A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

You'll Never Know, Dear by Hallie Ephron- Feature and Review


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.



You'll Never Know, Dear

You'll Never Know, Dear by Hallie Ephron
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

You’ll Never Know, Dear by Hallie Ephron is a 2017 William Morrow publication.

Deceptively addicting-

Three generations of women work to find the answer to a forty- year old puzzle in which the biggest, most important clue is a priceless porcelain doll.

Miss Sorrel, is a doll maker and collector, who at one time had a booming doll making business and made a name for herself among collectors. But, the doll that means the most to her, the one she is always in constant search of, is the one that disappeared along with her daughter, Janey forty years ago.

Lissie never got over the disappearance of her younger sister and always blamed herself for what happened. The incident has haunted her all her life, even through marriage, divorce, and motherhood.

Vanessa is Lissie’s only child, a sleep/dream researcher who returns home after her grandmother has a health scare. Little does she know her area of expertise will come into play while she is there.

With all three generations now under one roof, the women are ready to seriously consider the possibility that Janey’s doll has found its way back to them and that the doors of the decades old cold case are about to blow wide open.

I thought the cover of this book was a little creepy, and the title was intriguing. While the missing child theme is hardly a new one, I always find this to be a compelling storyline, and also falls within my favorite mystery trope- the cold case.

This book also appealed to me in a way because my grandmother made her own ceramics, and on occasion made porcelain dolls, as a hobby. Not only that, my daughter had a nice doll collection we displayed behind glass when she was younger, so I could understand the value and work that goes into the making of these dolls.

The mystery is intriguing, and kept me interested, and guessing for a good while, but I did guess who was behind the kidnapping before it was revealed. Still, I couldn’t figure out the motive, so there was still an element of mystery to keep me invested in the story. There were a few too many conveniences, and for some reason the dream thread didn’t do anything for me.

But, I did like the way it all came together in the end, although one may have to suspend belief a little for it to work. However, the feel good, grab a tissue, emotional parts won me over, causing me to overlook a few implausibilities.

I’ve never read anything by this author, so didn’t have any expectations one way or another, but I liked this book well enough to give the author’s other work a try. Even though it wobbles here and there, I enjoyed the book, overall.





New York Times best selling author Hallie Ephron loves suspense, and her suburban-based thrillers draw you in and keep you turning the pages. She grew up in a Hollywood family of writers in a household filled with books. Her parents wrote screenplays for classic movies like THE DESK SET. Hallie was the last of their four daughters (Nora, Delia, Hallie, Amy) to start writing or, as she calls it, succumb to her genes. 

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