adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT
adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT

1 audiobook of your choice.
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
$14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $21.00

Buy for $21.00

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

National Best Seller

One of the Best Books of the Year:
Vogue • Forbes • Bookpage • New York Post • Wired

“I have not been as profoundly moved by a book in years.” (Jodi Picoult)

Even after she left home for Hollywood, Emmy-nominated TV writer Bess Kalb saved every voicemail her grandmother Bobby Bell ever left her. Bobby was a force - irrepressible, glamorous, unapologetically opinionated. Bobby doted on Bess; Bess adored Bobby. Then, at ninety, Bobby died. But in this debut memoir, Bobby is speaking to Bess once more, in a voice as passionate as it ever was in life.

Recounting both family lore and family secrets, Bobby brings us four generations of indomitable women and the men who loved them. There’s Bobby’s mother, who traveled solo from Belarus to America in the 1880s to escape the pogroms, and Bess’s mother, a 1970s rebel who always fought against convention. But it was Bobby and Bess who always had the most powerful bond: Bobby her granddaughter’s fiercest supporter, giving Bess unequivocal love, even if sometimes of the toughest kind. Nobody Will Tell You This But Me marks the creation of a totally new, virtuosic form of memoir: a reconstruction of a beloved grandmother’s words and wisdom to tell her family’s story with equal parts poignancy and hilarity.

©2020 Bess Kalb (P)2020 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“An endearing, bittersweet, entertainingly fresh take on the family memoir. Kalb employs an unconventional yet highly effective and charming narrative, channeling the voice and personality of her grandmother, Bobby Bell, who snares readers' attention right from the first, [as] Kalb sharply reimagines her inner thoughts and remembers her fiercely nurturing criticism. The narrative skillfully captures Bobby's wit, worldly advice, well-intentioned meddling, and enduring love for her granddaughter. Readers familiar with the Bobby in their own families will appreciate the stoic overprotectiveness and exasperation that come with being a parent and grandparent. As the book progresses, the story becomes both sad and poignant - the photos and the imagined conversations make for sometimes heartbreaking reading, honoring a beloved grandmother’s legacy.” (Kirkus, starred review) 

“I have not been as profoundly moved by a book in years. If you have a mother or grandmother, or ARE a mother or a grandmother, this is required reading. Bess Kalb's fictional-factual tribute to the relationship she had with her grandmother - the way her history was passed to her by blood, along with bright memories and Jewish guilt and fierce, fierce love - could have been my own story. When I stop crying, I'm calling my mother immediately and making her read it.” (Jodi Picoult, author of A Spark of Light)
 

“We are the stories we leave behind, and so we must depend on the storytellers who carry forward our memories. 'Grandma Bobby' gave Bess Kalb gifts of love and language (and lunches at the Plaza!), and in this deeply moving and powerful book, Bess repays her in full with a magnificent act of conjuring. Bobby, and the line of stubborn women of which she was the keystone, lives on in this act of love. This book made me miss my own grandmother, who didn’t have Bobby’s style, but was just as fierce. I wish I had listened to her as carefully as Bess did to Bobby. As we Jews say, the memory of Bobby is a blessing to Kalb, and now, thankfully, to all of us.” (Peter Sagal, host of NPR's Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me!)

What listeners say about Nobody Will Tell You This But Me

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    445
  • 4 Stars
    68
  • 3 Stars
    33
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    3
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    413
  • 4 Stars
    59
  • 3 Stars
    12
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    2
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    388
  • 4 Stars
    66
  • 3 Stars
    21
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    3

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

It might be me

I just didn’t get the appeal of this book. I felt trapped in someone else’s house and they wouldn’t stop talking! Not my cup of tea.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Heartwarming story

Brilliantly written account of the love of a mother/ grandmother, including the struggles and heartbreak

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

It made me laugh, it made me cry... really amazing

This is most unlike the books I normally read or listen to, but it's truly great. The narrative is hysterical at many points, and really easy to dive into. Rare occurrence, but I actually cried with this book... it does an amazing job at capturing family relationships: their ups, their downs, their distance and their closeness. Really amazing job, including the audio performance.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A beautiful story

My grandmother died in November of 2020.
She had four children, ten step children, and about 45,000 grandchildren and great grandchildren, yet I felt a closeness with her that was just for me. It was small, but it was mine.

This book is a distilled and magnified and enhanced version of that closeness. Oh to have so many stories. So many lovely, personal memories. I wish I could have retained so much of my own grandmother's voice. I envy Bess Kalb as much as I understand how great her loss must have been. To be so thoroughly entwined with someone destined to die before you is such a cruel blessing.

The writing, the stories, the pacing, and the vocal performance of this production were phenomenal. I'm tempted to buy a dozen copies of the book for my mother, sisters, aunts and cousins who have all been processing losses of their own.

Thank you for this book.
I hope it helps you keep her.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Endearing story of a Grandmother’s Love

I wasn’t quite expecting tears as I listened but towards the end it really got me, and I’m not typically a crier of movies or books! Wonderfully written. I thoroughly enjoyed listening!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome!!!!

A touching, laugh out loud portrayal of love & honesty! I couldn’t stop listening & I know what kind of grandmother Im going to be: Bobbie Bell!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Stunning

Just...wonderful. Sweet loving heartbreaking. I fell in love with their love. Thank you thank you.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story by a great storyteller

This was such a. enjoyable listen from beginning to end. The story was engaging and the performance was fantastic.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Short But Sweet

Love this book! It fits a lot into a little bit and is totally worth a read especially for mothers, daughters, and granddaughters. Reminds me of my grandparents who are long gone.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Love Love Love

You will laugh. You will cry. You will hear your family in these stories! I recommended this book to every female in my family! They all loved it as much as I did!!