Things I Want My Daughters to Know

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Things I Want My Daughters to Know - Elizabeth Noble, book reviewI had read quite a bit about this book – Things I want My Daughters to Know by Elizabeth Noble – but had actually shied away from reading it because I thought it would be just too sad. The reason why I thought this is because it is about the letters and journals a mother leaves her four daughters after she has died. However, recently I won a book on the Galaxy Book Club website and as this was one of the choices I thought I would give it a go and I am so glad that I did!

The story is all about four sisters – Lisa, Jennifer, Amanda and Hannah. At the start of the book their mother Barbara has just died and they are preparing for her funeral. Right from the start you get to know the sisters and see how different they are and how they have all been affected in different ways. Lisa, the eldest, is scared of commitment and finds it difficult to really trust in the relationship she has with Andy. Jennifer is deeply troubled in her unhappy marriage to Stephen. Amanda never really confronts her problems and nor does she stay around long enough to even try as she is always travelling around the world. Hannah, at fifteen, is the youngest and is going through those turbulent teenage years!

After the funeral, Mark (Hannah’s dad but step dad to the other three) hands each of the girls a letter written by their mother before she died. In each of these moving letters, Barbara says some of the things that she wishes she had been able to say to them before she dies – how much she loves them, how she worries about Lisa’s inability to commit and she tells Jennifer how she can see just how unhappy her marriage is. She tells Hannah of all her hopes for her but for Amanda there is also a huge revelation that shakes her to the core! Barbara also leaves a journal for her daughters to read helping them to understand how Barbara has felt and why she has done things at certain times in their lives.

Things I want My Daughters to Know is not just about the letters and journal but about all their lives in the year after Barbara’s death. It’s totally absorbing to read how they use the letters to deal with some of their problems and you get the feeling that they know their mum would have been proud of them all. A lot happens in that year and relationships are tested as a lot of soul searching is done. I loved reading about the different relationships of the characters and I found it particularly moving how Mark remained such a lynch pin in all of their lives. There are so many themes in this book – grief, guilt, the strength of love, resolution, understand – and all are intertwined perfectly.

This book is an absolute emotional roller-coaster but it’s worth it. I did cry – lots of times! Therefore it’s not the sort of book you really want to be reading in a public place such as a train. It’s much better to find a quiet place to curl up on your own to read it and just let yourself go with the flow! Not only is it sad though, it is also incredibly uplifting and a great example of how life goes on.

I really do recommend this book but I would also think that you might not want to read it anyone close to you is in a similar position. It might just be a little too close to home even though the message is extremely positive.

I absolutely loved this book. I could hardly put it down and I just did not want it to end. There are lots of quotes from reviews on the cover but the one I most identified with was from Penny Vincenzi who says:

‘I cried, I laughed, I couldn’t put it down!’

That definitely sums it up for me.

This was the first book I had read by Elizabeth Noble but I shall definitely be looking out for more books from this fabulous author!


Buy book online
Buy book online Buy book online
Things I Want My Daughters to Know
by Elizabeth Noble

One Comment on "Things I Want My Daughters to Know"

  1. angela
    19/11/2013 at 11:10 Permalink

    love this book …cannot put it down .. im not a reader but wow really loved this . im addicted to book reading now

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Written by kingfisher
kingfisher

My name is Jo and I have been married to Simon for nine years. We have two beautiful daughters – Rachel who is six and Natalie who is almost five and starting school in January. I also have two step children aged twenty one and seventeen so family life is never dull. I also manage to work three days for a local education authority where I support the teaching of literacy in primary schools. I love my job and it’s ideal for a book lover like me. In my spare time I run, dance and occasionally tread the boards with my local amateur dramatics group. My first love is reading though and you will never find me without a book on the go. My husband is also an avid reader and we are hoping to pass on our love of reading to our daughters. They certainly love their bedtime stories every night. Although I have and English degree and I am familiar with most of the classics, I generally read much lighter stuff these days. It’s mainly ‘chic lit’ but I also enjoy a good thriller or courtroom drama. I have so many favourite authors and this list tends to change regularly depending on what I am reading.

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