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You'll Never Know, Dear by Hallie Ephron
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You'll Never Know, Dear

by Hallie Ephron

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Not the usual mystery. Different story about doll-makers and surprise relationships. A little too easy to figure out. Three generations of women in South Carolina deal with uncertainties and uncovering long buried truths. A satisfying read. ( )
  pkg427 | Jun 27, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A quick read about a young girl kidnapped and the mystery is reopened when her doll returns home forty years later. after the doll is returned danger ensues and the family finds themselves in peril.
  arielfl | Jun 26, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This was a fast read. The author throws out just enough hints to pretty much let the reader know who was involved in the kidnapping of Janey Woodham forty years ago, but with several possibilities, the reader is not exactly sure which suspect is the right one or what the motive was for the kidnapping, so the reader must forge on to the end to find out.

All in all a good read, however a few events seemed a little too contrived and some characters a bit flat. Such as Maggie showing up with the doll expecting a reward, and then just leaving the doll behind and not really pressing about the reward when she and her mother were so desperate. And what about Frank and Lis' relationship first it's good, then he patronizes her, then what were they to each other? Also Maggie pretty much disappears in second part of the book. I guess she was just the vehicle to lead the reader to Jenny. It seemed like a lot of characters were thrown in but had little to do with the whole story. Oh well, as I said, all in all it was good for a fast summer read, but probably not one that will stick with you very long after. ( )
  morningwalker | Jun 26, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
You'll Never Know, Dear by Hallie Ephron is a recommended novel of suspense featuring three generations of women and a mystery set in South Carolina.

Forty years ago four-year-old sister Janey Woodham disappeared from her year, along with the doll her mother made her. Janey's seven-year-old sister, Lissie, was supposed to be keeping an eye on her, but she ran after a a puppy that suddenly appeared in her yard. When Lissie returned home, Janey and her doll were gone. Now Lis has a daughter in college, but she still blames herself for Janey's disappearance. Her mother, Miss Sorrel, has fashioned individual, hand-made porcelain portrait dolls for years, with help from her bossy next-door neighbor Evelyn Dumont. Every year on the anniversary of Janey's disappearance she puts out an ad offering a large reward for a doll, Janey's doll, knowing that she will recognize it.

When a college student in a beat-up car answers the ad, Miss Sorrel knows it is Janey's doll, but the girl runs away rather than answering questions about where she got it. That night Miss Sorrel's kiln explodes, sending both her and Lis into the hospital and bringing Lis's daughter, Vanessa, home. This sets into motion a search for the mysterious young woman and an unraveling of a decades old mystery.

You'll Never Know, Dear is definitely more character driven than a novel of great suspense. The mystery is easy to figure out, so the pleasure in this one is in the characterizations of the women. Ephron does a nice job developing her characters and placing them in the context of the story.

While it starts out slowly and doesn't really provide much suspense until the end, it does reaches a satisfying conclusion, which makes it a good summer reading choice. In many ways this novel would actually make a better movie because of all the dolls that are collected and sitting around the house. I think the visuals of dolls, staring at the viewer, could make this much creepier and up the suspense. (Just consider the cover and a house full of staring dolls.)

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of HarperCollins.

http://www.shetreadssoftly.com/2017/06/youll-never-know-dear.html
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2026583534 ( )
  SheTreadsSoftly | Jun 11, 2017 |
When a child disappears, the pain never goes away no matter how long ago it has been.

Lis Woodham's four-year-old sister, Janey, along with her doll disappeared forty years ago and was never found. There were no clues about what happened then and no clues now.

Each year Janey's mother, Miss Sorrel, would put an ad in the paper on the anniversary of the disappearance in hopes that someone would come forward with the doll or information about her daughter's disappearance and earn the reward offered. There never was an answer to the ad for all of those years except for now. Someone saw the ad and brought a battered doll to their house hoping it was Janey's.

Before they could tell if the doll was actually Janey's, the person bringing the doll ran out of the house and disappeared.

This caused more anxiety for the family, and it seemed that once the doll was returned, the family was plagued with danger. Their house was burglarized and then filled with carbon monoxide causing harm to Grandma Sorrel and Lis.

The accident brought Lis's daughter, Vanessa, home to help take care of her mother and grandmother, and Vanessa got involved in the forty-year-old investigation.

YOU'LL NEVER KNOW, DEAR was a mystery that will definitely hold your interest because of Ms. Ephron’s talent of drawing the reader into the story.

YOU’LL NEVER KNOW, DEAR wasn't fast paced or gripping, but had just enough intrigue to keep you turning the pages.

The ending revealed quite a few secrets that some of the characters wished had not been revealed and other secrets that were welcome revelations.

YOU'LL NEVER KNOW, DEAR was a good mystery with tense moments and a mystery that will keep you guessing. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review. ( )
  SilversReviews | Jun 7, 2017 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0062473611, Hardcover)

An addictive novel of psychological suspense from the award-winning author of Night Night, Sleep Tight, about three generations of women haunted by a little girl’s disappearance, and the porcelain doll that may hold the key to the truth . . .

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Sun, 05 Mar 2017 11:55:43 -0500)

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