The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

 

44017619Publisher: Quercus

Publishing Date: 18th April 2019

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 400

Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Romance

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Hardcover | Paperback (out on 05.03.2020)

 

Synopsis:

Tiffy Moore and Leon Twomey each have a problem and need a quick fix.

Tiffy’s been dumped by her cheating boyfriend and urgently needs a new flat. But earning minimum wage at a quirky publishing house means that her choices are limited in London.

Leon, a palliative care nurse, is more concerned with other people’s welfare than his own. Along with working night shifts looking after the terminally ill, his sole focus is on raising money to fight his brother’s unfair imprisonment.

Leon has a flat that he only uses 9 to 5. Tiffy works 9 to 5 and needs a place to sleep. The solution to their problems? To share a bed of course…

As Leon and Tiffy’s unusual arrangement becomes a reality, they start to connect through Post-It notes left for each other around the flat.

Can true love blossom even in the unlikeliest of situations?
Can true love blossom even if you never see one another?
Or does true love blossom when you are least expecting it?

Rating: five-stars

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I really wasn’t sure how it’s possible that “Tiffy and Leon share a bed. Tiffy and Leon have never met” but it turned out that yes, it is possible. They are flatmates – with a twist. Leon needs some money to pay the solicitor, Tiffy needs a flat after her final break – up with Justin. Leon is in the flat only during the day, as he works night shifts at the hospice. Tiffy is in the flat during the evening and night, as she works in publishing as an assistant book editor. So they start to share a one bedroom flat and they never have to meet! That’s it! They start to leave post – it notes for each other about bin days, leftover food etc, but slowly those notes evolve into something deeper and more intimate. They start to have a connection. And then they meet…

You know it, when you had a feeling that you’ve simply clicked with the book, right? Well, I clicked with “The Flatshare”. This was an epic, beautiful, romantic love story that had this “something” that makes a novel absolutely outstanding for you. I started reading “The Flatshare” actually not knowing what to expect but hoping that it’s going to be something particularly beautiful, and I was hooked right from the beginning.

The characters in this book were immediately likeable and believable, and not only the main characters but the group surrounding Tiffy and also Leon’s family who added so much depth and perspective to this story. I loved Tiffy from the word go. She’s quirky, she’s smart and has brilliant one – liners, and simply feels human, especially as she has to overcome her personal obstacles. She’s trying to move on from her recent relationship and slowly comes to realise, how abusive it was, and the word gaslighting comes to mind here. I have kept everything crossed for Tiffy, I wished her all the best in the world and it was a real, real joy to see her growing in confidence in some matters.
And Leon as well. He’s a bit withdrawn, on the quiet side but he has so many valuable qualities. He’s currently campaigning for the appeal of his – presumably – wrongly convicted younger brother who is now in prison. And he’s also trying to track down the long – lost love of one of his patients in hospice. At the beginning I had some problems with the chapters told from Leon’s point of view, they were specifically written, but quickly I got used to his voice and was actually happy that he had this distinctive tone.

The idea with the post – its was ingenious. For the first few months of living together Tiffy and Leon communicate via notes left around the flat. They start with the dates of the bin days and leftover food but over time they start to pick up on each other’s moods through the little cues they leave around the flat: the half – drunk cups of tea or coffee, the unwashed dish, and slowly the correspondence gathers depth and intimacy. I loved how they open up to each other in their post – it notes, how honest they are and how attentive they are, paying attention to the smallest details.

The pacing was perfect, all the time there was something happening. The build up for the characters to meet was brilliant. It took its time but it was so necessary in my opinion, and it was so enthralling, this waiting for them to actually meet in person. I was completely invested in Tiffy and Leon’s lives. Beth O’Leary’s writing style is so, so vivid, chatty and charismatic.
The book was full of so incredibly funny moments, guys, they had me chuckling to myself, and as I am currently struggling a bit with my mental health it isn’t so obvious that something funny will make me smile. Well, this book did it, so already for this it deserves a standing ovation from me. But it is also very emotional – but not too wishy – washy – and it works perfectly well with all those humorous moments, scenes and witty dialogues. And the author handles the heavier issues with a lot of understanding and gentleness.
“The Flatshare” was an uplifting, charming and comforting novel. Actually, it has everything I have expected from it and much more and I can’t believe that it’s the author’s debut. It has a brilliant, likeable and believable characters, wonderful storyline that feels so fresh and unique. I loved it totally and I can’t recommend it to you highly enough!

