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If Only I Could Tell You

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  218 ratings  ·  130 reviews
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 year
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published February 26th 2019 by Orion (first published February 21st 2019)
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4.34  · 
Rating details
 ·  218 ratings  ·  130 reviews

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Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
A very intriguing start. Sisters Jess and Lily are getting ready for school when Lily goes into the spare room which she was asked not to. We don’t know what she sees but it causes the sisters to be estranged for years to come. I’m so pleased, I had thought I had this all worked out and I was so wrong!!

We then move forwards 28 years and Audrey is moving into her daughter Jess’s house as she is dying. Audrey’s last wish would be for her daughters to be reconciled. But can it be fixed?

The title “
Feb 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Trigger warning: this book talks about serious illness, miscarriage, suicide…

If Only I Could Tell You is a book everyone talked about still in 2018, even though it officially came out few days ago.
Many bloggers said it will be on most people favourite lists for 2019, how emotional and touching it was, and now when the book is released, it’s Goodreads page is full of positive, 5 and 4 stars reviews.

I am aware that I am in minority here, but I have to say I didn’t like this story as much as others
Fabulous Book Fiend
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I should not have started this book before bedtime because then bedtime ended up being 4am with an alarm set so I could wake up and immediately finish reading this. This book covers so much: Family, friendship, love, loos, grief and honesty. I really didn't know which direction this book was going to turn in next, there is just so much depth and so many hidden messages throughout the novel.

I loved the family featured in the novel. Audrey is mother to Lily and Jess and grandmother to Mia (Jess's
Feb 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is with a heart laden with sadness and eyes soaked in tears, I write this difficult review.
If you ever want to read a book which makes you cry - read this

If you ever want to feel deep melancholy - read this

If you ever want to feel a mother's love - read this

If you ever want to feel sisters hate for 28 years - read this

If you ever want to see sisters bonding - read this

If you ever want to read about family and strength - read this.

A dying mother and estranged sisters due to a misunderstandin
Adele Shea
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
After finding out she has terminal cancer, Audrey, more than ever, wants her daughters to rebuild their relationship after becoming estranged 28 years previous.
Lily, still does not know the reason Jess hates her. Bridges need to be built but Jess is adamant Lily is to blame for their sisters death and their fathers suicide.

Have your tissues at the ready. I definitely recommend this book. 4.5*
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
How can a family estrangement last for nearly 30 years. Audrey would like to know the answer. Her two daughters have been estranged ever since 10 year old Jess stopped speaking to elder sister Lily; even their own children have never been allowed to get to know each other. Now Audrey has her own battle to face and her dearest wish is for her family to come together again. The problem is that because she doesn’t know what caused the divide, she doesn’t know how to fix it.

Told from the perspective
Tracy Fenton
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
OMG I loved this book. There aren’t many books that I start reading and by chapter 3 I can’t stop thinking about the characters but If Only I Could Tell You is definitely one of them.

This book covers everything you need for a heart-warming, heart-breaking story. Family, friendship, love, guilt, lies, grief, honesty, deception, bravery, acceptance and fear.

The story revolves around Audrey, a mother to 2 grown up women Jess and Lily, each with a daughter of their own. However Jess and Lily haven’t
Dec 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was very lucky and honoured to receive an exclusive signed proof from the very first print run of If Only I Could Tell You. This is a book that I've been looking forward to for a long long time.

To be honest, I'm struggling to find the words to describe just how much this book has affected me. With themes that have felt very personal to me at the moment, at times I found it quite difficult. However, the writing and the story line are just so very very beautiful that I found myself becoming comf
Joanne Robertson
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As a mum this book broke my heart into so many pieces that I’m surprised I didn’t miss one when I pieced it back together again! It struck such a personal chord with me as I have three very headstrong, feisty and opinionated daughters (my fault for raising them not to be quiet little pushovers like me!) and when they fall out it is a major war zone and I’m caught in the middle of all the drama! It’s hard for me to remain impartial and show that I am there for everyone but, thankfully, it usually ...more
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If Only I Could Tell You is a book that I jumped at the chance to read solely on everything I had heard about the author. I didn’t even spend much time reading the synopsis. However little is revealed there, apart from mentioning a family rift and Audrey’s determination to mend it.

