Published: October 5th, 2021
Publisher: Amazon Publishing
Genre: Literary Fiction, Contemporary Fiction
Format: Paperback, Kindle, Audio
Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for this beautiful and moving story. Thank you to Rhiannon at FMcM Associates for the invitation to take part and to Amazon Publishing for the gifted copy of the book.
From bestselling author Hannah Beckerman comes a moving story about memory, secrets, and what it really means to feel that you’re one of the family.
When Nell’s father makes a deathbed declaration that hints at a long-held secret, it reignites feelings of isolation that have plagued her for years. Her suspicions about the family’s past only deepen when her mother, Annie, who is losing her memories to dementia, starts making cryptic comments of her own.
Thirty-five years earlier, Annie’s life was upended by a series of traumas—one shock after another that she buried deep in her heart. The decisions she made at the time were motivated by love, but she knew even then that nobody could ever understand—let alone forgive—what she did.
As the two women’s stories unravel, a generation apart, Nell finally discovers the devastating truth about her mother’s past, and her own.
In this beautifully observed and emotionally powerful story of identity, memory and the nature of family, Hannah Beckerman asks: To what lengths would you go to protect the ones you love?
“I want you to know that I’ve always loved you… You need to know that I’ve always loved you even though you were never really mine to love.”
When Nell’s father makes a mysterious deathbed declaration it reignites her long-held feelings of not belonging within her family. Grappling with the death of her father and the slow loss of her mother, Annie, before her eyes from dementia, Nell searches for the truth behind her father’s compassion while also trying to dampen her feelings of being an outsider.
In a second timeline, we go back thirty-five years to when Annie’s world was turned upside down by a series of traumatic events. We follow as she battles to come to terms with them and makes decisions that will have repercussions for everyone in her family. As the two timelines weave together, we watch as Annie’s choices affect Nell in the present day, and how they changed a family forever.
“In her mind the tapestry of her family history begins to unstitch, the fabric loosening at the seams”
Wow. You really do need the tissues for this one! A beautifully written dual timeline novel about love, family, memory, long-held secrets, and self-discovery, this book takes you on an emotional rollercoaster from beginning to end. The author has chosen to explore some of the most traumatic and devastating events that a family can go through in this book such as the loss of a child, dementia, the sudden death of a parent and decades-old family secrets. Just one of these would be enough to turn someone’s world upside down, and this family goes through them all. She writes with insight, compassion and sensitivity, drawing the reader into the heart and minds of the Hardy family so vividly that you feel everything alongside them.
I loved the choice to tell the story in dual timelines and have just two family members as narrators. I think this helped me to feel a deep connection with both Nell and Annie. As the tangled weave of secrets slowly unravelled I felt like I lived it alongside them, breaking my heart as theirs did, shedding tears with them and silently telling them they could get through this. I feel like if other narrators had been involved it would have diluted the emotional impact of Annie and Nell’s stories. Plus, the author still manages to convey the effect of events on the other characters through the lens of the two women.
Powerful, poignant and heart-rending, this hits you right in the heart and soul. A moving and compelling story that I highly recommend.
TW: death of a child. Please contact me for any other trigger warnings.
MEET THE AUTHOR:
Hannah Beckerman is a bestselling author and journalist whose novels have been translated into more than a dozen languages worldwide. She is a book critic and features writer for a range of publications including The Observer and the FT Weekend Magazine, and has appeared as a book pundit on BBC Radio 2 and Times Radio. She chairs literary events across the UK, interviewing authors and celebrities, and has judged numerous book prizes including the Costa Book Awards. Prior to writing her first novel, Hannah was a television producer and commissioning editor for the BBC, Channel 4 and the Discovery Channel, and for two years lived in Bangladesh, running a TV project for the BBC. She now lives in London where she writes full-time.
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Please check out the reviews from the other bloggers taking part in the tour.
Thanks for reading Bibliophiles😊 Emma xxx