 

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The Rosie Result by Graeme Simsion

The Rosie Result by Graeme Simsion

 

cover154110-mediumPublisher: Penguin

Publishing Date: 4th April 2019

Series: The Rosie Project #3

Source:  Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!

Number of pages: 384

Genre: General Fiction (Adult)

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Hardcover | Paperback (out on 09.01.2020)

 

Synopsis:

The Rosie Result is the triumphant final instalment of the internationally bestselling series that began with The Rosie Project.

——

‘The phone call signalling an escalation in the Hudson Adjustment Problem came at 10:18 a.m. on a Friday morning . . .’

Meet Don Tillman, the genetics professor with a scientific approach to everything. But he’s facing a set of human dilemmas tougher than the trickiest of equations.

Right now he is in professional hot water after a lecture goes viral; his wife of 4,380 days, Rosie, is about to lose the research job she loves; and – the most serious problem of all – their eleven-year-old son, Hudson, is struggling at school. He’s a smart kid, but socially awkward-not fitting in.

Fortunately, Don’s had a lifetime’s experience of not fitting in. And he’s going to share the solutions with Hudson. He’ll need the help of old friends and new, lock horns with the education system, and face some big questions about himself. As well as opening the world’s best cocktail bar.

Big-hearted, hilarious and exuberantly life-affirming, The Rosie Result is a story of overcoming life’s obstacles with a little love and a lot of overthinking.

Rating: five-stars

 

In “The Rosie Result” the Tillman family has moved back to Australia as a result of Rosie getting a new job, leading a research project. Don takes a position as a genetics professor at the university, their son Hudson is already 11 years old. However, one meeting with the school principal after another and it quickly turns out Hudson has a hard time settling in. Following a kerfuffle at the university, Don decides to take time out and hence “Hudson Project” is born – a project aimed at helping Hudson to develop life skills that will make him fit better in the society and make friends. This all, of course, in typical, analytical Don’s style.

As much as I’d love to see a little bit more of Rosie in this book, Don has probably compensated it. I love his methodical and logical approach to everything and the fact that words “not possible” don’t exist in his vocabulary. I’ve never supposed he’d be such an involved father but he went into “Project Hudson” with all of his heart. “Project Hudson” involved among others helping him making friends or increasing his competences. The way he goes about things is so heart – warming and uplifting. He’s still very direct, literal and single – minded but that’s Don for you, and he’s also incredibly kind. I think I have a weakness for Don Tillman.

I adore Rosie and Don’s relationship. Rosie is so laid – back and always guides Don when he struggles. They are open and incredibly honest with each other and it’s such a refreshing change to have characters who can talk with each other about literally everything. They complement each other brilliantly. And their unity in all things Hudson was simply exemplary and enviable – when we argue with my husband it’s usually about our different ways of raising our daughter.

I totally appreciate the fact that the author didn’t choose the most straightforward ways for his characters. Being diagnosed with autism doesn’t only mean that you can have excuse for certain behaviour, it often means being labelled, stereotyped, people making assumptions, and he let his characters to made the decision for themselves. He showed different views when it comes to Autism and the scene of the discussion that Don and Rosie attended was incredibly interesting and eye – opening as well. The story gives us plenty thought for food, showing benefits of some treatments and also, what I liked most, focusing on the abilities rather than weaknesses of the children being “on the spectrum”, showing their individuality and specialty.

Graeme Simsion writes about some serious issues but with a light touch and in entertaining way. His writing style is exceptional – it’s witty, it’s clever, the banter between the characters is fast and intelligent and he so brilliantly captures the eccentric personalities.

“The Rosie Result” was quirky and charming, brilliantly balancing heavier issues with humour, uplifting and thought – provoking. It didn’t touch only upon Autism, but also the issue of working mothers and belittling them at their workplaces, or at least treating them differently, racism and sexism, bullying, violence – and while they really sound important and rather heavy, the author knows how to write in a light, entertaining way and still leave us thinking. This book was an excellent conclusion to the series, series that I’m truly going to miss. However, I’m left with a feeling that everything is going to be okay with Don, Rosie and Hudson. Highly recommended!

