Book Review: You’ll Never Know, Dear

YOU’LL NEVER KNOW, DEAR | Hallie Ephron
06.06.2017 | William Morrow
Rating: 3/5 stars

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Forty years ago the Sorrel family was struck by tragedy when the youngest daughter, Janey, went missing. Lissie, the oldest daughter, was seven-years-old on the day it happened. She was outside with Janey playing with their porcelain dolls in the front yard when a black and white puppy showed up and drew Lissie to chase after him. After recently losing her own dog, Lissie desperately wanted to play with this one and left Janey in the yard as she took off after it. When Lissie finally returned Janey, along with her doll, was gone.

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My Rose White and Rose Red…

Present day finds us with Lissie, who now goes by Lis, a woman who a number of years ago moved back her hometown and in with her mother. After a rocky divorce many years ago Lis returned with her daughter to the town she did not want to be in and has built herself a new life. Now that her daughter, Vanessa, has moved away for college, Lis is slowly trying to rebuild her self-confidence, but cannot stop blaming herself for what happened to Janey all those years ago. Their mother, Miss Sorrel, continues to be haunted by the loss of her daughter as well and each year she places a classified ad in the paper with a picture of Janey’s doll offering a reward for its return. Miss Sorrel’s hope is that if someone has the doll, they can give information on how they found it that would lead to answers on what happened to Janey.

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Lis learned a hard lesson: look away for a moment and the thing you cherish most in this world could be…would be…snatched from you.

In the past there have been many false claims brought to Miss Sorrel by people looking to cash in on the reward she is offering, but this year is different. A young woman named Maggie shows up at the Sorrel house with Janey’s doll. As the Sorrel women dig deeper into the owner of this doll and its history, they bring themselves closer and closer to danger. Who in this sleepy town of Bonsecours is to be trusted? What really happened to Janey all those years ago?

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Sometimes I wonder if either of you have even the slightest idea what Miss Sorrel went through, all because someone didn’t pay attention. And now you’re letting a viper into her garden.

YOU’LL NEVER KNOW, DEAR presents an intriguing story of a missing child and a family desperate to find answers many years later. The novel is filled with deception presented to the Sorrel family by people they have always trusted. It is a story of secrets and lies that have over the years built upon each other and now with the return of Janey’s doll they slowly come to the surface. Despite Ephron’s use of red herrings throughout the novel, I found it easy to guess who was behind the disappearance. There were some revelations that I didn’t expect, but overall they were far and few between. YOU’LL NEVER KNOW, DEAR left me wanting more suspense and more edge of your seat intrigue. While the ending was more fast-paced than the rest of the novel, it wasn’t enough to boost this book beyond a middle of the road rating for me.

Thank you to William Morrow and Hallie Ephron for allowing granting me a copy of this novel through Library Things.

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