Something to Tell You by Lucy Diamond - book review: Brimming with emotion, drama and home truths

A golden wedding anniversary celebration ends in shocked disbelief when a young woman gatecrashes the party and reveals a devastating secret…

Monday, 21st January 2019, 2:21 pm
Updated Monday, 21st January 2019, 2:24 pm
Something to Tell You by Lucy Diamond

Lucy Diamond, the go-to author for domestic dramas that inspire, uplift and entertain, hits the spot perfectly in this warm, compelling and acutely perceptive take on the complicated bonds of family and the way the past has a habit of tripping you up when you least expect it.

The shining star of clever, contemporary novels like The Secrets of Happiness, The House of New Beginnings and The Year of Taking Chances, Diamond excels at painting family life in all its endearing and complex reality, so get ready to cry, smile, and laugh out loud as we share the crises of a group of very different women.

When 34-year-old Frankie Carlyle finds an unopened letter from her late mother, she is delighted to have one last message from her… until she reads the contents and discovers the truth about her birth and the father she never knew existed.

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Brimming with questions, she travels from her home in London to York to find further answers from Harry Mortimer and walks in on a party to celebrate his golden wedding. All the family are there – his wife Jeanie, their four children and their wives, husbands, partners and families.

Frankie’s appearance sends shockwaves through them all even though she had been determined that the encounter with her real father would not be ‘combative or upsetting.’ Suddenly, the Mortimer family, who had always seemed ‘so unassailable, so tight, so solid,’ are faced with a massive dilemma.

Meanwhile, Robyn Mortimer has problems of her own. Her handsome lecturer husband John has become distant, and a chance remark from a friend leads Robyn to wonder exactly what he has not been saying. Dare she find out more?

As for Bunny, she fell head over heels in love with Dave Mortimer when she first arrived in town, but now it seems that her past is catching up with her. She can’t help wondering if he will still feel the same way about her if he discovers who she really is… and what she did.

For Harry and Jeanie’s daughter Paula, married to Matt Brent, and the mother of two teenage sons, life has started unravelling. As the only daughter, she had always felt special but now she has to accept that she has a half-sister.

Meanwhile, Frankie’s settled life in London with her partner, single dad Craig, and his four-year-old son Fergus is being torn apart by the shock return of Fergus’s mother who walked out on him when he was only six months old.

As secrets tumble out and loyalties are tested, the Mortimers have to face up to some difficult decisions. This will be a year they will never forget…

Diamond always makes her stories sing by introducing us to women whose sheer ordinariness makes them instantly recognisable. Their fears, their flaws and their insecurities are universal, and their experiences are often shared by readers from all walks of life.

Here, we meet a family in crisis and it’s not just the lynchpin couple Harry and Jeanie Mortimer… hidden anxieties, betrayal, secrets past and present rise inexorably to the surface and the women of the younger generation are forced to reassess both their relationships and the course of their lives.

Brimming with emotion, drama and home truths, Something to Tell You sees Diamond at her storytelling best… warm, wise, witty and eternally optimistic.

(Macmillan, hardback, £12.99)