You’ll Never Know, Dear

by Hallie Ephron, ISBN 9780062473615

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“I LOVED this book! Great characters, great sense of place, great suspense. And the doll-making background was fascinating.”
— Deborah Crombie, New York Times best selling author of Garden of Lamentations

From the award-winning author of NIGHT NIGHT, SLEEP TIGHT comes a novel about a little girl’s disappearance and the porcelain doll that may hold the key to her fate…

Lissie Woodham was only seven years old when her little sister Janey disappeared. They had been in the front yard, playing with their dolls, custom creations made for them by their mother Miss Sorrel, a famous dollmaker. Lissie wandered off for a moment. When she returned to the yard, Janey was gone, and so was her doll.

Now an adult with a college-aged daughter of her own, Lis has never stopped blaming herself for what happened, and it continues to haunt her. Every year on the anniversary of Janey’s disappearance, Miss Sorrel places a classified ad in the local papers with a picture of Janey’s one-of-a-kind doll, offering a cash reward for its return. Never, in all these years, has anyone brought her a doll that could be Janey’s—until now. Four decades after Janey went missing, a woman responds to the ad with a broken porcelain doll.

What begins as a small clue in a tragic cold case turns into something far more sinister. The women in Miss Sorrel’s family may be in danger, because whoever knows the truth about what happened all those years ago will do anything to keep it hidden.

Praise for YOU'LL NEVER KNOW, DEAR

Audiofile Earphones Award Winner: “Hallie Ephron has achieved a riveting suspense novel, and Amy McFadden’s narration is compelling.”

LitHub: CRIME MUST-READ for June

“Ephron excels at domestic suspense, and ‘You’ll Never Know, Dear’ again puts her impressive storytelling skills on riveting display.” — Richmond Times-Dispatch

“Hallie Ephron weaves a captivating tale of suspense in ‘You’ll Never Know, Dear'” Pittsburgh Post Gazette

“You’ll Never Know, Dear is a grabber, a mystery ballasted by women on a mission and the ties that bind them. Ephron is sharp; she swerves around potential plot snags and tosses red herrings like a master. ” Shelf Awareness

“Ephron’s well-drawn female characters are strong and smart, and the Southern setting makes the perfect backdrop to this eerie tale. Lies, secrets, child abductions, sexual relationships, and murder add to the novel’s twists and turns. Verdict: A satisfyingly creepy read for fans of Southern gothic fiction.” — Library Journal

A “surprisingly gentle” story that tends “the layers of guilt and sorrow that burden a family,” a portrait of women “who rely on their doggedness and emotional bonds on a mission to restore family peace.” “Ephron aims for readers who favor… novels in which the writing is straightforward and the plot spools out at a measured pace.” — NY Times Book Review

FOUR STARS! “A uniquely intriguing mystery” “The suspenseful portions are fast paced, and the reader will race to find out how things will play out. The parts dealing with doll making and restoration are fascinating and add a dimension that make this novel different from the rest.” — RT Romantic Times Book Review

“An accessible, easy read that deftly integrates the mystery genre with women’s fiction, it’s made compelling by the depth and resonance of the relationships.” — Boston Globe

“With its strong characters and vivid sense of place, the novel should draw from both camps… women’s fiction and mainstream mystery.” — Booklist

“Engaging portrait of three generations of bickering, bull-headed, but loving women challenged to become their bravest and best selves.” — Publisher’s Weekly

“An engrossing and fast-paced novel that will hold readers’ attention while they try to figure out who is behind all of the mayhem.” San Francisco Review of Books

“Diverting. …Would have been a great vehicle for Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, including all the slightly creepy dolls.” — Kirkus

“Ephron excels at depicting the dynamics between ordinary women thrust into extraordinary situations. While she’s often told tales of mothers and daughters, this is her first three-generation saga, and the result is a poignant portrayal of how tragedies often have a trickle-down effect, blighting everyone they touch despite the degrees of separation. You’ll Never Know, Dear is a worthy and irresistibly readable addition to the author’s impressive arsenal. While discerning readers may harbor strong suspicions as to who the guilty party is, it’s the why that drives the narrative—a consideration that proves compelling until the bitter/sweet end. Though Ephron’s work is often classified as women’s fiction, it should appeal to anybody who enjoys intelligent, stylistic suspense. After all, questions of family, fidelity, and forgiveness are universal.” John Valeri for The Criminal Element