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Things I Want My Daughters to Know
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Things I Want My Daughters to Know

3.66  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,931 Ratings  ·  665 Reviews
When Barbara realizes time is running out, she writes letters to her four daughters, aware they'll be facing the trials and triumphs of life without her at their side. But how can she leave them when they still have so much growing up to do?
Paperback, 437 pages
Published September 1st 2008 by Penguin Books (first published 2007)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kathy McC
I would like to have given this 3.5 stars. THe premise of the book, "How do you cope in a world without your mother"? I truly enjoyed 3/4 of the book and found it to be wonderfully written. The characters came alive for me and the true-to-life problems were realistic. But at the end- everything was wrapped up with a big, "happily-ever-after" bow. I am all for happy endings, but in this case too many issues were simply erased or glossed over to make everyone' lives sunshine and blue sky.
The pro
This is something I walked by in the library and though "why the hell not." I could have saved a day or two of my life.

Normally I run away at the sight of first abrupt point of view change between first and third person story telling. Here, I knew it was going to happen and I still read it. The letters and diary entries made it okay somehow. Unfortunately that's about it.

It took me longer than it should have to remember all the names of the girls and how to tell them apart. That's a sure sign
Dec 06, 2009 Chloe rated it it was amazing
Barbara has been diagnosed with cancer, and realises she isn’t going to be around for her family much longer. So she decides to write her four daughters a series of letters, each personal and individual for them, so that they have a little bit of their mother left after she has gone.

Her daughters are devastated at their loss, but will they manage to draw any comfort from their mothers letters?? Will they be able to come together as a family to miss their mother properly, and will the letters set
Jan 19, 2009 Kelly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I had trouble getting into this story. It had so many different "main" characters that I didn't feel a real connection with any of them. The book switches point of view among the 4 daughters and the husband. (Unless you count all the letters and diary entries from the mom
Mar 24, 2015 Aleksandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Odlična, dirljiva ali bez patetike, optimistična i pored naizgled "teške" teme, lako se čita ali nije "lagana" jer te natjera da se malo podsjetiš pravih životnih vrijednosti, od mene preporuka.
Didn't love it but didn't hate it.

Taken place somewhere in the UK, it's a story about a mother name Barbara who passed away due to cancer and the life lessons she left behind in letters and journals to her 4 daughters, Lisa, Jennifer, Amanda, and Hannah. Mark, the man that she loved and married (2nd marriage)has to deal with all the drama the daughters go thru and unfotunately without his wife he struggles to juggle all the emotions and being a great father figure.

Throughout the book, you will u
Kristi Sawyer
Aug 09, 2015 Kristi Sawyer rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, fiction
Aw what a gorgeous story! It broke my heart, it made me laugh, it made me smile, it was just great.

Barbara knew she was dying, way too young. She wanted to see her four daughters get married, see her grand-children, and help to guide their decisions and direction in life. So, she decides to write them letters. They are warm, emotional and full of love and hope.

I think this book was especially well-written. Written from the perspective of all four daughters, as well as Barbara's ex-husband, Mar
Aug 18, 2013 Cheryl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Already loving this book. I knew I was in big trouble when I was crying at only page 2.
Sep 20, 2010 April rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010-reads
After learning she has cancer, Barbara starts writing letters to each of her four girls. Letters to be opened following her death. She also begins a journal that she fills with her favorite stories, confessions, and important things she wants her daughters to know. Things that she couldn't seem to articulate or voice while alive...for some reason or another.

Told from five different points-of-view: each of the four daughters and her second husband, the book is hard to follow and slightly choppy a
Mar 09, 2009 Jennifer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: light-reading
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 30, 2012 Jessica rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was this months book club selection. I got through 100 pages, hoping things would improve before I couldn't handle it any longer and skim-read through to the end.

I liked the idea of it: mother who dies of cancer leaves each of her 4 daughters a letter with advice/ last words as well as selections from her journal. The book switches perspective between all the daughters, their spouses/boyfriends, the gets kind of confusing. Everyone has something in their life that needs fixing a
Rosabelle Purnama
Aug 20, 2010 Rosabelle Purnama rated it it was ok
Shelves: drama, books-i-borrow
Reading this book to me feels like watching one of those made for TV movie that are aired on Hallmark channel. The beginning was really sad. This book is about a mother, who's dying from cancer and decided to write a diary of the last days of her life to her 4 daughters. She also left each of the daughters a letter for them to read after she died. The story unfolds the life of the 4 sisters, their interaction with each other, their life after their mother died and their interaction with Mark, th ...more
Dale Harcombe
Dec 15, 2011 Dale Harcombe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is another book about letters and relationships. Barbara, aware she is dying on cancer, writes to her four daughters. If it sounds morbid, it isn’t. It is beautifully done and told with humour as well as being one that made me shed a few tears. I have read a couple of Elizabeth Noble’s other books, The Alphabet Weekends and The Reading Group and enjoyed them, but this is my favourite. It’s a beautiful and realistic picture of the differences that exist in families and the way sisters can vi ...more
Aug 18, 2010 Cynthia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
To me this book was light reading. You can pick it up or put it down any time. You see a family of grown daughters that lost their mother, fall apart, then patch it up. It is very british in language, and refers to namebrands and stores and slang that I am unfamiliar with. Didnt fall in love with any of the characters and got tired of reading about all the men they slept with over the years. There are a few very descriptive sexual encounters that were completely unnecessary, and took away from w ...more
Juinita Senduk
Feb 05, 2012 Juinita Senduk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book when I was in Bali. It was rainy day and I need a book to accompany my 'me time' in Bali. I remember, there is another book that I want to buy, but somehow, I chose to buy Elizabeth Noble's book.

