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You'll Never Know, Dear

3.41  ·  Rating details ·  1,333 ratings  ·  238 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, 320 pages
Published June 6th 2017 by William Morrow
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3.41  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,333 ratings  ·  238 reviews

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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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
Kate ★
Aug 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
I was immediately drawn to the book cover and the blurb which looks promising. Creepy porcelain dolls? Check. A suspenseful and thriller feel to the story? Check. A compelling blurb? Check.

The story revolves around a well-known, porcelain doll maker, Miss Sorrel, who lost her daughter Janey years ago without ever knowing what happened to her. Believing that she would one day return, she continued to advertise for Janey's doll, one she had specifically made for her. Find the doll, find Janey. Wh
Graham Downs
Feb 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
This is truly a Hallmark Channel drama. To be honest, it was a bit different than I expected too; I thought there'd be at least some paranormal stuff going on. But no, it's just a straight, run-of-the-mill mystery drama).

Not that that's a bad thing. I mean, I enjoyed it. It was a good story. There were only a couple of things that gave me pause.

In the first place, the title didn't really make sense to me (other than the fact that every time I picked up the book to read, the song started playing
Jul 05, 2017 rated it liked it
The idea of a bunch of eyes watching you is enough to give you chills. I can image the kind of life that Lissie lived with her mother being a dollmaker. The most fascinating thing is that the dolls' wigs were made out of real hair.

I found all of the women engaging. They interacted well together. There was hardly any police engagement in this story, except for Deputy Policy Chief Frank Ames. Even than, he seemed more like an sport to the women as they attempted to solve the mystery of what happe
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
When the story keeps the reader guessing and the writing is first rate, what's not to love? The mystery surrounding a missing child gives Ephron plenty of opportunity to show her writing prowess. I'm a sucker for a well-structured story and this book delivers. If you're a mystery lover and looking for a bread-and-butter mystery with interesting characters and a surprising story line, then this book is for you.
Melanie Johnson
Aug 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Creepy doll book? Kidnapping? Why of course!!!

Four year old Janey disappears from her front yard while her sister was supposed to be watching her. Janey's mom is a famous dollmaker and restorer and someone shows up at her house many years later with a doll that could be Janey's.
This novel reminds me a lot of Mary Higgins Clark and Wendi Corsi Staub, so if you like those authors, you will love this. A really great, fun read.
Thank you to LibraryThing for the ARC!
Jul 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A suspenseful, twisted page turner that keeps your full attention throughout the entire story. Realistic characters and surprises that will surround you and keep you interested till the end. Great story!
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! This was an intriguing, page-turning thriller! Evelyn reminded me of Dolores Umbridge from "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix", for some reason.
A nice enjoyable read by a new to me author. Good story even if I guessed whodunnit quite early on.
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Hallie Ephron ( is the author of suspense novels. Her last three have all been Mary Higgins Clark Award finalists.

Her newest, There Was an Old Woman is set in the Bronx. In it, a young woman and a very old woman connect across generations in spite of, or perhaps because, they are not related. Tess Gerritsen on TWAOL: “Superb suspense and unforgettable characters!” Washingt