 

 

You Can Take Her Home Now by Anna Jefferson

Out today green

You Can Take Her Home Now by Anna Jefferson

 

44031173Publisher: Orion

Publishing Date: 21st March 2019

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 352

Genre: General Fiction, Parenting, Humour

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback (out on 16.05.2019)

 

Synopsis:

Hilariously funny and excruciatingly relatable – perfect for fans of THE UNMUMSY MUM, Louise Pentland and Gill Sims.

Emily is sure she’s getting this baby stuff all wrong. Why does everyone else look like they’re smashing motherhood when she’s barely made it out of her maternity leggings and out of the house?

Her other half tries to say all the right things (can’t he just keep making her toast?). Her mum is brilliant (but on the other side of the country). Her two new mum-friends seem to feel like misfits too – but there’s really just one person she wants to open up to . . . only Emily hasn’t spoken to her for fifteen years.

Lonely but not alone, Emily’s about to discover that when you’re starting a family, what you really need are your friends.

Rating: five-stars

 

Emily has just become a mum. She’s overwhelmed with love to her little daughter Lucy but she’s also full of fear – is she doing all the things right or wrong? Is she a good mum? Is this NORMAL that sometimes she dreams of being single and childless again…? Her boyfriend tries to help as well as he can but oh well, he’s almost all the time at work, right? Of course, Emily’s old friends don’t have children so they don’t know what she’s going through – there is one person who could understand her but they haven’t spoken for fifteen years… Emily sets her mind on making new friends and trying to get this whole parenting malarkey under control – but will she manage? 

I loved Emily – from the very beginning, in the labour ward, she felt like my best friend. We have the same way of thinking, she reacted similarly to me in so many situations, we felt the same – she was actually me after I’ve had my baby. . She told how it really is to feel so low, to be angry without a reason with those that you are supposed to love most, how confusing it is to be so… confused, and that really, nobody can prepare you for this what’s to come when your baby arrives. And this all was written in such a brilliant, light – hearted and uplifting way. Of course, I couldn’t help but fell for Emily, feel her pain and confusion and then you I wanted to cheer her on, to give her a pat on her back and tell her that she’s doing a great job and that I’ve been there, I’ve seen this and thank you for telling this out loud.  

What I also liked was the fact that the author didn’t focus so much on Lucy – she was there, of course, and she was adorable, but it was actually a book about Emily. Even though she had a feeling that everybody around her asks her only about Lucy, that every single sentence starts with Lucy and not with her, it was a story about Emily, and I loved it. And the book had a plot! Yes! It was not only about the early parenthood but there were also some twists and turns and unpleasant surprises on the way, and this worked perfectly well together. It touched upon family dynamics, relationships and friendship in a great, down to earth way. And it made me laugh out loud. And I mean, really. So loud that my daughter was asking me what am I reading and can I read it to her too – of course I did! And she laughed as well. How can you not laugh when Emily accidentally high – fived the doctor for example? Or wanted to hurt her boyfriend with a paper – cut on his forehead? Brilliant, simply brilliant things, small things but so accurate and so sharply written, and with my kind of humour. 

This lovely, charming novel perfectly slots into the trend of books about parenthood. You could roll your eyes and say, not another book about a new mum, but believe me, guys, “You Can Take Her Home Now” is absolutely refreshing, hilarious and yes, of course, also brutally honest but it’s a read with a difference as well.


Altogether “You Can Take Her Home Now” was a perfectly relatable book and no matter if you’re a parent or not, you should simply read it! As a mum, I could easily relate to Emily, as a non – parent you will easily enjoy the humour and hilariousness of some of the events and the brilliant, chatty writing style. The story shows that you can’t do a bad job as a parent, so really, don’t worry too much, and if you’re too deep in the dark, dark hole don’t be afraid to admit it. I can whole – heartedly recommend this true – to – life and overwhelmingly feel – good story to you. 

