“Once upon a time Audrey had believed that her life was set on 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.” ~ Hannah Beckerman, If Only I Could Tell You.
What a heartbreaking novel this was. I will say that if you read novels for an entertaining diversion and you don’t like “heavy” controversial topics this book is not for you. I try not to include spoilers in my reviews but for some of you may want to stop reading now if you don’t like to know the main storyline topics. This is your SPOILER warning to stop reading.
If Only I Could Tell You introduces us to three characters; Audrey, Lilly and Jess. A mother who is determined in reunite her daughters in the wake of her diagnosis with a terminal illness. In the wake of their fathers untimely death by suicide Jess has refused to have Lily play any part in her life, reasons unknown to both Lily and their mother Audrey.
This novel deals withs family tragedy, estrangement and misunderstandings. Tragedy in the wake of a death of a sister and daughter followed by the suicide of a parent who can’t cope with the grief and anger. These are topics that we tend to shy away from as a Society and I applaud Hannah Beckerman for being brave enough to write so openly in her novel about them.
As an Emergency Services dispatcher I have had to talk to my share of people who tell me they don’t have anything to live for anymore and want to end it. I have also been on the other end of a phone with a grieving parent and sibling who has just found their child after having ended their life. Each and every call stays with me and will stay with me forever I have also been on the receiving end of a phone call telling me that a beloved former coworker had taken his own life. I am sure there have been those that I have talked to that ultimately decided not to end their life, unfortunately the ones that stick are the ones that I wasn’t able to help in time.
Please know that there are people out there who care for you and about you. I am one of them. I wouldn’t do the job that I do if I didn’t care. Call a friend or a family member. If you feel you can’t talk to them then call your local suicide prevention hotline or your local emergency services. Things look bleak today, but tomorrow is always a new day with no mistakes. Please if you feeling suicidal or depressed call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org