When my friend asked me what is the reason I bought this book, I told him that maybe because I'm a mother :-)

But when I read it during my way to the office every morning, or before my bedtime, I found that the book taught me about life itself, about love, about being a mother, about
Wow! I kind of love this book, it is though, light reading. One could (somehow) relate to the problems as it is a family orientated book. It gives you the perspective coming from five main characters; a girl who is becoming a teenager, the girl who keeps running away from problems instead of finding a solution, a girl who is affraid to commitment, a girl who find life difficult as she does not discuss problems and a man who has his own problem (can't tell you what, I've already gave more than en ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laura Collins
Mar 30, 2014 Laura Collins rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Disappointing read. Too many female characters, which was confusing. Predictable, mumsy, 'safe' approach. Nothing to see here, people.

(On a separate note, why do UK publishers think that we want books aimed at women to have cover designs with pink swirly writing and whimsical illustrations of Laura Ashley-clad girls?)
Box of tissue needed. Takes place in London, England early 90s where you meet lady with four daughters who are all different, but connected to a mother who loves them dearly. She has passed on and left them each a letter, plus a copy of her journal of her thoughts and stories of her past. Life unravels for them all, in one way or another, but them come together to keep the family unit as one regardless of the circumstances of each of their lives. Enjoyed.
Nov 23, 2009 penelopewanders rated it really liked it
Here as a ring. Wow! Already a tear-jerker and I'm only about twenty pages into the book. Bring on the kleenex!
The good news is that I didn't have to weep throughout the book, although it was a moving story with the complicated relationships in a family and in couples well-portrayed. As a daughter and a mother, I wondered what I would write to my children - and wished my mother had been able to do something like that before she died.
Aug 01, 2011 Sasha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 29, 2009 Karenshaff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a great story! Sad, funny, "real" and lots of relationships between sisters, and their spouses/father-daughter well developed characters and well told story. I am almost done the book and feel like I know the people, and that I will miss them when I am done reading it; Read it!
Olivia Johnston
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 08, 2008 Carmela rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: girls
Recommended to Carmela by: mom
Shelves: 50-in-year
This was a great story, but it was set in Britain and I found that distracting. It was as though an American wrote a book and tried to make it British. Sort of odd. But if you can read around that, it's a really good story.
Linda Bernini
a me è piaciuto!

Sarà che sono in un periodo un po' particolare della mia vita..con una bimba piccola che mi gira per casa..e quindi forse l'ho visto sotto un'altra luce e l'ho apprezzato in modo particolare!

Iniziato per caso..mi ispirava il titolo! Non avevo letto la trama e quindi non sapevo a cosa andavo incontro..

Leggendo queste pagine, attraverso la madre, si intrecciano le storie di 4 sorelle/sorellastre che superano il lutto della madre e prendono in mano la propria vita...

Commovente e se
Nov 17, 2009 Glenda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a cancer survivor with 2 daughters I could relate to this book and loved the letters Barbara (the mother) wrote to her daughters. This shows a mothers love and how she affects her family, even after she's gone.
Mar 13, 2014 Ceci rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The beginning of this book had me anticipating a long restorative journey. I thought this would be a book that I would, perhaps, want to pass on to my own daughter someday. While it was a nicely written story and the characters were intriguing, it was lacking by the end. It almost felt like a low budget film that spent all of their money on the beginning of the movie and had to skimp to end on time and under budget. My sister bought this for me as a gift and we were reading it together. She coul ...more
Jul 06, 2009 Jamie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book started out okay but then the theme seemed to change to things that I dont enjoy reading about. I cant recommend it because it wasn't very clean.
Sallyann Van leeuwen
3.5 stars. Audio version of the book. Love this kind of sentimental story normally, but it didn't really connect with me, maybe I wasn't in the mood.
Jun 23, 2013 Emma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh I loved this, had me laughing and crying. A real heart breaking but uplifting book, make sure you have the tissues ready.
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weepy one 6 74 Jun 04, 2013 05:25AM  
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.
(1)literature & fiction

Elizabeth Noble was born in High Wycombe, Bucks, and now lives in New York with her husband and two daughters. She studied English at Oxford University and after graduating embarked on a career in publishing before taking up writing full time. She is the author of seven novels, The Rea
More about Elizabeth Noble...

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“could i have loved you better? maybe. if that's true, then i'm sorry. could i have loved you more? i don't think it's possible. ” 47 likes
“you're my first born child, and the person who first showed me the miracle of this love a mother has for her child. ” 31 likes
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