You Don't Know Me is a book about a woman with a dark past. Annalise is a wife and mother living in Deep Haven. She has a good family, a loving husband, and all appears to be going well until a man named Frank shows up with some bad news. Annalise used to be Diedra, a girl who testified against an evil man: Garcia. Garcia went to jail and Diedra went into witness protection as Annalise. Frank was her agent and after 20 years he shows up in Deep Haven to tell her that Garcia was out of jail and had skipped parole. To make matters worse, Garcia had killed Annalise's boyfriend, who also was in witness protection and coming for her next. Annalise had to face her past and tell her husband and mother-in-law her secret and trust God to keep her and her family safe. You Don't Know Me was an interesting read with charming characters and some twists and turns. More importantly, though, it tells a story of God's love, mercy, and forgiveness despite what we have done in our past. This is a good book that reminds each of us that if we turn to God, He will fix the broken places and bring about new life.
Through the story of Annalise, we get a glimpse of how difficult it must be to leave your past behind when entering the Witness Protection Program. Not only are all material possessions and job history relinquished, but family ties are severed forever. As a teenager, she goes into hiding from the gangster who beat her and left her for dead after she testified against him. She will no longer be able to connect with anyone who loves her, to seek their comfort , or to beg their forgiveness for her poor choices. Of course, this pain is matched by that of those who must now consider her dead. It is heartbreaking to read her mother's lament when she must say goodbye forever to her troubled daughter, knowing that she will never again be able to touch her, to see her get married, or to experience the joy of any future grandchildren.
As the story opens, Annalise has lived in protective custody for twenty years and reinvented herself in her new home. She has a husband and three children who do not know anything about her past. Her new identity means living a series of lies and being in constant fear that a slip of the tongue or a photo in the newspaper will be all the bad guys need to locate her. She feels fairly happy and content with her life, but the secrets she is keeping from her family take their toll. The sage advice that secrets are like a cancer in a marriage is repeated several times, and it is apparent that the lack of honesty is hurting all of their relationships.
The author has managed to create characters about whom the reader cares and empathizes. We find the children, her husband and her mother-in-law all struggling alone with issues that reveal their very human weaknesses and result in their own secrets and deceptions. Each is looking for something to provide a sense of self-worth and belonging, and we hurt and worry with them. They each in their own way have to come to understand the message of Psalm 103---God knows everything about us and loves us anyway. Period.
Then, once we have been immersed in the lives of this family and its dynamics, the author turns everything upside down. A crisis arises to shake everyone up, to confront them with unimaginable choices, and carries us with heart-pounding suspense through the second half of the book . This is Christian suspense at its best- touching and exciting with a great ending.
The perfect wife and mother Annalise Decker has a secret she has kept from everyone- including her husband- and it just might get them all killed. After her testimony put a criminal behind bars, Deidre O'Reilly entered the witness protection program where she lived for over 20 years with her secret- faking her death and unable to have any contact with her family. Now she has built a new life as Annalise, but with the criminal out of jail, it is only a matter of time before her world comes crashing in. Struggling to hide her secret, she fears her daughter is taking the same dangerous path that she took herself. If you have read other Deep Haven novels in the series, other characters make cameo appearances. However, you do not have to have read any of the others in the series to fully enjoy this novel. Compelling and suspenseful. A really good summer read!
Deidre O'Reilly has been living peacefully in Deep Haven for 20 years as Annalise Decker until her "Uncle" Frank shows up and shatters the perfect life that she created. The man that she testified against is out of jail and looking for her.
Her mayoral candidate husband, Nathan is busy trying to redeem his family name after the actions of his father many years ago and has a hard time understanding when Annalise first tells him about her past.
Annalise is kept busy raising their three children and volunteering for everything in town. She is fearful of the path her daughter is taking, especially the boy she is hanging out with but the true qualities of the boy are revealed when it matters most.
I really enjoyed this book-it was hard to put it down!
Summary: While still in her teens, Annalise is sent into the witness protection program. She gets married, has kids, has a life, and never tells anyone who she used to be. Then one day, a "long lost uncle" shows up on her doorstep, and Annalise is left with the choice of running once again, losing everything she has come to love, or staying and risking her family's lives.
I actually cried quite a bit through this book. Annalise loves her kids, loves her husband, loves her mother-in-law. Her anguish at losing them like she lost her natal family is palpable. As is her fear of staying and being discovered. This is a story where there is no right choice. No matter what Annalise does, someone gets hurt. And she's tired of it.
Annalise isn't the only one struggling. Her husband is racking up thousands of dollars in debt in a bid for mayorship. Her eldest son is going too far with his girlfriend, her daughter is dating exactly the kind of boy that got Annalise into this mess, and her youngest son is struggling in school. Her mother-in-law fears a recurrence of cancer. And even her long-lost-uncle is lost when it comes to reconnecting with his own daughter and grandchild.
In a world full of hurting people, the only answers seem to be found in honesty, trust, and unconditional love.