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What Jennifer Knows

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  18 ratings  ·  13 reviews
A vital member of her Surrey community, Jennifer Jacobs is dedicated to her job as a dance therapist, helping children with special needs to express themselves through movement. Wife of a successful though reclusive sculptor, Gerald, she is known for having a deep sense of empathy, making her a trusted confidante. So when two very different friends, Freya and Abi, both sha ...more
Kindle Edition, 223 pages
Published October 11th 2015
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Susan Buchanan
Oct 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received an advance review copy in exchange for an honest review. My star rating - 4.5 stars
I'd already read and enjoyed a couple of short stories by this author, and was looking forward to her first full-length novel. I wasn't disappointed. From perhaps about a third of the way in, you can see the 'car crash' waiting to happen, as you are meant to, however the journey to get to that point is what keeps us hooked, and wanting to read more. I found myself being annoyed by the household tasks wh
Jenny Worstall
Feb 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
'What Jennifer Knows' is a subtle and shocking tale of modern family life and relationships.
Sensitively drawn characters charm us but we, like them, are unsure who to trust. The shifting nature of loyalty and love is portrayed through searingly honest glimpses into the characters' lives, both past and present.
The children in the novel are beautifully drawn and the way Tim's siblings give him the acceptance and understanding he needs is both heart-breaking and wonderful.
As the complex plot deepen
Babus Ahmed
Oct 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Jennifer Jacobs meets Freya by chance in a supermarket. Freya is open and friendly and tells Jennifer all about her plans to propose to her boyfriend, as the friendship between the two women grows, Jennifer becomes acutely aware that Freya has something vital in common with her old friend Abi, putting her dead centre in the throws of a moral dilemma.

I loved reading this contemporary fiction novel as Jane's builds up the characters in a compelling way and makes them all like able but to differen
Dec 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Jennifer is the friend everyone should have. Do you have a secret? Jennifer can be trusted to keep a confidence. She divides her time among the things most important to her – her grandchildren, husband, friends, and her part-time job as a dance therapist teaching children with special needs. But her relationship with her daughter Blythe is strained. They both have a lot to work out before they can have the easy relationship Jennifer longs to have with her daughter.
When Jennifer meets Freya at t
Judith Barrow
I started off liking What Jennifer Knows by Wendy Janes; I finished the novel loving it.

To say this is an easy book to read could sound derogatorily, but, believe me, that is not what I mean; the author’s writing style is relaxed conversational and draws the reader in. The story is told mainly in the first person from the protagonist’s point of view (which gives us an insight to her opinion and relationship with the other characters), but there is also omniscient narrator’s viewpoint from the ot
Julie Valerie
Nov 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Below are my thoughts, along with two questions I asked the writer. For complete coverage of this title and the author interview I conducted, visit my book blog at

JULIE: What inspired you to write What Jennifer Knows?

WENDY: What Jennifer Knows was inspired by a real-life situation. My parents were friends with two women who knew nothing about each other, and it became apparent that the two women ha
B.A. Spicer
Feb 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Stories about ordinary people are Wendy Janes’ speciality. ‘What Jennifer Knows’ reminds me of a kind of contemporary soap opera – plenty of intrigue and tantalising indiscretions! It is impossible not to get involved in the dilemmas Jennifer faces as she lurches from one problem to the next. I wouldn’t like to be in her shoes, that’s for sure. Her husband, Gerald, is a very amusing character and his deadpan attitude is a great foil for Jennifer’s moral wrangling. I suppose I enjoyed this book s ...more
Sophie Cayeux
Nov 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: personal-reads
Reading this book feels like listening to my girlfriend telling me what happened in the small town I live in - while I've been away. Intrigues, affairs, happiness and sadness in love. The author has an acute eye and ear for observing human relationships. I enjoyed the bits on dance. A book to curl up on the sofa with.The Island Girl ...more
Elizabeth Lloyd
Dec 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Jennifer is the kind of woman you would want as your friend. You could share your troubles and your joys with her and she would keep your secrets. A mother and grandmother, she works part time in a school, giving dance therapy lessons to special needs children and lives with her slightly grumpy, but loving husband, Gerald, who is a well-known sculptor.
But she has a dilemma; while supporting her friends with their relationship problems she discovers a secret which she ought to reveal but she prev
Shelly Hickman
Dec 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
It took a couple of chapters for me to become immersed in the storyline, but once it happened, I had difficulty putting this book down. I was especially impressed with the author’s ability to craft interesting and complex characters. The dilemma that Jennifer faces is one that we’ve seen before, but the way in which Janes brings the reader into the thoughts of the main characters gives it a unique twist. Jennifer’s flashbacks about a romantic relationship in her past gave me more insight into th ...more
Namrata Ganti
Nov 23, 2016 rated it liked it
An interesting read overall, this book has its set of ups and downs. There are many things that will appeal to the reader and a few which may deter them. But persevering on will ensure that the reader comes away satisfied by the reading experience. On some level, it is a little daunting to read about Jennifer and Gerald, who seem to be role models for the perfect life and couple. However, as we progress through the story, we come to know that not everything is as perfect as it seems.

Jennifer st
Janice Spina
Oct 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What Jennifer Knows is a lovely story about friendship, trust and keeping secrets. Who wouldn't want a friend like Jennifer who is kind, caring and dependable. Jennifer Jacobs works part-time as a dance therapist helping special needs children. Her life is not perfect with a self-absorbed artist husband, a selfish daughter, and a secret in her past that haunts her.

When Jennifer meets a new friend, Freya, her life changes and she becomes embroiled in deception after she realizes her new friend an
Feb 08, 2016 rated it it was ok
I was disappointed in this book. The plot was predictable; the characters were flat and not terribly likable; the ending was abrupt, and there were numerous questions remaining after the last page was read. I am surprised by the many glowing reviews and wonder if I missed something.
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I love to take real life and turn it into fiction. All my writing develops from the kernel of someone’s experience. My novel, What Jennifer Knows, was inspired by a series of coincidences that happened to my parents. My re-imagining is more plausible, but no less dramatic.

What Tim Knows, and other stories explores significant events in the lives of supporting characters from What Jennifer Knows.

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Why not focus on some serious family drama? Not yours, of course, but a fictional family whose story you can follow through the generations of...
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