I Meant to Tell You
“Fran Hawthorne delivers a nuanced exploration of the connections among women – and how they can unravel when lies of omission are revealed… I Meant to Tell You kept me turning the pages late into the night.” —Jennifer Coburn, USA Today best-selling author of Cradles of the Reich
“Fran Hawthorne has written a wise, kind, and above all compassionate novel about the secrets we keep and the judgments we make.” —Yona Zeldis McDonough, Fiction Editor of Lilith
When Miranda Isaacs’s fiancé, Russ Steinmann, is being vetted for his dream job in the U.S. attorney’s office, the couple joke about whether Miranda’s parents’ history as antiwar activists in the Sixties might jeopardize Russ’s security clearance. But as it turns out, the real threat emerges after the attorney’s office discovers that Miranda was arrested for felony kidnapping seven years earlier – an arrest she’d never bothered to tell Russ about.
Miranda tries to explain that she was only helping her best friend, Ronit, in the midst of a nasty divorce and custody battle, take her daughter to visit her parents in Israel. Russ doesn’t see it quite as innocently. “I thought I knew you,” he says. Now, it’s not only Russ’s job at stake, but their marriage plans, too.
In a frantic search for allies to persuade Russ that she’s not a criminal, Miranda either makes the situation worse, or exposes other secrets and mysteries. Ronit has vanished. Russ's mother isn’t particularly sympathetic and alludes to something thorny in Russ's past. Meanwhile, Miranda’s stepfather – who has just revealed to her mother that he’s been having an affair -- starts dropping cryptic hints about her biological father. On top of all that, Miranda is arrested again, this time for drunk driving.
With everything she thought she knew about the people she loves most, and even herself, upended, Miranda turns her focus to the things she is sure about. She must face the truth with her mother and with Russ, and do whatever it takes to save Russ’s job and their engagement.