Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “You'll Never Know, Dear” as Want to Read:
You'll Never Know, Dear
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

You'll Never Know, Dear

3.42  ·  Rating details ·  1,764 ratings  ·  306 reviews
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 ad
ebook, 304 pages
Published June 6th 2017 by William Morrow (first published June 2017)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about You'll Never Know, Dear, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about You'll Never Know, Dear

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.42  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,764 ratings  ·  306 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of You'll Never Know, Dear
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 dis
Oct 04, 2017 rated it liked it
The blurb for this book makes it sound like a suspense novel and the cover with the creepy doll is also pretty sinister. Unfortunately, the book didn't live up to either the blurb or the cover. It's not a thriller, it's really women's fiction about mothers/daughters/sisters (to such an extent that there are only a handful of men in the book and only one of them appears on more than 2 pages, even the dog is female).

The story is about a toddler who went missing almost forty years ago. Her custom-
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
May 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
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.
3.5 stars and a thank you to LibraryThing.Com for my review copy.

I was attracted to this book by the creepy doll on the cover, wondering if dolls can still get to me like they once did. Well, this was not as creepy as I had expected (and hoped) -- no dolls displaying signs of life; no Twilight Zone flashbacks. This has more of an underlying suspense running throughout.

Two friends/neighbors, Miss Sorrell and Evelyn, are retired from their business of making dolls. Miss Sorrell's daughter Janey we
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"I always knew one day she'd come home."

You'll Never Know, Dear sees three generations of women dealing with a haunting past. Forty years ago, young Lissie was playing in the yard with her sister Janey. The two girls occupied themselves with handmade dolls that their mother modeled after their likeness. Lis became distracted by a dog and left her sister to play alone. That was the last time anyone ever saw little Janey.

Fast forward to present day. Miss Sorrel, the girls' mother, never recovered
May 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
This started out so well, and then went downhill after the first one hundred pages or so. It was predictable overall, but tried to save itself from being predictable by throwing in twists that fell flat. It definitely had promise, but it wasn't for me in the end.
Predictable and took too long to get to the end.
I was enjoying this until I reached the last third or so. It just wasn't very satisfying for me. Meh.
May 09, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
As always, dolls were everywhere. Small dolls were tucked between Grandma Sorrel's cherished Blue Willow china on shelves hanging from the wall. Larger dolls nestled in cradle-like baskets on the floor or hung from the walls and ceiling like ripening hams."

I was hoping this would be more horror and frightening than the mystery type story it was. It's a pretty straightforward mystery - a young girl was abducted years ago. Finally, one of the possessions she had turns up- a really old, one-of-a-ki
Susan Crowe
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway.
What a great book this was!
Kept me guessing the entire time I was reading it!
Highly recommended!
I will absolutely be looking for more books by this author.
Just one glance at the book cover for You’ll Never Know, Dear by Hallie Ephron and you will know that this tale is going to grab you. An old doll with a chipped face, eerily brought to life with that staring blue eye, those ruby red lips, and that touch of rouged cheek promises that there are hidden depths of buried secrets to discover. And, as the old doll indicates, the story starts in a time long past.

Lissie Woodham and her sister Janey were seven and four respectively when Lissie left her li
Freda Witt
Jul 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
a woman is living with her mother, who is a doll maker. Her daughter is finishing medical school. When the woman was 7, her 4 year old sister was abducted. Her mother never stopped looking for her, and every year, on the date of her abduction, she places an add in the paper offering a reward for the doll that he daughter had when she disappeared. Finally, someone does. The doll is old and in bad repair, but the mother recognizes that it is the one her daughter had. Her next door neighbor says it ...more
Ashley Daviau
Oct 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book based solely on the cover and I’m patting past me on the back because this cover buy was a smashing success. Not only is the cover incredibly creepy but so is the story! Dolls and disappearances make for a great combo with this book and I absolutely loved it. I don’t know why (okay I do know why, it’s because dolls freak me out) but the dolls just add an extra creep factor to the story for me and take it from good to great. I loved all the twists and turns and deep, dark famil ...more
Oct 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
I enjoyed this book by Hallie Ephron very much. It was a light, fun read. A child goes missing 40 years ago and her mother never gives up hope that she will be found. I guessed the culprit around a third of the way into the book, but still found it very well written and held my attention throughout.
N.N. Light
May 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A spooky thriller that'll keep you at the edge of your seat. It's every parent's worst nightmare and brilliantly conceived in You'll Never Know, Dear. I must read Ephron's other book(s). Highly recommend!

My Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Mrs. N
What’s started out as an intriguing mystery involving porcelain dolls became a convoluted mess involving way too many confusing plot lines.
Ellen Byron
Jun 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A taut, wonderful mystery with a powerful sense of place and character. I couldn't put it down.
Sep 14, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I had this one figured out from the beginning! No suspense and I was bored. Love the book cover though. Creepy doll face!
Sep 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book was a delightful read on many levels. There was a lot of interesting information about the art of doll making which I did not realize is still very much present even in today's 'assembly line' culture. (My mother owned several handmade and beautifully made dolls when she was a child). Besides the doll making, as the core of the story, the location in South Carolina is described really well by the author. The story itself is quite involved and is not at all what I expected. So ...more
Jun 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 02, 2017 added it
"You'll Never Know, Dear" much I love you -- please don't take my sunshine away...

