Did I Ever Tell You?

Written by Genevieve Kingston

Based on her “Modern Love” piece (“She Put Her Unspent Love in a Cardboard Box”), this extraordinary memoir tells the astonishing story of a mother’s last gifts to her daughter, and the wisdom and love she bestowed upon her from beyond the grave.

Genevieve (Gwen) Kingston’s mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer when Gwen was just three years old. Defying the odds, she lived another eight years—during which time she filled a chest with gifts and letters to Gwen and her brother, Jamie, for every major milestone and birthday through age thirty. The day Gwen got her driver’s license. The day she graduated from high school. Gwen is now in her thirties and, when Did I Ever Tell You? begins, three unopened boxes remain: engagement, marriage, and first baby. Two decades after her passing, Gwen’s mother’s extraordinary efforts created a lifelong conversation beyond the grave.

Did I Ever Tell You? is Crying in H Mart meets The Bright Hour by Nina Riggs. This is not just a gorgeously written mother-daughter story. It’s also the story of a family riven by grief and mental illness, and a story of a young woman’s navigation through both. It’s a book about family and legacy; and it’s one that emphatically declares, as Gwen’s mother does in a particularly powerful letter, that “Love is stronger than death.”