I am going to attempt to review this book without saying too much about it. It is one that is appreciated more the less you know. But I will say that Audrey is a character who I adored. I loved her spirit, determinatio
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
*I voluntarily reviewed this book from Netgalley

I always find that the hardest reviews to write are the ones where I absolutely adored the book so much that I don't really know how to put it into words how special that book is. Well, this is one of those times. Completely enthralling, heartbreakingly emotional, and utterly consuming are just some of the phrases that I associate with the magic that lies between these pages and it is truly a book that should not be missed.

One fateful day all those
Clair Sharpe
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
After seeing this around on Twitter a lot I was thrilled to be invited on the blog tour. I enjoy reading the journalistic pieces Beckerman writes and I just knew by looking at this one that I was going to love it.
Audrey's two daughters Jess and Lily have been estranged for over 30 years. Audrey is dying of cancer and wants more than anything to bring her family back together before she dies but even she does not really know what caused the rift between them. Jess is a stressed out single mum to
Jo Smith
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is exquisitely painful, yet warming to the soul. A poignant story of a family torn apart by illness, regret, and untold feelings.
We follow Lilly, and Jess two estranged sisters who’s mother is terminally ill. Audrey wants nothing more than to mend her wounded family, but does she still have time?
Expect this book to break your heart, and make you smile. Although not always an easy read, the heartbreak is worth the pleasure. Beautifully written, would recommend.
Thank you to Netgalley,
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Grab your tissues because you will need them when reading this book .

Audreys daughters lily and Jess are estranged and her teenage granddaughters Mia (Jess’s daughter) and Phoebe ( lily’s daughter) have never met. Audrey’s greatest wish is that they can all become a family again.

The events which occurred in 1988 has caused a deep rift which has continued for decades. I must admit I was completely wrong in my guess of what happened on that day and was shocked to find out the real events which w
Sara Clifford-gray
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
What happened on that morning in 1988 when ten year old Jess caught her 15 year old sister Lilly coming out of the spare bedroom? It was enough to fuel a rift between the two sisters which went on for decades.

When their mother Audrey becomes desperately ill, she moves in Jess and her grand daughter Mia due and vows to reunite the two sisters and their own daughter, Phoebe and Mia who have only met a handful of times.

I had read about a twist in the middle of the book, so was prepared for it, and
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-releases, 2019

"If Only I Could Tell You" by Hannah Beckerman introduces us to two sisters, Jess and Lily, separated by a secret and guilt for almost most of their lives. They both have children of their own now: Mia and Phoebe, sixteen - years - old cousins who were never allowed to meet. After Audrey, mother of Jess and Lily, has been diagnosed with cancer, she's been living with Jess and she's desperate to find out what has happened in the past, why her daughters are estranged, and to bring the family toget
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-read-2019
Oh wow. I don’t even know where to start with this review. It’s taken me all morning just to get started and I’ve deleted and started again a zillion times. So forgive me but I’m going to gush. THIS BOOK IS BEAUTIFUL! From the cover (I mean, Look at it!) to the gorgeously tender, heartbreaking and touching story inside – BEAUTIFUL.

I was lucky enough to discover Hannah Beckerman five years ago when I was sent a signed copy of her debut novel The Dead Wife’s Handbook (Which I reviewed HERE) and so
Joanna Park
Mar 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
If Only I Could Tell You is a beautiful, emotional book that will stay with me for a long time.

The reader is immediately absorbed into the story with some of the situations feeling very realistic that it’s impossible not to feel involved in the story. As someone whose has had their fair share of sister dramas over the years the dialogue really resonated with me and I found some of the scenarios achingly familiar, as I had been through similar.

Audrey is a wonderful main character who it’s impossi
Feb 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Poruszająca, wzruszająca, emocjonująca, ujmująca - takimi przymiotnikami mogłabym opisać tę historię. Historię o siostrach, które od kilkudziesięciu lat nie odzywają się do siebie, o kuzynkach, które nie mogą się poznać i o matce, która zrobi wszystko, by wyjaśnić nieporozumienia i doprowadzić do rodzinnego pojednania. A musicie wiedzieć, że nie ma na to zbyt wiele czasu... Macie ochotę pochlipać nad książką, a może nawet wylać morze łez? Proszę bardzo, powieść Beckerman zapewni Wam wszystkie te ...more
Keirstin Smith (CloudOfThoughts)
If Only I Could Tell You by author Hannah Beckerman is a heart pulling and shocking novel. The twist was thrilling and heartbreaking but the ending made the entire novel and left my heart healed!
Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for an arc copy of If I Could Tell You in exchange for an honest review.
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
Oh where on earth do I start with this beautiful story? Sometimes, you just read a book that resonates so deeply within you that you find it difficult to put into words just how special that book is. If Only I Could Tell You is one such book. It's a story about sisters, the bond between mother and daughter and the secrets that a family hides. It's poignant, it's heartfelt and it is utterly beautiful.