Two little girls are playing outside one day when a little puppy runs past. The older girl, Lis, is captivated and leaves little Janey behind as she chases after it. When she returns, Janey is gone. She was never found.

Flash forward almost 40 years. Lis and her daughter are living with Miss Sorrel, a renowned dollmaker (she is Lis's and Janey's mother), and have almost made their peace with Janey's absence
A psychological story sent against the backdrop of a Mother (Miss Sorrel)-Daughter (Janey) and Janey's daughter relationship and doll making.

I know does not sound too interesting but it is.

The younger daughter(Lis) of the Miss Sorrel-and Janey's sister gets kidnapped off her front lawn along with the Lis's hand made doll- which has her face painted on it ,so it is one of a kind.

Every year for 40 years Miss Sorrel puts an ad in the paper for anyone knowing the whereabouts of this doll, they will
Thanks to the publisher for an advance reader's copy.

Full disclosure: I can't be entirely objective in this review because it's based on my town, I'm thanked in the acknowledgements, and the author did a program at the library for me for free when she was in town researching the book. That being said, she captures Beaufort (Bonsecours in the novel) SO WELL. The descriptions of the town and Lowcountry lifestyle are perfect, but I was especially impressed at how spot-on she depicted the way everyo
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
Predictable, and flat characters. I kept reading to find out what happened to the missing girl. It could have been a much better book. The ideas were there.
Review to come soon.

Quick thoughts:

When a doll that went missing with the young daughter of Miss Sorrell returns, she knows that it's Janey's doll- even though others doubt her. Secrets, lies, and a 40 year old missing child case provide the meat of this story.

Quick read. Enjoyable.
Lea Wait
Jan 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'll admit I read this book because of the cover of a doll's head ... and the fact that I grew up with shelves of doll's heads and boxes of china and wooden arms and legs and cloth (much of it 19th century) for clothing .. because my grandmother was a dealer in antique dolls, including most of those mentioned in this book. (She put dolls together sometimes, and made clothes for them, but she didn't MAKE dolls, as two of these characters do.) The idea of a child's doll reappearing 40 years after ...more
Feb 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, mystery
A good solid mystery that crosses into Southern Gothic territory with a matriarch that lives in a house filled with dolls, many of which she has created herself. Miss Sorrel had been making realistic dolls since her daughters were born and turned that skill into a small business after her youngest daughter was kidnapped. She then stopped when another girl, expecting one of her dolls, was also kidnapped in the same community. Every year Miss Sorrel places an ad in the paper offering a reward for ...more
My thanks to Goodreads and to HarperCollins for a copy of this book.

This book started off with great promise. The plot--daughter of famous doll-maker kidnapped 40 years ago--had a couple of interesting twists, and for the first 100 pages it was quite enjoyable. But it then became the most predictable book I have ever read. I had the plot completely figured out by the time I was 1/3 of the way through the book (something I am not particularly good at) and from then on the ending was so clear that
Donna Hines
I enjoyed this read by Hallie but I felt like something was missing. It just didn't capture my attention that much.
This book did have some really great sections such as the mystery surrounding the missing young girls, the non stop plotting to uncover the person responsible, the newspaper ad with respondents to it showcasing their connection with the whole case, the genetic testing plus the overall mystery surrounding its complications upon family. However the entirety overall lacked a thrill wh
A nice enjoyable read by a new to me author. Good story even if I guessed whodunnit quite early on.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Godsend
  • The House on Abigail Lane
  • Before You Go
  • Have You Seen Me?
  • Tiny
  • The Quiet Child
  • Let Her Be (Hush collection)
  • They Threw Us Away (The Teddies Saga #1)
  • The Pain Nurse (Will Borders #1)
  • And All the Phases of the Moon
  • My Life as a Villainess
  • The Switch
  • An Accidental Life
  • With Vics You Get Eggroll (Mad for Mod Mystery, #3)
  • Such a Perfect Wife
  • Home Sweet Home
  • Portrait of a Lady (Leonardo da Vinci Mystery, #2)
  • The Mammoth Book of Nightmare Stories: Twisted Tales Not to Be Read at Night!
See similar books…
Hallie Ephron ( is a New York Times bestselling author of suspense novels. Her last five have all been Mary Higgins Clark Award finalists.

Her (August 2019) Careful What You Wish For tells the story of a professional organizer married to man who can't pass a yard sale without stopping. In this respect, Hallie is writing from personal experience. Her husband is a champion ya

Related Articles

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
35 likes · 16 comments
“People who suffered nightmares frequently were three times more likely to commit suicide, and that was regardless of whether they were clinically depressed or suffering from PTSD.” 0 likes
More quotes…