 

Absolutely Smashing It by Kathryn Wallace

Absolutely Smashing It by Kathryn Wallace

 

41uiiujq7vl._sx309_bo1204203200_Publisher: Sphere

Publishing Date: 7th March 2019

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 320

Genre: General Fiction, Parenting, Humour

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Hardcover | Paperback (out on 09.01.2020)

 

Synopsis:

***Unmissable, hilarious and kind, this is the first novel from Kathryn Wallace, who blogs as I Know, I Need to Stop Talking***

“SAM! AVA! Get downstairs, NOW. Have you done your TEETH? HAIR? SHOES? Come on, come on, come on, we’re going to be bastarding late again. No, I haven’t seen Lego Optimus Prime, and nor do I give a shit about his whereabouts. Sam, will you stop winding your sister up and take this model of the Shard that I painstakingly sat up and created for you last night so that I wouldn’t be in trouble with your teacher. I mean, so that you wouldn’t be in trouble with your teacher. No, it doesn’t smell of ‘dirty wine’. Well, maybe it does a little bit. Look, Sam, I haven’t got time to argue. Just hold your nose and get in the car, okay? AVA! TEETH! HAIR! SHOES!”

Gemma is only just holding it together – she’s a single parent, she’s turning 40 and her seven-year-old daughter has drawn a cruelly accurate picture which locates Gemma’s boobs somewhere around her knees. So when her new next-door neighbour, Becky, suggests that Gemma should start dating again, it takes a lot of self-control not to laugh in her face.

But Becky is very persuasive and before long Gemma finds herself juggling a full-time job, the increasingly insane demands of the school mums’ Facebook group and the tricky etiquette of a new dating world. Not only that, but Gemma has to manage her attraction to her daughter’s teacher, Tom, who has swapped his life in the City for teaching thirty six to seven year olds spelling, grammar, basic fractions – and why it’s not ok to call your classmate a stinky poo-bum…

It’s going to be a long year – and one in which Gemma and Becky will learn a really crucial lesson: that in the end, being a good parent is just about being good enough.

Rating: five-stars

 

Gemma is a single parent, after her husband (Nick the Dick) decided to go on an adventure of his life (with his secretary), juggling a full – time job and all the usual things you have to juggle in your everyday life. She’s turning forty soon, her boobs are somewhere around her knees on her daughter’s picture and of course she didn’t know she should read at least one hour with her children during the Christmas break… Then Becky moves next – door and they hit it off immediately. She tries to persuade Gemma to start dating again and she’s very persuasive – and so they make a pact that before Gemma turns 40 she will finally have sex and for Becky to land a perfect job.
It’s going to be a long, long year for both Gemma and Becky, what with disastrous dates, job interviews, school, homework and dogs…

I loved Gemma from the very beginning, she was just my kind of girl. Honest, genuine, without beating around the bush, telling things how they really are. She didn’t always manage to make all the things right, she often forgot things and this is why I wanted to high – five her, as she so reminded me of myself. I am also not perfect. I liked her friendship with Becky, who was like a breath of fresh air, albeit very quick and loud breath, also telling the truth direct into your face, no matter if you wanted to hear it or not.
I absolutely, totally loved Gemma’s dates and I am really, really sad that there were only a few of them put in the story. They were hilarious and I could probably read a whole new book only about Gemma’s adventurous meetings.
I also liked that the author didn’t only concentrate on Gemma but also took Becky under scrutiny as well and her struggles to find a job. You could think, Becky, so privileged, with nothing to worry about, successful husband at her side, a total liability of a dog as well, and I really, really applauded her desire to find herself a job. There comes a moment when you simply can’t stand sitting at home and you need to feel like a competent human being again. Becky’s adventures with finding the right place were not only hilarious but also – let’s admit it – sad and awfully relatable, but they only made the book more valuable and real. And I can of course remember taking my daughter to two interviews – however both times I’ve got the job so perhaps she’s brought me luck, but also both of those jobs were to work with children so maybe she was like a bonus point?

