Tell Me Something True [NOOK Book]

Overview

Gabriella always loved the picture of her mother kneeling in front of a bed of roses, smiling, beautiful and impossibly happy. But then she learns that her late mother hated gardening; that she had never wanted the house in the Hollywood hills, the successful movie producer husband, and possibly, her only daughter. When Gabriella discovers a journal--a book that begins as a new mother's letters to her baby girl, but becomes a secret diary--the final entry leaves one question unanswered: the night her mother died,...
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Tell Me Something True

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Overview

Gabriella always loved the picture of her mother kneeling in front of a bed of roses, smiling, beautiful and impossibly happy. But then she learns that her late mother hated gardening; that she had never wanted the house in the Hollywood hills, the successful movie producer husband, and possibly, her only daughter. When Gabriella discovers a journal--a book that begins as a new mother's letters to her baby girl, but becomes a secret diary--the final entry leaves one question unanswered: the night her mother died, was she returning to Colombia to end an affair, or was she abandoning her family for good?
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Cobo’s sweet debut novel is the story of two women—a mother and daughter—and the love affairs that irrevocably changed their lives. Gabriella, 21, is a piano prodigy raised by her wealthy grandmother in Colombia and her movie producer father in Los Angeles. Her mother, Helena, was a renowned photographer who died when Gabriella was four. When she attends a party in the Hollywood Hills, Gabriella meets Angel, the man of her dreams. There’s one catch: he’s a mobster. As Gabriella tries to reconcile her conflicted feelings toward Angel, she discovers her mother’s diary. Soon she is drawn into Helena’s secret life, one that involved a passionate love affair. Betrayed and confused, Gabriela tries to find her mother’s lover. But when her own romance begins to spiral out of control, Gabriella must come to terms with the fact that she’s very much her mother’s daughter. Cobo’s well-drawn characters help bolster the story when Gabriella’s tragic romance occasionally slides into melodrama. The smooth prose and authentic Colombian settings provide a unique spin to familiar territory. (Oct.)
Kirkus Reviews
In this indulgent romantic debut, half-American, half Colombian Gabriella discovers she and her mother share a taste for forbidden men. High-flown description and sentiment, even the occasional serious theme (e.g., cross-cultural identity), do little to dress up Cobo's thin, implausible characters and storyline. Beautiful, rich Gabriella, who lost her mother Helena in a plane crash when she was four, spends her Christmases in Colombia at the home of her beautiful, rich grandmother. Twenty-one-year-old Gabriella's only worry is the pressure for perfection coming from her handsome, rich father, a filmmaker in L.A. But on her latest trip to South America, two things happen: first she finds Helena's diary, which reveals an adulterous affair, and then she falls for handsome, rich Angel Silva, the suave yet vulnerable son of a jailed Mafioso drug baron. (In case you hadn't noticed, all the protagonists here are gorgeous and wealthy.) Despite grandma's disapproval, Gabriella chooses not to resist Angel's advances. After all, she tells herself, he is not like his father; he despises drugs and makes his money as a pop promoter. (She manages to avoid the question of why Angel needs the protection of many bodyguards.) When the ecstatic couple is not together, Gabriella works on uncovering the truth about her mother, meeting Helena's lover and learning why she was on the plane that crashed. Cobo uses violence to push the plot forward as the story moves towards its predictable conclusion. A soapy melodrama with poetic aspirations.
Booklist
"[A] poignant tale of truths hidden and laid bare."
BookLoons Reviews
"A good story, delicately told with pathos and compassion."
RT Book Reviews
"This heart-wrenching story focuses on how memories permeate the everyday, the relationship between mothers and daughters, and the role family plays in our most intimate relationships."
Semana
"Con una trama que deja al lector preguntando por una continuación de esta historia, la periodista y pianista Leila Cobo ingresa con el pie derecho al mundo de la novela con su primer libro, Tell Me Something True." -Semana ("With a story that leaves the reader wanting more, journalist and pianist Leila Cobo enters the literary world on the right foot with her first novel, Tell Me Something True."
www.thereviewbroads.com
"This first novel, one of the best that I have read all year, throws question after question at the reader and tosses us all back to our first loves and the choices we may or may not have made....Relentless an absolutely honest, the surprise ending is unbeatable. Wonderful writing, content, themes and characters... this novel is a must read. Bravo!"
Examiner.com
"Raw, passionate, honest and fearless."
www.mostlyfiction.com
"Tell Me Something True is an utterly wonderful and riveting book that had me in its clutches from the first page. It is lyrical and sensual with no word out of place. The character development is perfect, deep and meaningful, bringing the reader into the heart of the protagonists and their lives. In a sense, this novel sang to me in its poignant story of great loves."
Midwest Book Review
"[Tell Me Something True] is a well told story. The characters are alive and maintain a reader's interest until the last word."
From the Publisher
"[A] poignant tale of truths hidden and laid bare."—Booklist

