No-One You Know
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No-One You Know

3.54 of 5 stars 3.54  ·  rating details  ·  2,707 ratings  ·  502 reviews
Ellie Enderlin spent most of her childhood living in her sister's shadow. Lila was the good daughter - a mathematical genius who could do no wrong in their parents' eyes. Whereas Ellie was younger, wilder and could never quite match up. Until one day the shape of their family changes forever. Lila is brutally murdered. In the aftermath of her sister's death, Ellie entrusts...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published June 4th 2009 by Ebury Press (Fiction) (first published 2008)
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Lisa Vegan
Jun 02, 2009 Lisa Vegan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all those who appreciate a good novel, Michelle Richmond fans
It’s official: I am a huge fan of Michelle Richmond’s writing style, and of her storytelling, and especially the characters she creates and the subject matter she chooses. My admiration for her The Year of Fog was not a fluke; I was wowed by this book also. (I plan to read her other older published novel and book of short stories, and any other writing she creates that I can get my hands on.)

In this novel the author has profound truths to say about stories, life, and loss, and I don’t think I’m...more
Jun 13, 2008 Meg rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: book-club
Toward the end of this incredibly moving literary mystery, the storyteller� and Ellie is a storyteller; narrator is far too sterile a word for what is going on here� comes to the realization that stories aren� t set in stone. I don� t know if that is a universal truth, provable to the irrefutable certainty demanded by the mathematician characters in No One You Know, but it is clearly true about the story told in these wonderful pages. This story is set in something far richer: fertile literary s...more
Jul 29, 2011 Kelly rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: coffee lovers, math majors, English majors, lovers of random facts and info
Shelves: 2011
I found myself having a few little mixed opinions the whole time I was reading this book. But let's start with the basic plot (no spoilers! promise). Ellie Enderlin was 19 years old when her brilliant, beautiful, math-whiz older sister Lila left one night and never came home. Her body was found just a few days later in a wooded area, but no one was ever prosecuted. Ellie subsequently turned to one of her professors, Andrew Thorpe, with all of her innermost thoughts and feelings... only to later...more
Sep 02, 2008 Carol rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nobody
I had read The Year of Fog by this author and was eager to read this one. This book, however, was quite disappointing. First of all, the main premise is flawed. The main character's sister, Lila, is murdered and her sister's college professor writes a nonfiction book about the murder naming the killer which would never be done. The person who was named was not the killer and he could have sued the author for libel and collected big bucks. From then on the book went downhill to me. Ellie searches...more
Mar 08, 2011 Sara rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sara by: Goodreads
Shelves: 2011, adult-fiction, loved
What an amazing book - well written and such a compelling plot. Twenty years ago, Ellie's mathematical genius sister, Lila, was murdered and the crime never solved. The loss tore apart her family, especially when a professor at the university wrote a book about Lila's murder and blamed another professor for the crime. Ellie's spent the years without Lila searching for a meaning in life and believing that the man named in the book as responsible actually was guilty. One day, Ellie runs into the m...more
I read this in just a couple of sittings. It sucked me in from the beginning and hooked me til the end. I loved how she talked about the elements of stories within her story. It was like she was writing to the reader.

The story itself was a major draw: her sister was murdered 20 years ago- the guy accused of killing her appears in this random restaurant in this random city and says he didn't do it- gives her his sister's notebook- she is intrigued, tries to find who had murdered her sister.

This book is such an improvement over The Year of Fog. I found that book to be almost too frantic. In No One You Know, the pace is slower, the story richer and more complex.

Ellie's brilliant sister Lila is murdered and, while no one is ever arrested or tried for the murder, a trusted friend of Ellie betrays her and her family by writing a tell-all book about the dead sister, and ruins a man's life by carelessly naming him as the murderer. Fast forward almost 20 years and Ellie runs into the mali...more

"No One You Know", is more sophisticated than the other two books I've read by Michelle Richmond: having created an original ---even courageous novel. I think its her most 'mature' and very 'impressive' work (of those I've read so far anyway).

She manage to mix the beauty of 'math' with 'Literature' with 'coffee'! Oh...and by the way --A murder took place.

I'm in 'aw' of Michelle's writing with this story. Her skill and artistry felt like seeing through the soul of a painter at times. I didn't...more
Marie desJardins
I really enjoyed this book about a woman whose older sister, a mathematical genius, disappears; her body is found in the woods a few days later. The betrayal she feels when her English professor, who she has confided in after her sister's death, turns her sister's story into a true-crime novel, is absolutely wrenching. The characters -- from the two sisters to the various friends and lovers who are tied in through the story -- are quite believable. Even relatively minor characters like the owner...more
it's one of the good books that makes you want to read other books from the author.

this story is about Ellie, who after twenty years of her sister's death, is struggling to find the truth about her sister's murder.

the story evolved around this two different characters, Lila and Ellie. Lila is the quiet, not very socialised person, who dedicated her time with math. while Ellie, she's the party type, she's become this coffee buyer. the interesting thing about this story is the two main different...more
I imagine Ellie would be dismayed to learn that I do not like the taste of coffee. I do not even care for mocha ice cream. But, oh, do I love the smell of a fresh pot of coffee, especially in the morning!