I really liked the writing style. It was so light and relatable, and the author has such a great way with words, and her writing is absolutely addictive. It has made me laugh out loud, nodding my head with understanding, roll my eyes and shake my head with disbelief. I must admit, my daughter was thanks god a very brave toddler and small child in comparison to so many others, nevertheless so many situations just rang a bell and it felt so personal. Though I must say that it’s getting serious now as she’s just started school and the whole school runs start to resemble those described by the author – cliques and ignoring each other is just normal. Hallelujah for ma daughter going to school by bus, really – I’m done, those few times that I had to go to school and meet some other parents.
The end of this story was, however, just too fairy tale – ish for me, to be honest. I like a happy end, but this one just too happy in my eyes, and I know, the characters have been struggling through the whole book and sure, they all deserved their own piece of happiness eventually but I’m just saying. As the whole story was so down to earth and so scarily relatable, the end seemed simply too soppy.

It was a hilarious, brutally honest and relatable story that I absolutely and whole – heartedly enjoyed. Personally I can read those funny stories about the challenges of parenthood and #FML moments over and over again, simply because they show me that I. Am. Not. Alone in all this parenthood malarkey, that there are others going through exactly the same things. Brilliantly funny but not too overdone, it was a perfect read for me. Highly recommended!

A Wedding at the Comfort Food Cafe by Debbie Johnson

A Wedding at the Comfort Food Cafe by Debbie Johnson

 

41836467Publisher: HarperImpulse

Publishing Date: 7th March 2019

Series: Comfort Food Cafe #6

Source:  Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!

Number of pages: 252

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback (out on 21.03.2019)

 

Synopsis:

Wedding bells ring out in Budbury as the Comfort Food Café and its cosy community of regulars are gearing up for a big celebration…

But Auburn Longville doesn’t have time for that! Between caring for her poorly mum, moving in with her sister and running the local pharmacy, life is busy enough – and it’s about to get busier. Chaos arrives in the form of a figure from her past putting her quaint village life and new relationship with gorgeous Finn Jensen in jeopardy. It’s time for Auburn to face up to some life changing decisions.

Settle in for a slice of wedding cake at the Comfort Food Café – a place where friendships are made for life and nobody ever wants to leave.

Rating: five-stars

 

Auburn, the former wild child, has settled in Budbury. She, with the brilliant red hair, still tries to stop smoking and sometimes drinks too much, but she’s happy in her skin – finally. Her relationship with the gorgeous Finn is going from strength to strength and really, everything looks peachy. That is, until one day, one shock revelation sees the light of day and an unexpected visitor arrives – and this sends Auburn back to her reckless day in Spain. She starts to question her choices – shall she stay in Budbury? Did she really change or is she still, deep down in heart, looking for adventures?

I love the Comfort Food Cafe series, and I am also the one always telling that the cafe should be real, and I think I will miss the characters but I also think that it’s the best time to stop the series now – the author can so beautifully and gorgeously explore all kinds of feelings, she can so well write about emotions, and the way the characters are able to speak about it all is truly amazing but I simply think that the lovely formula has just run out. Though I will be the first in the virtual queue to put my hand high and admit that I’d love to hear more from Laura – especially Laura. The author has also told us at the beginning of the book how she sees the characters in the future – and as much as I loved reading it, for me they should all simply stay in Budbury. They just belong there and make the place so great.

This story was as well filled with larger than life characters, real feelings, delicious cakes, wild parties, tons of dramas and troubles, and this all written in this gorgeous, chatty, humorous writing style. Those books brought me so much joy and happy tears, as they were so warm and inviting, and full of the overwhelming feel – good factor. The way they are written is absolutely inimitable but I think that those were the characters that made the series so exceptional and special – loveable, real and realistic.

As usual the main character, and this time we get a focus on Willow’s sister Auburn, has secrets she hides, problems and skeletons in the closet. However, as it usually happens, the secrets have a habit of catching up with you. I quickly learnt that there is always much more to Debbie Johnson’s characters than meet the eye, that you can’t judge them, that you simply have to give them time, and it was the same with Auburn. What I really liked in her was the fact that she was totally honest, that she didn’t want to hide her feelings, that she wanted to be frank with Finn.