"The smooth prose and authentic Colombian settings provide a unique spin to familiar territory."—Publishers Weekly

"A good story, delicately told with pathos and compassion."—BookLoons Reviews

"This heart-wrenching story focuses on how memories permeate the everyday, the relationship between mothers and daughters, and the role family plays in our most intimate relationships."—RT Book Reviews

"Con una trama que deja al lector preguntando por una continuación de esta historia, la periodista y pianista Leila Cobo ingresa con el pie derecho al mundo de la novela con su primer libro, Tell Me Something True." -Semana ("With a story that leaves the reader wanting more, journalist and pianist Leila Cobo enters the literary world on the right foot with her first novel, Tell Me Something True."—Semana

"This first novel, one of the best that I have read all year, throws question after question at the reader and tosses us all back to our first loves and the choices we may or may not have made....Relentless an absolutely honest, the surprise ending is unbeatable. Wonderful writing, content, themes and characters... this novel is a must read. Bravo!"—www.thereviewbroads.com

"Raw, passionate, honest and fearless."—Examiner.com

"Tell Me Something True is an utterly wonderful and riveting book that had me in its clutches from the first page. It is lyrical and sensual with no word out of place. The character development is perfect, deep and meaningful, bringing the reader into the heart of the protagonists and their lives. In a sense, this novel sang to me in its poignant story of great loves."—www.mostlyfiction.com

"[Tell Me Something True] is a well told story. The characters are alive and maintain a reader's interest until the last word."—Midwest Book Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446558273
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/1/2009
  • Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 282,214
  • File size: 674 KB

Meet the Author

Leila Cobo
Renowned journalist and former concert pianist, Leila Cobo is a native of Cali, Colombia. The Executive Director of Latin Content & Programming for Billboard, she is a frequent contributor to NPR and has written liner notes for acts such as Ricky Martin, Shakira and Chayanne. She is also the host of the television show Estudio Billboard, which features in-depth interviews with top Latin acts. Leila is a Fulbright scholar with a graduate degree from the Annenberg School of Communications at USC and holds dual degrees in journalism, from Bogota's Universidad Javeriana, and in piano performance from the Manhattan School of Music. She currently lives in Key Biscayne, Fl. with her husband and children.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 15 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 15 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 19, 2010

    Could have been so much better!

    I gave it two stars mainly out of disappointment. As a Latin American residing in the United States, this novel appealed to me greatly. The depictions of cultural differences and identity were very accurate. The story promised a lot. However, I found the story line and the main character's actions quite far-fetched. I could not see at all--SPOILER ALERT-- how finding out that secret about your mother would turn you into a brat and propel you to date a drug dealer in order to "write your own book". Please! And after everything that happened, the end came abruptly with the decision to leave. I found the main character uneven and not credible. I strongly think the plot has problems. The character's actions seemed to come out of nowhere.

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  • Posted January 26, 2010

    Beautiful, Moving, nostalgic

    This is a beautiful book, impregnated with nostalgia and soulfulness. The intertwined lives of mother and daughter and their impossible loves are riveting and took me back to a time I had forgotten. This is also a wonderful book about living between cultures and languages. Many will identify. Be prepared to cry.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2010

    Its was just ok

    It was a fast book to read i liked the family drama there is always two side of the story. Do i recommend this book? yes

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  • Posted December 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    This book was OK but it was too cliche; one could surmise the ending before it happened.

