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If Only I Could Tell You
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If Only I Could Tell You

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  6,495 ratings  ·  763 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
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published February 21st 2019 by Orion
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Average rating 3.86  · 
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 ·  6,495 ratings  ·  763 reviews

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Irena BookDustMagic
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
Nilufer Ozmekik
Oct 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
5 stars to the writing, story development, pacing

3 stars to the characters Lily and Jess

So final decision: 4 heart-breaking, tear jerker, emotionally heavy, poignant, memorable, dysfunctional stars!

As a start trying to read this book and facing with my own skeletons in the closet were the toughest tasks I lately endured.
I guess all the women readers had shaken tremendously as soon as they start flipping pages because every one of us are mothers, sisters, daughters, nieces, granddaughters and
Oct 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Hannah Beckerman has written a supremely emotional story, seriously this book should come with a box of Kleenex! This book did not break my heart it tore it out of my chest, chewed it up, spit it out, stomped on it a couple times and then slammed it against the wall! When I finish the book I dried my tears, took a deep breath, and just sat there quietly and thought. It is days later now and I’m still thinking about it. This book was a poignant look at one family’s journey to healing. Sisters ...more
♡ ᴅ ʀ ᴇ ᴀ ᴍ ♡ (semi-hiatus)
DNF @ 31%

Shoot! I should’ve read trigger warnings of this book first. I knew there might be some unexpected things but I’ve never thought that it would include THISSS. God. I can’t unread what I’ve just read but it would be better if I will no longer continue reading it and find spoilers to read instead.

P.S. I won’t rate this book since it’s not its fault. It’s me. Only me.
(Next time, I’ll read trigger warnings before I start reading any books.)
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Oct 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Oh, how I love an emotional story of family.

Audrey’s Family is a mess. Her daughters, Jess and Lily, no longer speak to each other, and her granddaughters have never met.

There’s a secret that divides the family, but it’s also a loosely-tied tether that connects them.

Will this broken family ever reconnect?

If Only I Could Tell You is an authentic, sad, somber, and genuine story of sisterhood in all its rawness. Audrey is ill, and she needs the support of both daughters. Will Jess and Lily come
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 “
This is one of the saddest books I’ve ever read. It actually made me feel psychically depressed at times while reading this. This is a contemporary story that follows this mother Audrey, and her adult daughters Jess and Lily don’t speak to each other and their teenage daughters have never met, all because of this secret that happened when they were children. You spend the story trying to figure out what happened to their family, and along the way you get your heart broken into pieces.

This book
Jul 27, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don’t think I was in the right frame of mind for this book but I’m not sure if I ever would be. Note to self - read blurbs more carefully. This brought back too many memory of watching my mother stoically await the fate that multiple myeloma had in store for her. Add to that the fact that I didn’t like two of the main characters. One thing I find hard to deal with is when parents put so much pressure on their kids to academically succeed as a way of compensating for their own lack of ...more
Apr 21, 2019 rated it liked it
If only I could like this book more.

Foreshadowing is a potent tool. Very potent. Unfortunately this book uses it the way a three-year old talks to a parent:
"Daddy, I saw!"
"What did you see?"
"If only I could tell you!"
"OK, then don't tell me."
"But guess!"
"Was it an animal?"
"If only I could tell you!"
"A man?"
"If only I could tell you!"
"OK, then let's play a game..."
"Nonono, you MUST guess. It has legs!"
"How many legs?"
"If only I could tell you!"

When I reached the second part of the book I started
Denise  Reed
This was my BOTM for September, and I wanted to love it, as I am sucker for these broken family dramas, but this one was just way too over the top for me.

SLIGHT SPOILER ALERT -- This book covers way too many topics for one (rather short) book: assisted suicide, suicide, coming out, infidelity, cancer, multiple miscarriages. Even re-reading the list makes my head spin. It was just too much for me - tackling a couple of these issues would still have evoked the same type of emotions in the reader
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: release-2019
5 “If Only I Could Tell You” is an engaging, emotionally charged, heartbreaking novel of how one family of women live in sadness, confusion and bitterness based off each owns recollections of their family’s past, disturbing secrets, and the construed perceptions of a child.