I raced through the pages of “A Wedding at the Comfort Food Cafe”, as always, enjoying the gossip and characters’ antics. Reading this book was like being back with your best friends, you really know the characters so well. They feel so real because they are moving, growing, maturing, changing, they become children and it feels like a wheel of life, like there is someone who’s going to continue the characters’ work, who’s going to keep the place going. They care about each other and they are so honest and altruistic and you simply feel like a part of their gang. Shortly – it was another book about the power of friendship and trust, about second chances and love. Gorgeous and utterly compelling and I highly recommend it to you all.

 

Day of the Accident by Nuala Ellwood / Blog Tour

Day of the Accident by Nuala Ellwood

 

38470184Publisher: Penguin

Publishing Date: 21st February 2019

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 400

Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Mystery

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback

 

Synopsis:

They say you killed…But What If They’re Wrong?

Sixty seconds after she wakes from a coma, Maggie’s world is torn apart

The police tell her that her daughter Elspeth is dead. That she drowned when the car Maggie had been driving plunged into the river. Maggie remembers nothing.

When Maggie begs to see her husband Sean, the police tell her that he has disappeared. He was last seen on the day of her daughter’s funeral.

What really happened that day at the river?
Where is Maggie’s husband?
And why can’t she shake the suspicion that somewhere, somehow, her daughter is still alive?

Rating: five-stars

 

When Maggie wakes up in a hospital after being in coma for ten weeks, her world is immediately shattered when she’s told that her beloved daughter Elspeth was killed in the tragic car accident they were both involved in. Moreover, her husband has left and nobody knows where to find him. Maggie has no memory of the accident and is left with thousands of unanswered questions, with no home and no family, to find the truth about what has happened on that fateful day – and here come the rollercoaster journey, full of twists, turns and dark secrets.

The character of Maggie was well developed and not too straight – forward. I must admit, there were moments that I felt her love to her daughter is too overwhelming, that she doesn’t leave little Elspeth place for breath. Then, her character has made me think so, so much, and I wasn’t too happy with my thoughts, to be honest, because too often I’ve seen myself in Maggie, submerged in her world of books, dreaming of being let alone – and then it happened and what wouldn’t she do to have her daughter back – so be careful what you wish for. Those pangs of conscience must have been unendurable, I am not sure I could live with them, and yes, I love my daughter with my whole heart but I appreciate her even more now, and you can be sure I’ll put any book away to play with her – I don’t want to regret anything, like Maggie did. The bond between Maggie and Elspeth was special and brilliantly captured though, as I have already mentioned, there were moments that it felt too overwhelming, too possessive, too disordered. You can’t help but feel sorry for Maggie but also be uncertain about her. She was complex and complicated character, suffering from severe anxiety and still not being able to come to terms with an event that happened many years ago and resulted in Maggie being sent away for three years. In the story, she takes us back into her past, telling about her relationship with Sean and her joy of being a mother, and slowly unravelling the events that she’d love to forget but that burdened her so much. But there were moments that I felt uncertain about Maggie, about her intentions, if they were really so crystal clear, and I think it’s only natural that I was asking myself if she really was so innocent?

Interspersed through the book, between some of the chapters, were letters from a daughter to her mother. They were heartbreaking in the way the little girl was telling her mother how much she loves her and how she misses her, how lonely and frightened she is. And it was incredibly shocking, and also intriguing, to see how suddenly the letters changed in tone, how the child’s attitude changed when the reality hit and the girl realised that – perhaps – her mum is not going to come and save her.

So, this book. Because the final twists really surprised me – I, of course, have been trying, guessing, suspecting when the things started to become more and more complicated and simply the elements didn’t fit to the puzzle – and it doesn’t happen often, that the story was successful in surprising me, for this it deserves the 5 stars that I am gladly giving. But there is also much, much more that made me like this book so much. It simply had me hooked. Glued to the pages. Involved. From the very first page to the very end, I raced through it. There were moments that I simply didn’t know whom I can trust, if Maggie is really as innocent as I’m thinking, if I’m going crazy perhaps, as suddenly nothing seems as it seemed a second ago, and I loved how the author played with my mind – when I though I am close to truth, that I worked it all out, the story usually too me in a totally different direction.
“Day of the Accident” was realistically and vividly written drama mixed with mystery, full of tension and plotted in a complex, well – thought way and it kept me on my toes. You know, there are books that you simply keep reading, waiting for the final and for the secrets to be revealed but it was not such a book – it makes you think overtime, wondering, trying to work out what has happened, why and what is still to happen. It was emotionally charged and fast – paced story, full of lies, secrets and turns. It’s really well written, it’s full of emotions and poignant moments. It deals with some heavy and difficult issues, yet it doesn’t feel depressing – it’s sad, that’s for sure, as there are many tragic events but it’s also chilling and captivating. Highly recommended!

FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR:

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If Only I Could Tell You by Hannah Beckerman

If Only I Could Tell You by Hannah Beckerman

 

40965397Publisher: Orion

Publishing Date: 21st February 2019

Source:  Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!

Number of pages: 369

Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Hardcover | Paperback (out on 15.10.2019)

 

Synopsis:

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?

Rating: five-stars

 

“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 together again. Will she be able to do this? Has she enough time? Which secrets are still to come out into the open?

It was not the highly appraised and advertised twist that made this book so special – it’s relatively easy to guess. But what makes this book special and unique is the way it was written, author’s way with words, descriptions and the beautifully captured relationships and family dynamics and the story itself. It’s unbelievable how beautifully Hannah Beckerman touched upon issues and themes that feel so very personal and difficult.

We are introduced to Jess and Lily and their families: Jess is a single mum to Mia, and Lily is a successful businesswoman with a husband and a daughter Phoebe. There is also their mother Audrey. Then the author takes are on a journey, jumping between past and present, telling us what has happened as far as in June 1988. What I really appreciated was the fact that the big secret hasn’t been kept till the very end, that it was revealed at the right moment when we were still desperate to know what has happened. Though I must admit that I couldn’t believe that Jess was able to keep her grudge for so long – a grudge, that, let’s be honest, was not worth it. It was really difficult for me to imagine that it really could happen, and her obstinacy made me feel desperate. I was also probably expecting that something really, really out of this world has happened on this day but – unfortunately – the revelation didn’t shake nor shocked me. Yes, my biggest problem was with Jess. I simply couldn’t get over the fact that she was so stubborn, cold and fierce. It annoyed and exasperated me, especially as I a) guessed what it was she was so angry about and b) it wasn’t dramatic enough for me to agree with her decisions. This one moment of misinterpretation has broken so many lives – I understand she was only 10 years old then but she had enough chances to clear the air throughout the years. Yes, learning the truth has helped me a little to fell for Jess, but only a little, it was really hard for me to warm to her, though I of course understood her sorrow. I felt much more empathy to Audrey, Lily, Mia and Phoebe to be honest, though all the characters were really well developed and they had depth to them.
However, it is a story about how the long – held grudges can affect feelings and whole relationships, breaking their whole family and the author has captured and described it brilliantly. She has got into her characters’ heads, as we got incredibly broad and detailed insight into Jess and Lily’s lives – she didn’t make the lives of the characters easy. They all had their share of sorrow, sadness and unhappiness in their lives.

There is a lot of grief and sadness on this book but it doesn’t mean that it’s depressing – on the contrary, I’ve never lost hope when reading this novel, and even though I’ve finished it in tears, there was still light in me. Simply, the author has gorgeous ways with words and how she describes how loss and grief affected the characters was beautiful and uplifting. She writes about different kinds of loss, not only when we lose someone literally but also when life choices drive us apart – and this all written in a tender, understanding way without judging. There were many layers in this story and I couldn’t wait to unravel them all.

Altogether, “If Only I Could Tell You” was a tender, gentle tale with a family at its core. It was heart – breaking. It was unbelievably honest and genuine in perception. There was so much depth to this book, it was clever, complex and touching upon such tender issues as love and loss, forgiveness, grief and family. The characters felt very real, and it doesn’t happen often when I experience so much feelings and emotions towards them. It was a powerful and moving story, exploring unconditional love, and it will make you think – the moral dilemma that you’ll never want to contemplate by yourself will make you think and understand even more what real love is. It describes the bonds between mothers, sisters, granddaughters and cousins in a poignant, honest and realistic way. Highly recommended!