Book Review: The Things I should have told You by Carmel Harrington

September 8, 2016 Book review 6 ★★★★½

Imagine travelling around Europe in a camper van.   Imagine yourself living in a tiny enclosed space with a moody teenager, a boisterous little boy and a wife that has drifted away from you. That’s the premise of The Things I should have told You by Carmel Harrington.


Book Review: The Things I should have told You by Carmel HarringtonThe Things I Should Have Told You by Carmel Harrington
Published by HarperCollins on September 8th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Emotions & Feelings, Family
Pages: 432
Format: Paperback
Source: Received from Publisher

Every family has a story…

But for the Guinness family a happy ending looks out of reach. Olly and Mae's marriage is crumbling, their teenage daughter Evie is on a mission to self-destruct and their beloved Pops is dying of cancer. Their once strong family unit is slowly falling apart.

But Pops has one final gift to offer his beloved family – a ray of hope to cling to. As his life's journey draws to a close, he sends his family on an adventure across Europe in a camper van, guided by his letters, his wisdom and his love.

Because Pops knows that all his family need is time to be together, to find their love for each other and to find their way back home…

ARC REVIEW BOOKLOVE Page-Turner Refreshing Tear Jerker


First Line of The Things I should have told You by Carmel Harrington:

“Our lives are just a series of moments.”


My Thoughts on The Things I should have told You by Carmel Harrington

Carmel Harrington writes fiction that draws me in and entertains me from the first sentence to the last. I have been a fan from her first book – Beyond Grace’s Rainbow – and can assure you that her books started at a high level but have gotten even better since then. Her skill as a writer continues to grow and I think this book is her best yet.

Pop’s vows to reunite and strengthen his son’s family and his dying wish is that they undertake a mystery tour of his choice.  He leaves a legacy and it makes for an unforgettable summer for the Guinness family.

The shenanigans of this little family unit as they jaunt around Europe in a family camper van made me laugh till I cried. I also shed tears of pain as they work through issues that have caused huge conflict within their family. While they voyaged to various counties, I travelled though a myriad of locations and emotions right along with them.

I invested emotionally in the entire family and I wanted to squeeze them tight in a group hug. They live through dark moments, light moments and hopeful moments but it never felt overly sensationalised. It is a normal contemporary family working and floundering through normal contemporary family issues. I identified with the characters and they felt very much like they could be your family or the family over the garden fence.

I always feel a little richer for having read one of Carmel’s books. They are full of wisdom and make me want to live every moment of my life. Pops says ‘leave nothing left unsaid’.  I love that motto and am embracing it in my life.

Overall this inspiring and emotional family-centred read stole my heart. I loved it.


Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: four-half-stars


Who should read The Things I should have told You by Carmel Harrington?

I strongly encourage you to read this if you love European settings, family adventures and emotional but fun storylines. Fans of Carmel’s previous books should love this one. And I’d also recommend if you enjoy books by Patricia Scanlan, Monica McInerney or Hazel Gaynor.

Thanks to Harper Collins, Ireland for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.


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