Friday, August 18, 2017

[Book Review] You'll Never Know, Dear by Hallie Ephron

Book Review of You'll Never Know, Dear by Hallie Ephron

You'll Never Know, Dear is a great mystery with lots of very tense suspense! I cruised right through this one because I needed to know how things turned out!

You'll Never Know, Dear by Hallie Ephron

Goodreads synopsis:
Seven-year-old Lissie Woodham and her four-year-old sister Janey were playing with their porcelain dolls in the front yard when an adorable puppy scampered by. Eager to pet the pretty dog, Lissie chased after the pup as it ran down the street. When she returned to the yard, Janey’s precious doll was gone . . . and so was Janey.

Forty years after Janey went missing, Lis—now a mother with a college-age daughter of her own—still blames herself for what happened. Every year on the anniversary of her sister’s disappearance, their mother, Miss Sorrel, places a classified ad in the local paper with a picture of the toy Janey had with her that day—a one-of-a-kind porcelain doll—offering a generous cash reward for its return. For years, there’s been no response. But this year, the doll came home.

It is the first clue in a decades-old mystery that is about to turn into something far more sinister—endangering Lis and the lives of her mother and daughter as well. Someone knows the truth about what happened all those years ago, and is desperate to keep it hidden. 

My thoughts:
When I saw the cover of this book I almost didn't request it from my local library. There's just something about dolls that is so eerie to me! My Nana had quite the collection and I hated passing through her bedroom because she kept them in there on top of the dressers...

I went into this book pretty blind, having only read four of the last five paragraphs in this post from Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews. Like Elizabeth says, this book isn't very fast paced, but there is just something about the element of suspense that Hallie Ephron incorporates that hooks you.

The writing was so easy to read and I enjoyed the overall storyline. I also really liked each of the characters! I thought they were developed fairly well and I enjoyed learning more about each of them as the story progressed. My favorite part about each of the main female characters was how strong they all were. At any point, many of them could have played the victim card or cowered off in a corner, but they never did. They stood strong and fought to get things figured out, not relying on anyone else.

From strictly a mystery perspective, I thought it was quite predictable. Though the action when things started to be laid out for the readers was still very enjoyable and thrilling! 

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

The principle was simple. If you could control a dream, bend it at your will, then you could rob nightmares and the memories that sparked them of their power to terrorize you. 

"It's no sin," Evelyn said, "to accept a little help."

"Just one more question. How certain are the results?"
"If you provide usable DNA samples, results will be conclusive."
A chill went down Lis's spine as she hung up. How many things in life could you say that about?

"But many people find writing it down helps. Like taking it out of your head and putting it on a shelf where it can't hurt you again."

My final thoughts:
While a bit predictable, this book still totally captivated me right from the beginning and kept me hooked throughout. I would highly recommend this one to any reader that enjoys quick mysteries and/or character driven stories. Four stars!

Thanks for reading!
What was the last mystery that you read?


  1. Yuck, dolls on the cover is a turn off for me, too! But you're the second person I've know who has loved this book. The mystery I'm currently reading (I had to put it down to read deadline stuff and am just getting back to it today) is Jack Be Quick by Benjamin Thomas. He's a New England writer, lives in CT.

    1. They're SO creepy!! I admit, when I wasn't reading, this book was left face down. Oh, I'll have to check out Jack Be Quick! Thanks for stopping by! :)

  2. The cover of the book is definitely creepy, but the title is extremely intriguing! I don't often read mystery novels, but this one has definitely picked up my interest, so I'll have to give it a go sometime soon!
    Great review :)
    Erika @ Books and Stars

    1. I'd love to hear your thoughts if you get the chance to read it! :)

  3. Ohh great review Erica. I don't like porcelain dolls as well. When I was a little girl my aunt actually bought me a very creepy porcelain clown doll, it really creep me out worst of all when my baby sister first lays eyes on it when she was little she started to scream and cry. My baby sister is now 27 years old and she is still petrify of clowns! lol. Thank you so much for the awesome post Erica.

    1. Oh no!! Gosh, those are the creepiest dolls ever!! Thanks for stopping by! :)