A(nother) Review: If Only I Could Tell You by Hannah Beckerman

I would imagine that being Hannah Beckerman is hard.

That’s not meant as a personal slight at all, I’ve met her a couple of times and let me assure you she’s lovely.

She has a ridiculously enviable job – she’s a freelance journalist and gets paid to review books for papers. When you see things like “Astounding – The Times” that’s usually a quote from Hannah.

She’s been judges on book prizes and chairs lots of panel discussions – as well as one on one Author interviews.

On top of all this she gets to go to cocktail parties and hang around with the likes of me.

As well as all these amazing jobs, which seem to largely be composed of reading books and telling people whether she liked them or not, Hannah is an author, her second novel is published next year.

And that’s the rub.

We all have insecurities. We all believe any criticisms levelled at us 100% and disregard any compliments, anyway.

Now imagine getting nice things said about your book by an author whose book you’re about to review. Are they genuinely saying nice things because they’re true, or because they want a nice review.

And what if someone says nice things, but you hated their book?

Anyone who follows books on twitter will have seen a lot of love for Beckerman’s new novel If Only I Could Tell You and maybe you’re also wondering if it’s genuine praise or if there are ulterior motives.

Fortunately, I don’t have a book waiting to be reviewed or an author to be interviewed so you can trust me for an objective review.

The truth is, the reviews you’ve already seen are right, it really is as good as everyone says.

If Only I Could Tell You is about two sisters, estranged from each other for decades. We meet them when they both have teenage daughters of their own, while their Mum is secretly battling a terminal illness.

Audrey wants to reconcile her two daughters but an untold secret from the past is threatening to keep them apart.

Thanks to ALL her other jobs, Beckerman knows good characters, good plots and good storytelling and that is evident in this, her second novel.

The reader is kept in suspense throughout, never completely sure of what is the truth and what is the misconceptions of a young girl. And that’s what keeps you turning the page, all the way to the end.

You want these women to sort themselves out, you’re almost shouting at the book telling them to stop being stupid and just blooming well talk to each other. We all know people like that in real life so it really works.

In summary;

Hannah = lovely

If Only I Could Tell You = brilliant

Everyone = completely correct to heap praise on it

If Only I Could Tell You will be published by Orion on 21st February 2019


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