Publisher: Harlequin – Graydon House Books (US & Graydon), Graydon House
Date of Publication: April 14th, 2020
Genre: Women’s Fiction
From the bestselling author of The Things We Cannot Say comes a poignant novel about the fault in memories and the lies that can bond a family together—or tear it apart.
With her father recently moved to a care facility for his worsening dementia, Beth Walsh volunteers to clear out the family home and is surprised to discover the door to her childhood playroom padlocked. She’s even more shocked at what’s behind it—a hoarder’s mess of her father’s paintings, mounds of discarded papers and miscellaneous junk in the otherwise fastidiously tidy house.
As she picks through the clutter, she finds a loose journal entry in what appears to be her late mother’s handwriting. Beth and her siblings grew up believing their mother died in a car accident when they were little more than toddlers, but this note suggests something much darker. Beth soon pieces together a disturbing portrait of a woman suffering from postpartum depression and a husband who bears little resemblance to the loving father Beth and her siblings know. With a newborn of her own and struggling with motherhood, Beth finds there may be more tying her and her mother together than she ever suspected.
Exploring the expectations society places on women of every generation, Kelly Rimmer explores the profound struggles two women unwittingly share across the decades set within an engrossing family mystery that may unravel everything they believed to be true.
I am alone in a crowded family these days, and that’s the worst feeling I’ve ever experienced.Truths I Never Told You by Kelly Rimmer
I am not going to lie. Truths I Never Told You is a book that you need to read with a box of Kleenex nearby. That was something I wish I knew before I started reading it.
Truths I Never Told You is split into three povs. Grace, Beth, and Maryanne. Grace’s POV was hard to read. Her mental anguish was clear to see. It hurt me to see her not able to take care of her children or herself. When she did try to get help, she was told to suck it up. The decision she made in the middle of the book was a necessary one. Beth’s POV was just as hard to read as Grace’s was. Her anguish at not connecting with Noah and having to put her father in hospice was palpable. Maryanne, on the other hand, was this vibrant, over the top woman who breathed new light into the book. Her POV helped highlight how little rights women had back in the ’50s and ’60s. It also showed that a mother isn’t necessarily the one who birthed you.
The author did a fantastic job of highlighting what women’s rights were like back in the ’50s and ’60s. I had no issue imagining a woman with severe postpartum depression being forced into electroshock therapy or, as Grace was told, to snap out of it. I was horrified at how little help she had. I understood why Grace did in the middle of the book and why she contacted Maryanne to help her.
Beth’s experiences in the late 1990s were much better than Grace’s. But the stigma of having a mental illness hung over her head kept her from seeking help. Unfortunately, that still is the case these days. But, I was glad to see that Beth had a support system. She had siblings, a husband, and a mother in law who cared about her mental health.
Maryanne was the real MVP in this book. She didn’t get her own POV until the last half of the book. The author did a fantastic job of showing how she did what she thought was right and the fallout of that. Her scenes with Beth at the end of the book was poignant and heartbreaking.
The mystery angle of the story was well written. It was written around Beth’s father’s dementia and illness. That meant that I had a kernel of doubt about what happened until Beth unearthed the trunk. That scene blew it out of the book for me. The ring, the death certificate, the picture were all explained. And that meant even more tears on my end.
The end of Truths I Never Told You was well written. The author brought all the storylines (Beth, Grace, and Maryanne) together. I loved seeing everyone and how they healed from Patrick’s death and what was uncovered in Beth’s investigation.
I would give Truths I Never Told You an Adult rating. There is no sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.
I would reread Truths I Never Told You. I would recommend it to family and friends.
**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**