If You Tell

A True Story of Murder, Family Secrets, and the Unbreakable Bond of Sisterhood

by Gregg Olsen
Narrated by Karen Peakes


Motivation to Move: 4.0 Sneakers
Quality of Narration: 4.2 Sneakers
Overall Experience: 3.9 Sneakers
Moving and listening time: 10 hours 34 minutes. 7 hours 8 minutes at 1.5 tempo

REVIEW: A True Traumatic Story

I have scrolled by posts on the book If You Tell for months. The comments of horror, unbelievable abuse, the question of how this could happen are plentiful. The Walking Book Club has moved and listened to other non-fiction audiobooks such as A RIP in Heaven by Jeanine Cummins, Good Morning Monster by Catherine Gildiner, and Hidden Valley Road by Robert Kolker. Still, I shied away from If You Tell.

The comments in the posts subconsciously had me questioning if this might be a form of trauma porn. In the digital age, trauma porn is a term that refers to an unhealthy obsession with violence in the media. Would listening to If You Tell be a distasteful intrigue on other people’s misfortune? I’m still not sure of the answer to that question.

It is a horrific biography memoir of the Knotek sisters who endured their mother’s abuse and witnessed the slow, painful murder of two houseguests over the course of years. You may want to consider listening to the interview with a forensic psychologist at the end of the book first. The context and research she provides help answer many of the questions you may have as you listen, such as “how could this happen?”

As far as narration, Karen Peakes was nominated for an Audie Award for her work in If You Tell. Audie Awards are the Grammys of the audiobook world. Thus this audiobook rates high in Quality of Narration.

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