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I Thought I Knew You

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  1,915 ratings  ·  214 reviews

For fans of He Said/She Said and Anatomy of a Scandal, Penny Hancock’s I Thought I Knew You is about secrets and lies – and whose side you take when it really matters.

Who do you know better? Your oldest friend? Or your child?
And who should you believe when one accuses the other of an abhorrent crime?

Jules and Holly have been best friends since university.

Kindle Edition, 327 pages
Published March 7th 2019 by Mantle
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Average rating 4.05  · 
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 ·  1,915 ratings  ·  214 reviews

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Dale Harcombe
Sep 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How well do you well know your best friend and what they are capable of? How well do you know family members are what they are capable of? How far would you go to protect those you love? These questions are raised in this novel of best friends Jules and Holly, who have been friends since university days. They each have secrets they know about the other that no-one else knows. Their friendship is solidly grounded in trust. Though three years apart in age, their two children have practically grown ...more
Veronica ⭐️
Jun 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
I thought I Knew You is a thought provoking read with a he said, she said premise.

After the death of her husband Holly and her 16 year old son, Saul, move to a small country town to be closer to Holly’s best friend, Jules.
Saul is all dark hair, black clothes and sullen. He is finding it hard to cope with his father’s death 6 years ago. He is not making friends at his new High School and Jules’ 13 year old daughter, Saffie, wants nothing to do with him.

Holly had a secret she was keeping for Jules
Brooke - One Woman's Brief Book Reviews

I Thought I Knew You by Penny Hancock. (2019).

Who do you know better? Your oldest friend or your child? And who do you believe when one accuses the other of a crime? Jules and Holly have been best friends since university, know each other's secrets and share everything. Their two children are three years apart and have grown up together. So when Jules's daughter Saffie makes a serious accusation against Holly's son Saul, neither woman
Jan 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Pensive, intricate, and raw!

I Thought I Knew You is a gripping, domestic drama that delves into the unbreakable bond between a mother and her child and reminds us that when push comes to shove a mother will defend her child to the detriment of all other relationships regardless of how close or enduring.

The prose is eloquent and absorbing. The characters are multilayered, well developed, and troubled. And the plot told from two different perspectives uses an alternating, back-and-forth style to c
Natalie Richards
Feb 01, 2020 rated it liked it
A quick, enjoyable read about best friends until one's daughter accuses the other's son of rape. ...more
Natalie M
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My first Penny Hancock read but certainly won’t be my last. She has a beautiful writing style and I was intrigued very early in the story and just had to know how events would unfold and the outcomes of all the decisions.

A contemporary tale, told from two POV, that of the mothers Holly and Jules. Lifelong friends, face the day-to-day challenges of life until their children Saul and Saffie become embroiled in life changing events.

The test of family, friendship, parental instincts, duty, loyalty,
Apr 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Mixed feelings

To begin with, I really liked this book, but the longer the story went on the more irritating it became. Especially one of the main characters, Holly, who I actively disliked by halfway through the book. It's a shame as I do feel there was the basis of a good story here. I can't say much without spoiling the plot, but Holly's attitude towards a 13 year old girl she supposedly loves as her own is quite nasty. I also found the end of the book to be too neatly tied up. I did like the
Leanne Hardy
Mar 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
For me it dragged on, copped out & left me wondering why I bothered.
Apr 30, 2021 rated it really liked it
Jules and Holly. Bestfriends since university. Their two children 3 years apart. Jules daughter, saffi, 13. Holly's son, Saul, 16. After a drunken night where Saffi and Saul are left alone, Saffi accuses Saul of a horrific crime. The effects of this are catastrophic and secrets are brought to the surface that should have stayed buried...

An amazing, twisty story that really makes you think - what would you do in that situation? It's a book that really unleashes so many emotions, so many questions

With thanks to Netgalley and Mantle for this ARC in exchange for an open and honest review.

Jules and Holly had been best friends since university. Jules was even Holly`s birthing partner when she gave birth to Saul. When Jules gave birth to Saffie three years later the children grew up together and were like brother and sister.

When Holly`s husband Archie died, Jules encouraged Holly and Saul to move to The Fens for a fresh start. Holly met Pete at one of Jules parties and they got married.

Saul h
Vikki Patis
Mar 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
There are a few minor spoilers in the second part of my review, so read with caution!

When I read the description of this book, I was instantly sure it would be for me. The son of a feminist who runs consent workshops is accused by her best friend's daughter of rape. I've always wondered what a woman would do in this situation. Would you trust and believe the man or boy in your life - the son you raised, the husband you trust - or would you stick to your principles and believe the woman or girl,
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
Generally, I have found that an author who has caught the eye of the renowned Richard and Judy Book Club, is well worth investigating and making the commitment to read. I really enjoyed I Thought I Knew You. Fans of domestic fiction will really appreciate this one. It pits two mothers against one another, as they deal with the fallout of a serious allegation involving both their children. I Thought I Knew You is issued based, thought provoking and incredibly
Apr 02, 2021 rated it it was ok
Idk, I'd never have read this book if I had chosen it, only read because it arrived in my home. I guess the mystery is interesting, the characters are complex and I can understand all of them. But it's just uncomfortable.
(view spoiler)
Joanne Robertson
May 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing

I’m a HUGE Penny Hancock fan!! If I had a laminated list of my top 5 favourite authors (please say that people do this?!) then she would definitely be on it! Every year I bid on her donation in the Clic Sargent charity auction over on eBay and every year I curse my parents for bringing me up to be sensible with money (know your limit Joanne and NEVER GO OVER IT!) as I’m always outbid. Last year I saw some proof copies of the latest Penny Hancock book over on Twitter and instantly drooled over th
Sally Boocock
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
A breathtaking, incredibly gripping novel about love and loyalty. Do you believe your daughter or your best friends son when accusations are made. It's one of those books I couldn't put down. I didn't want it to end but wanted the ending as well.I would certainly recommend this book to anyone. Excellent ...more
Christy ImperfectlyWorthy
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Wow. Before this book I had never even heard of Penny Hancock. But oh how this book has led me to want to read more and more of hers! I devoured this book in less than a 24 hour span, because how her writing absolutely lures you in, is just unbelievable. The twists and turns and heartache in this psychological thriller keep you guessing til the end! 4 BIG stars for this awesome read!
Naomi Sirmans
Dec 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was hard for me to read at first. I even stopped a few chapters in, deciding it was too disturbing. But revisited it a few weeks later and became engrossed in the story. The tangled lives, the twists and turns, the emotions, the tragedies, and doing everything to overcome, protect their children and rebuild. I couldn’t put it down.
Lesley Book Lover
I enjoyed this book, lots of twists and turns, trying to decide who to believe. I just wish there was a little more at the end, it seemed to end a little abrupt to me. I will definitely read more by this author.
Pat Simpson
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow, what a brilliant book. This is a book that every mother will find moving. Jules and Holly are best friends and their two children Saffie and Saul have grown up together. When Holly’s husband dies she moves out of London to live near Jules, her husband and Saffie. But everything changes one night when Saffie accuses Saul of a terrible crime and the two families are then torn apart. Who do you believe? Jules can’t believe that Saffie would lie and Holly can’t believe that Saul could commit th ...more
Stef L
Feb 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Holly and Jules are best friends, they confide in each other about everything and are ‘odd’ mothers to each other’s children. Three years apart in age, Saul and Saffie have grown up together until one fateful night their world is irrevocably changed when Saffie accuses Saul of an unforgivable act.

What follows is a haunting and acute exploration of an aftermath of disbelief, remorse and utter sorrow. The repercussions impacting on every part of their lives. Holly and Jules friendship is pushed t
Anne Brooke
Jul 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a very readable psychological thriller focusing on how one accusation dramatically affects the lives of two friends and their families. I liked the characters of both Holly and Jules, though they do make several key decisions that to me make no sense whatsoever. Still, the writing is such that I just had to keep reading to find out what happened.

There are passages that could easily be shortened, especially in the first half of the book, but the mystery of what the actual truth is remains
Golbou Makvandi
Apr 04, 2020 rated it it was ok
My relationship with Penny Hancock is complicated. I didn't like her writing style in another one of her books, Tideline, but I thought I would give her a second chance because I wanted to read this book so badly. I've been trying to find a way to read this book for 5 months, and maybe I did hype it up too much in my head...But I was pretty disappointed.

Hancock somehow takes stories that have amazing potential and makes them suck because her writing is awful. The conversations between characters
Feb 23, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lockdown-books, 2021
What an incredible surprise! I received this book in a book box and, my goodness, this exceeded all my expectations. The characters are real and flawed, the story rings true and is very much believable. This one made me rethink my values and the way I carry them out. What a deeply personal and pleasant experience. This book deserves to be at the top of everyone's reading list. ...more
Oct 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Interesting premise and worth a read. I was underwhelmed at the ending.
This was amazing, not my usual read, but I loved it. It had me gripped throughout thinking about whether I believed Saul raped Saffie and what other secrets the characters may be hiding.

I could understand both Jules’ and Holly’s perspectives and of course you would believe your own child regardless, but sometimes I wanted to shake them with the comments or the attitudes towards each other. There was also so much more woven into this story than just the rape allegation, and it was fascinating lea
Camilla Maia Tavares
It’s a great book, full of complicated things to deal with, it’s hard for both side of the history! The book makes you fell angry and sad both for Holly and for Jules! In general is a great book to discuss a very complicated situation that is violence against women!
Helen Costello
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars I think. There’s just a little niggle holding me back from the full stars but I’m struggling to put my finger on it. Definitely a compulsive read and gets the reader thinking. I feel a little bit like the ending was a bit too convenient apart from we never did get to find out who was behind the malicious tweets? Did we or did I miss it?

Helen Walford
Aug 18, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a terrifying read... couldn't put it down!
Addictive and Heart wrenching.
Susan Atkin
Oct 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
The cover drew me in and so glad it did. First read for me from this author and am looking forward to more. I had so many mixed feelings about this book and it made me think about a lot of things. I have a very close friendship with my best friend who has a daughter and I have sons and it made me think about how much of a devastation the accusation would cause. I did prefer Holly as a character and was on her side from the word go, possibly as a mother of a boy. Some of the things that Jules and ...more
Mar 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Jules and Holly have been best friends since university. When Jules's daughter Saffie accuses Holly's son Saul of rape, their relationship is pushed to breaking point.

I Thought I Knew You alternates between Jules and Holly's point of view. Jules believes her daughter, but Holly is convinced that Saul could never do something like this. The story shows the deepening divide between the two characters, as both are desperate to protect their child.

My immediate instinct in this was to believe Saffi
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Penny grew up in South East London and then did an English degree in Newcastle Upon Tyne. For several years she taught English as a foreign language in Italy, Greece and Morocco. She then took a PGCE, got a job as a Primary school teacher in an inner city London school, and moved into her partner Andy’s short-life house in East London, which is now part of the hardcore under the M11 that links the ...more

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