Ellie Enderlin has the perfect nose for coffee. She had never set out to become a coffee buyer, but it is a career well suited to her. She can pick out the individual scents and flavors of varying coffee types and knows a good coffee bean when she comes across it. During her most recent business...more
Sep 08, 2008 Kay rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kay by: Second Life Story Mountain Writers Center
I went to the "Athena Isle Writers Meeting" at Story Mountain Center for Writers in Second Life a couple of weeks ago and met Michelle Richmond. The talk with her made me rush to find The Year of Fog and No One You Know, which looked like the book of hers I'd like to read rather than Fog, so I got it from the library. The transcript of the meeting with Michelle Richmond is here.

The story is beautifully written, simple exposition of layers of Ellie's emotional life after the murder of a sister an...more
This book gets classified as a mystery, since it involves a death which is never solved, but it's really about the surviving sister, Ellie, and the way her life has been shaped. The murdered sister, Lila, was a math genius, so there's a good deal of math theory that's in the book for literary symbolism, and one of the other main characters is a literature professor, so there's also a lot of talking about story and perspective and truth and fiction. All this talking is the problem with the book,...more
Jul 02, 2009 Nicole rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Becky
Recommended to Nicole by: Wendy
I liked this book although it took me quite awhile to get through it, almost a month. I didn't care so much for the paragraphs of math theory. I appreciated their element to the story and what it added pertaining to Lila and Peter's characters, but I thought that it went a little too much into it too often and distracted me a bit from the story.

That said, I really liked the main character, Ellie, and that is important to me in a story. I thought it was very well written. I liked Ellie's interac...more
This book was captivating for me. I really liked the story & characters. The writing was magnificent. However, the only reason I did not give it 5 stars, is because after a while the "facts" (i.e. mathmatical theories, conjectures, etc.) became too pretentious. Sometimes they would pull the story together, but sometimes it seemed that the author was just flaunting knowledge and I didn't like it. Take out a few of these "facts" and I could have easily given it 5 stars. I can't wait to read mo...more
First of all, if you haven't already, don't read the description of this book on Goodreads -- I really think it gives too much away. When I started reading, all I knew was that the book was about a woman still dealing with her sister's death 20 years after the fact, and that's enough. Compelling from the start, I couldn't put this book down despite the sad premise. With forays into coffee, mathematics, writing, relationships, and ultimately how we control (or don't) our own stories, this book ha...more
Nov 20, 2009 Amy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Amy by: April!
This is my first Michelle Richmond book and I was quite impressed. She covered a lot of ground in a short book. It was tightly written, yet didn't skimp on the detail.
The story itself was compelling. Due to the subject matter it could have been a heavy, slogging read, but it was deftly handled and I never felt weighed down by the narrative.
I enjoyed the math and coffee explanations, though a few of my friends weren't so big on the extraneous detail. I felt it was integral to the book and framed...more
Caroline Larsen
This is the second book I've read by Richmond, both book club picks and both disappointing in the same way. No One You Know has a similar premise as The Year of Fog - a woman ends up completely out of her element trying to solve a mystery/crime because she is personally connected to it. The story moves along well, the writing is good (not great), characters and settings are interesting enough, and then Richmond totally cheats as the end, leaving the reader completely disatisfied. Fine as far as...more
Ginny Messina
Very moving and beautifully written. In this book, Michelle Richmond examines the complexity and evolution of stories and story telling in the same way that she looked at the complexity of memory in The Year of Fog. I think I liked this even better than TYoF. (And, of course, I loved that the author poked fun at herself by having her protagonist give a somewhat lukewarm review of that earlier novel.) It’s a great story—a good literary mystery—and the little snippets about coffee and mathematics...more
I read this because I enjoyed the author's first book (The Year of Fog) so much. I didn't like this one near as well. The basic story is a woman who is still haunted by her sister's murder some twenty years later and how she finds the missing answers. The murdered sister was a mathematician so there is a LOT of math-speak in this one, with references to theories and equations and as a person who has no interest in numbers, I found myself skimming and/or skipping the math passages. I read it one...more
Lee D'anna
Ellie always considered herself the "lesser" sister living in the shadow of her math genius older sister. All of this changes when her sister is murdered. In her grief, Ellie puts her complete trust in one of her college professors who befriends her. He, however, betrays thus trust by writing a "true crime" book about the murder. The problem is that it was never proven that the person the book names as the murderer was actually guilty and he was never arrested. It did, however, ruin his life. Th...more
ellie Enderlin is the younger sister of Lila Enderlin. Lila is a math wizard she is determined to find proofs or conjectures she spends most of her time in the math lab with other math prodigy's.
One night lila goes missing. A few days later her body turns up she had been murdered. Ellie was so distraught about this because she felt it was her fault that if only she would of let her sister use the car that day maybe she'd still be alive.

