Welcome to my first stop on the Harlequin Spring Reads Blog Tour. Today I am reviewing Truths I Never Told You by Kelly Rimmer.
Published April 14, 2020, by Graydon House
Genre: Fiction / Historical
Synopsis: After finding disturbing journal pages that suggest her late mother didn’t die in a car accident as her father had always maintained, Beth Walsh begins a search for answers to the question — what really happened to their mother? With the power and relevance of Jodi Picoult and Lisa Jewell, Rimmer pens a provocative novel told by two women a generation apart, the struggles they unwittingly shared, and a family mystery that may unravel everything they believed to be true.
With her father recently moved to a care facility because of worsening signs of dementia, Beth Walsh volunteers to clear out the family home to prepare it for sale. Why shouldn’t she be the one, after all? Her three siblings are all busy with their families and successful careers, and Beth is on maternity leave after giving birth to Noah, their miracle baby. It took her and her husband Hunter years to get pregnant, but now that they have Noah, Beth can only feel panic. And leaving Noah with her in-laws while she pokes about in their father’s house gives her a perfect excuse not to have to deal with motherhood.
Beth is surprised to discover the door to their old attic playroom padlocked, and even more shocked to see what’s behind it – a hoarder’s mess of her father’s paintings, mounds of discarded papers, and miscellaneous junk. Her father was the most fastidious, everything-in-its-place man, and this chaos makes no sense. As she picks through the clutter, she finds a handwritten note attached to one of the paintings, in what appears to be in her late mother’s handwriting. Beth and her siblings grew up believing Grace Walsh died in a car accident when they were little more than toddlers, but this note suggests something much darker may be true. A frantic search uncovers more notes, seemingly a series of loose journal entries that paint a very disturbing portrait of a woman in profound distress, and of a husband that bears very little resemblance to the father Beth and her siblings know.
A fast-paced, harrowing look at the fault in memories and the lies that can bond families together – or tear them apart.
This story revolves around a family that has recently moved their father into longterm care, with the expectation of his rather imminent death. He has a form of dementia that has shocked the family with how far it has advanced. Beth is the youngest of four adult siblings. She is struggling with adapting to her role as a new mother and feels the need to hide her struggles from her family. Being a mental health professional, she is afraid of being diagnosed with a mental illness as losing her job. She is also afraid to go back to work. Beth has volunteered to clean out their family home. During the process of clearing it out, she discovers hidden letters from their deceased mother. Through these letters, they uncover long kept family secrets that leave many unanswered questions. While dealing with all this, Beth’s family are trying to determine what is going on with her and to help her deal with whatever it is. Will the letters guide them to a solution? What secrets has their father been hiding?
Kelly Rimmer is one of my go to authors and I have been waiting, somewhat impatiently, for this book. After reading a few of her others and recently The Things We Cannot Say, I was disappointed with this offering. The story has some rather heavy topics, specifically postpartum depression and mental health, as well as the stigma of being diagnosed with depression. Having relatives who have suffered from this as well as dealing with depression, I thought I would connect with Beth and her mother Grace, however that was not the case. The dual timeline added some interest to the story, but I felt I was being told the story, not experiencing it for myself. It felt stilted for me and I was not able to feel for the characters like I wanted to. The story also felt quite long, repetitive and drawn out which had me doing some skimming at the beginning. The last half of the book was better and finally drew me in. I read it quickly and began to feel for the family, especially Maryann, Grace’s sister. As the story progressed other issues that were dealt with were abortion, pro-choice, women’s rights in protecting themselves from pregnancy, and women’s rights to work with a family. Fortunately the last half of the book redeemed it for me, but overall, it was not as good as her other books have been. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.
About the Author: Kelly Rimmer is the worldwide and USA TODAY bestselling author of Before I Let You Go, Me Without You, and The Secret Daughter. She lives in rural Australia with her husband, two children and fantastically naughty dogs, Sully and Basil. Her novels have been translated into more than twenty languages. Please visit her at www.Kelly.Rimmer.com