The Impossible Truths of Love by Hannah Beckerman #BookReview #Giveaway #BlogTour

From bestselling author Hannah Beckerman comes a moving story about memory, secrets, and what it really means to feel that you’re one of the family.

When Nell’s father makes a deathbed declaration that hints at a long-held secret, it reignites feelings of isolation that have plagued her for years. Her suspicions about the family’s past only deepen when her mother, Annie, who is losing her memories to dementia, starts making cryptic comments of her own.

Thirty-five years earlier, Annie’s life was upended by a series of traumas—one shock after another that she buried deep in her heart. The decisions she made at the time were motivated by love, but she knew even then that nobody could ever understand—let alone forgive—what she did.

As the two women’s stories unravel, a generation apart, Nell finally discovers the devastating truth about her mother’s past, and her own.

In this beautifully observed and emotionally powerful story of identity, memory and the nature of family, Hannah Beckerman asks: To what lengths would you go to protect the ones you love?

It's such a pleasure to be hosting the blog tour for The Impossible Truths of Love today and as well as sharing my review, I was accidentally sent two advance reader copies of the book and so I'm delighted to have been given permission to run a giveaway to win the second copy (UK only). Many thanks to Hannah Beckerman, Lake Union Publishing and Rhiannon Morris from FMcM Associates for inviting me and for providing me with two advance copies of the novel.

I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to read The Impossible Truths of Love; my Dad died of cancer in April and it should have been his birthday this month. My feelings are still raw and reading about Nell's emotions in the immediate aftermath of her father, Bill's passing brought me to tears. However, I have always said that the books I appreciate most are the ones that make me feel something and the acute honesty of Hannah Beckerman's writing compelled me to keep turning the pages.
I'm so glad I decided to continue because this is a beautiful, intensely moving exploration of grief and loss. I'm mindful not to give too much away about the plot here but equally I think it's only right to mention that the chapters are divided between past and present and both feature heartrending losses. Those who have grieved the death of a parent or child should know that while the subject matter is handled with the utmost sensitivity and empathy, it is also harrowingly truthful. 
Nell is confused by her father's strange declaration of love to her but he dies before she is able to make sense of what he meant. She can't question her mother, Annie either because her worsening dementia means her grasp on reality is slipping by the day. It's a heartbreaking situation to be in, made more difficult by her rather isolated role within her family. The youngest of three sisters, she is the only one to have moved out of the area and consequently hasn't been involved in the daily care of their parents. It becomes clear that both Claire and Laura harbour some resentment, with Claire being particularly sharp towards her. It would be easy to condemn the older sister but as the novel progresses, readers begin to understand how the events of the past have shaped them all.
The alternating chapters, entitled Now and Then, slowly peel away the layers of secrets and lies but this isn't a book filled with dramatic revelations; it's a more reflective examination of what a family is and how the truth isn't always as straightforward as right and wrong. The parts of the book set in the past follow Annie and Bill as they face an unbearable tragedy followed - they believe - by an unexpected chance to look forward with hope. However, the later chapters suggest that their cautious optimism may have been short-lived, although what exactly occurs isn't revealed until both Nell and the reader are moved to imagine various possible scenarios. 
Annie's overwhelming sense of grief is almost palpable and it also reveals the sad legacy of how society and particularly the medical profession may have been too quick to dismiss the protestations of the traumatised - especially women - as delusional, but while Annie's instincts are silenced, she is arguably the strongest character in the story, despite making decisions which ultimately alter the course of all their lives. However, despite the resulting sibling rivalry, bitter recriminations and terrible guilt, what most shines through this book is that even at its most complicated, love is an irresistible force.
As Nell tries to make sense of her own memories even as Annie's failing mind confuses what is real now and what occurred back then, Hannah Beckerman's compassionate, perceptive writing is relatably authentic throughout. The complex family dynamics allows for a poignant and insightful consideration of the apparent contradictions of life; how it's possible to belong and yet feel different, to question love but to know it's there, to feel let down but still protected. It's an affecting, powerful story about betrayal and forgiveness, and ultimately it's about that most impossible truth of love which means that experiencing it means accepting that hurt and pain are inevitable. 
I loved The Impossible Truths of Love, it is such a beautifully written novel and as every reader will have their own stories of love and loss, I have no doubt that it will be a book which will touch others as deeply as it did me.

Win an advance reader's copy of The Impossible Truths of Love!
To enter, simply follow @karlou on Twitter and retweet this tweet or leave a comment on this Facebook post. The giveaway will run until midnight on 10th October and I will contact you after that through Twitter or Facebook for your address, for posting purposes only. Good luck!
Open to Residents of the UK only. Prize consists of one trade paperback copy of The Impossible Truths of Love by Hannah Beckerman. Prize cannot be shipped to PO Boxes. The winner will be selected at random. Winner has 7 days to respond before a new winner is selected. The product offered for the giveaway is free of charge, no purchase necessary. My opinions are my own and were not influenced by any form of compensation. By providing your address, you are providing your information to me and me alone. I do not share or sell information and will use any information only for the purpose of contacting the winner. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Twitter or Google.

The Impossible Truths of Love will be published by Lake Union Publishing on 5th October and can be pre-ordered here.

Don't miss the rest of the blog tour, details are below.

About the Author
Hannah Beckerman is a bestselling author and journalist whose novels have been translated into more than a dozen languages worldwide. She is a book critic and features writer for a range of publications including The Observer and the FT Weekend Magazine, and has appeared as a book pundit on BBC Radio 2 and Times Radio. She chairs literary events across the UK, interviewing authors and celebrities, and has judged numerous book prizes including the Costa Book Awards. Prior to writing her first novel, Hannah was a television producer and commissioning editor for the BBC, Channel 4 and the Discovery Channel, and for two years lived in Bangladesh, running a TV project for the BBC. She now lives in London where she writes full-time.