and lovely.
Many thanks to Orion for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.