Review: Truths I Never Told You by Kelly Rimmer

 

Title: Truths I Never Told You

Author: Kelly Rimmer

Published:February 25th 2020, Hachette Australia

Status: Read February 2020 Courtesy Hachette Au

++++++

My Thoughts:

Truths I Never Told You is a moving, poignant novel of family secrets from Kelly Rimmer.

When the Walsh siblings agree it has become necessary to admit their terminally ill father to a hospice, Beth, the youngest of the four, volunteers to clean out the family home. The process is time-consuming, though straightforward until, behind a padlocked attic door, Beth finds a series of paintings, and pinned to one, a devastating note written by her late mother, Grace.

The missive in her mother’s elegant script reads like a suicide note, and the date doesn’t line up with what Beth had been told about her mother’s death. Desperate to understand the discrepancy, Beth throws her self into the search for more notes amongst the detritus cluttering the attic, and unearths a shocking secret that will challenge everything she believed to be true.

Beth’s contemporary timeline, as she cleans out her family home while avoiding her own emotional difficulties, alternates first with a series of letters written by Grace nearly forty years earlier, revealing a young mother overwhelmed by the demands of caring for four children under the age of four, and later, the perspective of Grace’s elder sister, Maryanne.

I was absorbed in this well paced story as Beth and her siblings faced the loss of their beloved father, the truth of Grace’s tragic death, and the unraveling of their childhood memories.

Most emphasis of the story however is placed on the issue linking Beth and Grace – Post Natal Depression. In the late 1950’s Grace’s distress in the aftermath of her pregnancies is dismissed by her doctor, whose advice amounts to ‘pull yourself together’, and is ignored by her husband. In 1996, Beth is unwilling to admit she is not coping with caring for her infant son, and it’s only through the intervention of her husband and sister that she seeks medical help, whose response is immediate and practical.

While I fortunately never developed PND after the births of my four children, many women I know have done so, experiencing a range of symptoms from mild anxiety to the extreme of post natal psychosis. Rimmer’s depiction of Grace and Beth’s struggle is sensitive and realistic, I felt deeply sympathetic towards both women who battled with their feelings of shame and confusion as the illness threatened to overwhelm them.

Rimmer also raises a number of other related issues, including the importance of access to inexpensive contraception, and safe, legal abortion to protect women’s emotional and physical health.

Written with heart and compassion, Truths I Never Told You is a thought-provoking and engaging novel.

++++++

Available from Hachette Australia

Or from your preferred retailer via Booko I Book Depository I Indiebound

Read an Extract

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kathryn
    Feb 26, 2020 @ 18:25:20

    Sounds like she has done a good job with some important issues. I did enjoy one of her previous books, she writes a good novel.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. Tina Woodbury
    Feb 27, 2020 @ 02:14:04

    I’m really looking forward to reading this one!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  3. Vicki
    Feb 27, 2020 @ 07:45:54

    This sounds really good!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  4. Jennifer
    Feb 27, 2020 @ 13:10:24

    Great review! I have this to read soon, and I’m looking forward to it.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  5. Marg
    Feb 27, 2020 @ 20:52:14

    This sounds interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  6. Helen Murdoch
    Feb 28, 2020 @ 14:55:49

    One of the best things about literature is that it can tackle issues that people need to learn about and develop empathy for. It sounds like this book does that for PND.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  7. anaussiebooknerd
    Mar 01, 2020 @ 18:16:05

    Her book Before I Let You Go was my book of the year for 2019. It was phenomenally executed, so I’m really looking forward to this one now!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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