If Only I Could Tell You: A Novel
Jess and Lily haven't spoken since they were children. One defining event made Jess determined to cut Lily out forever, and she stuck to it for decades, refusing to even allow her daughter to meet her cousin. Their mother Audrey has tried desperately to repair the family, but her terminal cancer makes her daughters' reconciliation imperative.
Told through flashbacks, the secrets that tore the family apart are slowly revealed--too slowly. There are times the slow reveal can work, but it was mostly frustrating here. I found the whole story a little relentless--relentless anger, tragedy, and secrets. It's unfortunate, because the frustration overshadowed an emotionally complex story that I ultimately felt ambivalent about. I appreciated the emotional resonance and found it touching, but many of the stylistic choices just didn't work for me.
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Hannah Beckerman pens a life-affirming novel that tells the story of a family divided and the secret that can possibly unite them—a must for fans of This Is Us.
“I loved it (even though it made me cry).”—Jojo Moyes
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?
“Utterly compelling and completely heartbreaking. I couldn’t put it down.”
— Ruth Hogan
“Totally engrossing, achingly sad and so perceptive about the corrosive legacy of family secrets.”—Kate Eberlen, author of Miss You