We read the views of three female characters. Audrey, the mother, and Lily and Jess, the two estr
Nov 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is an excellent novel with a conflict between two sisters at its heart. Jess has resented Lily ever since 1988, when she was 10 and Lily was 16, and something terrible happened. Now, almost 30 years later, their mother Audrey is dying of cancer, and it's her dearest wish to see her daughters reunited, particularly as they have daughters themselves, Mia and Phoebe, who are about the same age, now 18. But what was it which drew them apart, and can they confront their pasts in order to move fo ...more
Karen Whittard
Dec 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Grab the tissues you will need them. A heartbreaking story from the beginning to the end. I’m not sure how I read it all as I was s blubbering mess all the way through. But kudos to the author for moving me so much.
Mar 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 368

Publisher - Orion

Source - Review Copy

Blurb from Goodreads

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. A
Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Novel set in LONDON (..there's always a chance of reconciliation...)


“Forgiveness is a decision…” Grandmother Audrey is in the later stages of cancer, but although her daughters Jess and Lily know about her disease, they are unaware of the full picture and the short amount of time that she actually has before her. She has kept the recent and very worrying results to herself.

Way back, when the daughters were 10 and 15 respectively. an incident occurred in their lives that set Jess on the pa
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It was waaaaaay back in 2014, heck, maybe even 2013 when I read Hannah’s debut novel The Dead Wife’s Handbook. I still have a signed proof sitting on my bookshelf of ‘books to keep forever’ and still remember the effect it had on me when I read it for the first time. Hannah’s writing was beautiful and lyrical and she had the ability to paint this vast and immersive world for the reader to get lost in. There are faded highlighter marks and bent sticky notes from where I recorded all the quotes an ...more
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful book! Heartbreaking … but so, so beautiful!

Audrey is terminally ill and moves in with her daughter, single mom Jess, and teenage granddaughter Mia. It was a difficult choice deciding who she should live with, Jess or her other daughter Lily, especially as the two haven’t spoken for 30 years! But eventually, Audrey is sure that she must live with the child who needs her most. Lily is a successful career woman with a secure marriage and a teenage daughter, Phoebe, almost the same
Zoé-lee O'farrell
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tf

What can I say that has not already been said? Get the blinking tissues ready for this one, I mean this book should come with that warning!! We are not talking about the small leaky problem, we are talking huge tears, which could eventually turn into sobs, especially if you are feeling emotional already! Jeez!

The three women, Audrey, the mother and her two children, Lily and Jess ripped apart by a terrible secret. It did keep me guessing what the secret was and I thought I had got it a few times
Bucks, Books & Beyond
Feb 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
To begin with this books starts of as something of a mystery. Something happened between sisters Jess and Lily when they were young that completely tore them apart and resulted in them not speaking for the best part of three decades. I love a plot that centres around some unresolved issues so for me straight away as a reader I was hooked wanting to know what had happened that was so bad that meant two sisters would not speak or even acknowledge each others existence.

The book is told primarily f
Ronnie Turner
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Audrey is a loving mother to two grown-up daughters. She has led a long and happy life. But now, the past and the present are in sharp resolution. Because Audrey has cancer. Her independence is slipping and her strength alongside it. With time ebbing away, she is resolute in her mission. To overcome her fear and face up to a dark part of her past, to a place she has shied away from for too long. Something terrible happened when her daughters, Lily and Jess, were young, something that split their ...more
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Hannah Beckerman is an author, journalist, event chair and broadcaster. In the UK she writes for The Observer, The FT Weekend Magazine and The Sunday Express, and is a book critic on BBC Radio 2. She regularly chairs at literary events and panels across the UK and has judged numerous book prizes including the Costa Book Awards.

Before becoming a writer, Hannah was a TV and film producer, spending