Mother Audrey, has stage four cancer and a few short months left, she’s devastated her daughters have a decades old rift with each other, Jess still won’t speak or even be in the same room with her sister Lily. Her one wish
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
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
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
Sarah Ali
Oct 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A book ready to make the reader cry....
The book is expressing loneliness, sadness, tenderness
And some hilarious ways to live life.....
If u r finding a reason to cry
This book is awesome!!!
Book of the Month
Why I love it
by Etaf Rum

Warning—have tissues at hand for this beautifully heartbreaking story! If Only I Could Tell You is half mystery, half tender tale about grief and estrangement and the kind of loss that can break even the closest family apart. A must read!

Imagine keeping a secret of something you saw—a secret that will have heartbreaking effects on your entire family—only to find out that what you had seen had been misconstrued all along?

One morning in 1988, ten-year-old Jess sees her
Nov 05, 2019 rated it liked it
If Only I Could Tell You is a beautiful and emotional story of a sisterhood and family that is so strong.

Talk about needing a box of tissues for this book! There is so much depth in this book and writing is just so beautiful!

I highly recommend this one to fans of powerful family stories! I haven't read a story like this in awhile and left my heart so full but sad.

I feel like there was a lot going on with this book and very heavy feeling which was only issue since it was a little more drama then
Dale Harcombe
May 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Audrey has two daughters, Lily and Jess who have not spoken to each other for years. Lily and Jess have two daughters close in age but now teenagers, the cousins, Phoebe and Mia, a have never been allowed to meet and get to know each other. An event from the past and a secret held has shattered this family. After her recent diagnose Audrey knows time is running out for her. She is determined to try and bring her daughters together before she dies. Is it possible to heal the hurts of the past? ...more
Apr 18, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Puaj. Maybe it's well written, but the argument, Jesus. It's like this: two sisters, a secret, drama, drama, their mom, drama, drama, drama, small revelation, more drama forever, and the revelation deserves a big eye roll. I don't get the big rating. Are you serious?
Helen Carolan
Mar 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Oh dear such a predictable family drama. Audrey is dying from cancer.Her 2 daughters have not spoken to each other for 30 years. Audrey decides to find out why and get them together again before she dies. Very average read.
Mary Jackson _TheMaryReader
Sep 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Who is ready to cry? Sometimes you just need that one book that has all the feels. Well I have found it If Only I Could Tell You is that book of 2019.
They say this is for fans of This Is Us but I am here to tell you it is much better than This Is Us.
The sisters have a secret. One that has torn them a part for many years. Want me to tell you the secret? Well it all started when one of the sisters was 10 years old. Wait I can't tell you the secret you have to get your own copy and find out what
Sep 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
This was my BOTM pick and I wanted to like it, but it just didn’t work for me. It brought up some good points, and would warrant some good discussions in a group, but for me-it just wasn’t a match. It also contained a whole slew of topics that just never felt fully developed, but just glossed over a bit. It was a weird read for me, but I could see some people really enjoying it.
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*
Sep 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Warning, the big reveal doesn't come until around page 300.

If you have the stamina to read through 75% of the book for the story to come together, I would say to pick up this book. It's sentimental and tugs at your heartstrings in a completely different way.
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
Mar 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
A middle class soap opera. The drama is enabled only by the mind-boggling lack of communication between characters blessed with the emotional maturity of a mayfly.
Unlikeable characters and too much descriptive writing (by the end I was eye rolling at all the ‘it was as if..’s and the ‘like a..’s). I forced myself to finish.
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
Sep 29, 2019 rated it did not like it
I would have gotten more enjoyment out of walking into oncoming traffic.
Imagine compiling every horrific and depressing thing that can happen to a person and then turning it into a book. I wanted to know the secret so I masochistically kept reading, but I genuinely wish I hadn’t.
Ellen ✦ Book Bellas ✦
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
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
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Book of The Month: If Only I Could Tell You 1 23 Aug 31, 2019 10:41AM  

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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
“There’ll always be someone who disapproves of the choices you make. But as long as you understand the reasons for them, as long as you’re happy with them and no one’s unduly hurt by them, you need to be strong enough – brave enough – to make your own decisions.” 6 likes
“Once upon a time Audrey had believed that her life was set of a clear path and that any diversion led to a complete derailment. Only now did she realize that those moments of change were not an ending but a beginning: a chance for a different kind of life, a different kind of journey, a different form of happiness" (p. 348)” 1 likes
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