Nardio Book Review
Is It Worth Your Time?
Yes. If You Could See What I See is a heartfelt book that made me tear up.
What Did You Think Without Spoiling It?
If You Could See What I See is a well written novel about overcoming your past demons and moving on with your life, hopefully with a newfound respect for your past problems. It’s actually quite a page turner as well so while it hovers at 448 pages, I was able to finish the book in about a day. You find yourself emotionally invested in the characters, even the side ones. Well done Cathy Lamb.
Why it Works
The pacing of the novel is great, showing larger and larger glimpses into the lives of the main character Meggie as well as all of the other supporting characters. Not only does Meggie struggle with keeping her family lingerie busienss afloat, she struggles to keep her own mental stability in check. We learn through various flashbacks throughout the book why she is struggling so hard. I love the fact that we get these little pockets of information throughout as we don’t get too overburdened by the darkness surrounding Meggie’s past. It also serves as an excellent narrative device showing how Meggie is opening herself up as she reveals more and more about the past events. Of course, the other characters all have their own past issues that have shaped them into who they are. During the Fashion Story narratives of the employers, I definitely had to hold my tears in check for some of the stories. Lamb does a great job really making all of the characters shine no matter how long they appeared in the book, each one brought their own style and flare to the story. I have to say that the big reveal of Meggie’s grandmother’s story was definitely the saddest yet most inspirational one of the lot. At the end of the day, it’s thanks to the different stories the Meggie hears as well as the comfort of a new love interest that allows her to face her fears and move on.
While there are some dark moments in the story, there is definitely a lot of hope and humor as well so it keeps the story from being too depressing. Meggie’s mother is a hoot as is her bull of a grandmother. There’s a lot going on just beyond the surface of each of the characters, making the story that much more enjoyable.
Not much. I don’t necessarily know if it was necessary to cram in so many issues (mental health, transgender, etc.) into the book, but I enjoyed the read. I also didn’t really like Tory’s personality throughout the whole book, but I felt like she added a necessary dynamic.
Aside from my very few issues, If You Could See What I See is definitely a must read. Lamb does a wonderful job peeling back the different layers of Meggie and her family until they are all finally as exposed emotionally as they are physically during the Fashion Story. It’s a motivational book as well showing readers that despite potentially horrid conditions, people can rise above and create their own legacy. The book will be released July 30, 2013.
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