Book Review | You’ll Never Know, Dear by Hallie Ephron

To this day, nothing is more creepier than a doll. Take Chucky from Child’s Play as an example. This is the second book my friend brought me from the USA and I was instantly drawn to the cover of the book with the creepy porcelain doll. I tend to judge a book by its cover a lot and I was sure I’d enjoy this one. (Spoiler alert – I did!) I whizzed through it in a day so its a quick and easy book to read.


Lissie Woodham was only seven years old when her little sister Janey disappeared. They had been in the front yard playing with their dolls, custom creations made for them by their mother. Lissie wandered off for a moment. When she returned to the yard, Janey was gone, and so was her doll.

Now an adult with a college-aged daughter of her own, Lis has never stopped blaming herself for what happened. But four decades after Janey went missing, Lis’s hopes – and fears – are realised; Janey’s porcelain doll returns home.

My thoughts: Four year old Janey goes missing from the front yard of her house with the doll her mother had custom made for her. Her older sister Lissie blames herself for running after the cute puppy and not looking after her younger sibling as she was supposed to. She took her eyes off her only for a few moments..

For the next forty years the girls’ mother, Miss Sorrel, never looses hope to find Janey and places an ad in a newspaper every year on the anniversary of her disappearance, offering a reward to anyone who can return the doll. Her efforts finally pay off when one day a young woman comes to the house with a doll that the mother instantly recognizes as Janey’s.

Where did she get the doll from? Could she know where Janey is? How could a parent ever get over losing a child…

There were dolls and doll parts everywhere.Rag dolls. Plastic dolls. Rubber dolls. Dolls with faces made of wizened apples and others with bodies made of corn husks. But none of them were the dolls that had been so special that they’d earned a spot in one of the china cabinets.

The twisty harrowing road to finding out what happened to little Janey was definitely gripping. Even though villain was obvious from quite early on from the book I did enjoy the story as a whole. I would categorize it as a good mystery/whodunnit. There were a few “a-ha” moments when pieces started to fit together. There just wasn’t enough suspense there for me.

4 out of 5 stars

Kat x



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