    It was too predictable and mushy for my taste. The character Gabriella annoyed me with her childish whims; in the end she wimped out. It was a quick read but not spell binding.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2009

    Wonderful, touching

    This is a Must read. I could not put this book down. It is a touching and thought provoking book. I cannot wait for the next Leila Cobo book to come out.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 23, 2009

    Mothers and Daughters

    I think every daughter wonders what her mother is like when she is not acting as a mother, but as a woman. "Tell me Something True
    brings us into the life of both a mother and a daughter where the daughter slowly peels back the layers of her mother's life and sees things that anger and frighten her. This is a must-read for daughters, sisters, and mothers. The prose is a treat to read, the journey, romantic, compelling and unforgettable. Leila Cobo does an excellent job of bringing us into two cultures, two generations, and that gray area that lies in between...

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  • Posted October 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    COBO PROVIDES QUALITY READING

    TELL ME SOMETHING TRUE
    Leila Cobo
    Grand Central Publishing
    $13.99 - Paperback
    ISBN: 978-0-446-51936-6
    308 Pages
    Reviewer: Annie Slessman

    This is my first read by Leila Cobo. Her latest work, TELL ME SOMETHING TRUE shares an intimate story of a young American-Columbian woman who has lost her mother early in life. Living with her father in Los Angeles she keeps the memory of her mother alive through her pictures and the few memories she has of her mother.

    During a visit with her grandmother in Cali, she discovers a diary of her mothers she learns the truth about her mother and the double life she lead. Her mother had fallen for another man during her marriage and refused to give him up even though she remained in marriage to Gabriella's father. Gabriella is shocked, dismayed but mostly curious about her mother's behavior.

    Gabriella's chance meeting with Angel, the son of Cali's drug cartel head, tosses her into the world of danger and excitement. She falls in love with Angel, Coming from a family who feels Angel is unsuitable as a companion for Gabriella; she hides her relationship from her family. Eventually, she throws caution to the wind and introduces him to her matriarch grandmother. Although the grandmother disapproves of her relationship with Angel, she keeps her opinion to herself as not to lose Gabriella to the family as he had lost Gabriella's mother.

    This is a well told story. The characters are alive and maintain a reader's interest until the last word. If you have not read words by Leila Cobo, a well known journalist and former concert pianist, this would be a great starting place.

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  • Posted October 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    a fascinating family drama

    Twenty-one year old Colombian-American Gabriella has been raised in both countries. Her father resides in Southern California as a successful movie producer while her maternal grandmother, who she visits every Christmas, lives in South America. Her late mother was never been part of her life except for a photo of Helena that Gabriella loves.

    A piano prodigy, Gabriella finds her mother's diary that shocks her; not just aboute her mom's affair though that is a stunner when she always of Helena as an earth angel. At a Hollywood gala, Gabriella and affluent pop music promoter Angel Silva meet and are attracted to one another. However, she has some doubts because his father is a jailed drug trafficker. Still as she falls in love, Gabriella keeps looking into what happened to her mother who died in a plane crash just after she apparently had a torrid affair.

    This is a violent bittersweet romance starring an intriguing heroine whose image of her parents and grandma collapses with the reading of her Mami's diary. The truth is not as kind as the lie her love ones told her to shelter her from the transgressions of her Mami. Although at times too melodramatic especially when Angel enters Gabriella's life, TELL ME SOMETHING TRUE is a fascinating family drama that asks readers whether lying to protect a child even an adult child from the tarnished truth about a deceased loved one is acceptable. Using true events like the plane crash in 1995 of a flight from Miami to Cali, Columbia as anchors to her tale, fans will enjoy Gabriella's quest to learn who her Mami's secret lover was and why her Mami was on the plane.

    Harriet Klausner

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    Posted October 12, 2009

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