Today I’m handing back to Mandie who has a blog tour review of Anna Mansell’s I Wanted To Tell You. Thanks to Kim Nash for including us on the tour and to publishers Bookouture for the advance review copy. Here is what the book is about.
About The Book
‘Sometimes I think that if I’d found a way to talk, we’d be together now…’
When Helen finds a bundle of unsent love letters, tied with a red ribbon, and signed only ‘the love you wished I could be’, she wonders who they could belong to.
The same day, however, her husband Alex announces he’s leaving. She’d believed their love would last a lifetime, but now he’s gone and she hadn’t even realised there was anything wrong.
Desperate to understand, Helen doesn’t know where to look for answers. But the letters keep drawing her back. As she reads the words of loneliness, loss and regret, something in them helps her start to make sense of it all… Even as she realises someone has been keeping heart-breaking secrets.
But who do the letters belong to? Can the sender ever be reunited with the one they love, or is it too late? And when Helen finds out the truth about Alex, can she find it in her heart to forgive him, or will he never be the love she wished he could be?
An emotional, unmissable read, exploring the devastation of loss, the power of love to heal, and the truths that bind us all together. Perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes, Diane Chamberlain and Daniela Sacerdoti.
The book opens with a letter written by an anonymous person and signed off “From the love you wished I could be”. You don’t know who this person is or even if they are male or female but it does set the tone of the book.
Helen’s husband is out of work and from her perspective doesn’t seem to be doing much about it. She has taken on extra shifts in order to make sure bills are paid, yet she seems to have more time for two of her regular passengers on her bus than she does for her own husband. When he ups and leaves without telling her where he has gone or how long he will be away she is understandably angry but she does not try to see why he might have done this. She has got so used to coping and trying to find a solution to problems that somehow along the way she has managed to just take over everything even though you can see that she doesn’t always feel like the strong one. After finding the book with the letters on her bus although she knows she should hand it in she can’t help but read them as she sees parallels between what the mysterious person had been going through and her own life.
Geoff is struggling to hold things together as his wife slowly loses her battle with dementia. As the women he loves dearly and credit with making him who he is slips away before his eyes he fights everyone at every turn who is trying to help him. He is determined he is going to look after her in their own home no matter what. He feels guilty when she goes in a home for a few days and it just makes him even more determined that he is not going to desert his wife just when she needs him most. I think his part of the story got to me the most as I can’t imagine how heart breaking it must be to watch someone slip away from you in so many ways yet still be there in the occasional moment of clarity. It must be a real battle between what is in the best interests of that person against what you feel you should be able to do.
James has been homeless for some time and Helen lets him ride on her bus for free so that he can at least be warm for some of the day.He appreciates her kindness and they have a kind of friendship that they both draw on throughout the book. In fact it turns out that James helps Helen far more than she first realises.This book will certainly take you through a whole host of emotions, and I was quite surprised how it made me feel at times. It tackles subjects that are quite often glossed over in real life not just in books as even today they are not really talked about. I loved the letters that are inserted throughout the book and I found myself wondering who had written them. They showed a real struggle with things they had been dealing with and were clearly written as a way to make sense of things they had been going through. There was also the clear bond between three people who on the surface had little in common but despite this found strength from each other at different times in their lives. This is the first book I have read by AnnaMansell, but if this is what I have been missing out on then I am sure it won’t be my last.
If you’d like to buy the book for yourself, it is available from the following retailers:
About the Author
Anna had a brush with ‘fame’ as a magician’s assistant back in 1977. She later decided that being sawn in half by her magical performing father, at barely 6 months old, was too submissive a role. She vowed to channel the trauma in to something much more pro-actively creative. Having failed at acting, singing and professional murder mystery parties (she was ALWAYs the one to die!), she fell to something much more solitary: writing. How To Mend a Broken Heart was her first novel and her life was not on the line in order to write that or her second: The Lost Wife.
Anna lives on a dairy farm in Cornwall with her two children, her husband, and her ex-racing greyhound, Olive Dog.