Nobody was arrested. The obvious suspect was the relations...more
I was disappointed in this one. The review I read was good, and the person who recommended it thought the character development was great, but I didn't agree. I'd love to know what others think of this one. The story revolves around two sisters, one of whom is murdered. The surviving sister is devastated when a friend writes a True Crime type book about the event. The book follows her subsequent struggle to deal with her memories, find the truth and come to terms with her loss.
I enjoyed this book about a woman whose sister is murdered and who spends a couple of decades significantly stunted as a result. It was set in my city, so it was fun to read about local sites and landmarks (even though she got a few things wrong). I also liked the unusual careers of the sisters, even though neither of them (coffee buyer and mathematician) interested me in the slightest. I thought the author built up a nice sense of anticipation and offered a satisfying resolution.
Alycia Stack
I found it very difficult to put down. The author jumps from memory to memory and back to the present, which could easily be confusing but is not in this case. It was very sensuous, in the non-sexual sense of the word. She describes things vividly-- textures, smells, tastes. The story was moving, without being cloying. No Nicholas Sparks style waterworks here. I don't know that I would feel the urge to reread it, but I highly recommend it.
Stephany G
I wish I could give this book 2.5 stars. It wasn't a bad book, but not anything that grabs you and keeps you up late reading or anything. About a girl who loses her only sister.
She befriends a professor and shares the story of her sister, and unknowingly gives him a first hand account for his new book. Later in life she searches for the answers that have been the mystery of her life. Just a story to read, nothing amazing.
Julie Ehlers
I bought this expecting a Jodi Picoult-type read, but got much more. This, in spite of its terrible, generic cover, is a literary novel with a lot of interesting elements--the emphasis on storytelling, on coffee, on math, on the relationship between sisters, with music and San Francisco, and Ben Fong-Torres (!), with all its interesting characters--I could have happily lived within this novel for a longer period of time.
Math... Zzz... Coffee... Zzz... This 'whodunnit?' reads more like a 'who cares?'. What could've been an interesting and original concept - a crime novel within a crime novel - falls flat, weighed down with endless exposition about coffee (disastrous for this reader, who drinks tea) and math. Math! One of my least favourite subjects in the world. Also, the endless eulogising about Lila was just too much. Ellie made out like she was an angel on earth - no one is; we're all flawed human beings - wh...more
I really appreciate a truly well written book, and No One You Know definitely fits that criteria. This follows The Year of Fog, and should solidly place Michelle Richmond in the company of other exceptional writers of her time.

I am only left to wonder what happens with Henry.... Hm-m-m-m
a womens search for her sisters killer. too long and drawn out. the women who was killed was a mathematician and there is a lot of boring math included in the the end of the book you no longer care who killed the sister.. it is not worth reading.
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I grew up in Alabama and have lived in Northern California for fifteen years. My books include the novels Golden State, The Year of Fog, No One You Know, and Dream of the Blue Room, and the story collections Hum and The Girl in the Fall-Away Dress.

I have a monthly newsletter, and I'd love to send it to you! It includes notes what I'm reading, dispatches from the writing life, and book giveaways. Y...more
More about Michelle Richmond...
The Year of Fog Golden State Dream of the Blue Room The Girl in the Fall-Away Dress Day 49: The Missing Final Chapter of The Year of Fog

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“A story, after all, does not only belong to the one who is telling it. It belongs, in equal measure, to the one who is listening.” 4 likes
“I asked her to tell me what the best moment of her life had been

Did she?

Yes, she told me about a trip the two of you had taken to Europe together right after you graduated from high school.

Pascal in Paris, it had been a dream of hers to visit Pascal’s grave. On that trip she finally did. I’d never seen her so excited.

That wasn’t it.

It wasn’t?

No, it was in a hostel in Venice. The two of you had been travelling for a couple of weeks and all of your clothes were filthy. You didn’t mind the dirty clothes very much. Lila said you were able to roll with the punches and for you, everything about the trip, even the dirty laundry, was a great adventure. But Lila liked things a certain way, and she hated being dirty. That day she had gone off in search of a laundry mat but hadn’t been able to find one. You were sleeping in a room with a dozen bunks, women and men together. In the middle of the night Lila woke up and realized you weren’t in your bed. She thought you must have gone to the bathroom, but after a couple minutes when you hadn’t returned she became worried. She climbed down from her bunk and went to the bathroom to find you, you weren’t there. She wondered up and down the hallway softly calling your name. A few of the rooms were private and had the doors closed. As she became increasingly worried she began putting her ear to those doors listening for you. Then she heard banging down below. Alarmed she went down the dark stairwell to the basement. She saw you before you saw her. You were working in the dim light of a single blub standing over an old hand operated washing machine. She asked what you were doing, what does it look like you said smiling. What Lila remembered from that night was that you actually looked happy to be standing there in the cold basement in the middle of the night washing clothes by hand. And she knew you wouldn’t have minded wearing dirty clothes for another week or two, you were doing it for her.

She said that.

Yes when I asked her what the best moment of her life had been she had told me that story.

But it was nothing.

To her it was.”
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