The followings are my honest opinions about this book.To anyone interested in it: why not give it a try and see if you like it?
I was very excited when I got this book and it was with great anticipation that I started reading it the very same day it arrived, as I was hoping to get a GREAT read. I really tried to enjoy it, I really did, but in the end, I found it to be...a good read.
The idea for the novel is very interesting. For her each of novels I've read so far, I thought that Warren's ideas were well-thought. The beginning of this book was full of nail-biting suspense but as I kept reading I found a good part of the story to be very repetitive and slow and I found the characters' development to be lacking.
I mean, maybe it was because she was hiding secrets and all, but I just couldn't bring myself to like Annalise... she seemed fake. Overall, I didn't feel like the characters were real people at times. Nathan, Frank, Helen, Colleen and the others just seem very distant, in my opinion as a reader. Everything they did -and even who they were- all of it seemed to stay on surface level.
YDKM is a good title because there are many characters with secrets. However, at times I thought the story seemed like a mix of characters' thoughts and actions, not an adventure I could dive into. Not a journey I could savor .
But my heart was moved because of poor Tucker! Oh, poor guy, always being misunderstood and all. And there were some things said that really gave me a pause, including an opinion on marriage that Helen's sister gave to her :
' I've learned that marriage isn't just for our joy, but to make us stronger, better people. To change us into the people God wants us to be....' (p. 169).
Then the real story behind the novel mentioned in the author's notes... Heartbreaking. (Oh, Lord have mercy...)
A good read.
Maybe not a page-turning one, in my opinion. More than halfway through, I skimmed and skipped some parts just to get to the end. And the plot did end up picking my curiosity by the way, and I found the ending to be quite lovely.
I'm still very opened to the idea of giving another one of Warren's novels a try.
Everyone in Deep Haven thinks that Annalise and Nathan Decker have a perfect life with their three children, Jason, Colleen and Henry. Nathan's a successful real estate agent who's running for mayor, she's a soccer mom to three children who volunteers at Goodwill and bakes perfect cookies. But everything is not what it seems. Nathan's business is in the red, he's spent Jason's college fund on his mayoral campaign and Annalise has just had a visitor from the past--Frank, who was responsible for rescuing drug addict Deidre O'Reilly twenty years ago, as part of a witness security programme, and relocating her to Deep Haven.
And Annalise hasn't told her husband that Jason has auditioned for the lead in the school play instead of getting a job like Nathan wanted, that Colleen is dating a bad boy and Henry wants to quit soccer. And she hasn't told him that Uncle Frank isn't really her uncle, but is here to warn her that Garcia is out of prison and wants to make good on his threat to murder her for putting him inside for the last twenty years.
The Deep Haven stories have gradually changed from new love and romance with an element of suspense to romantic suspense featuring married couples with children and teenagers. Yes, there is still a Happy-Ever-After, but the focus has changed (and I'm still waiting for Lisa from the first book to get her HEA). While part of me really enjoyed the young love stories, it's good to see an author whose stories and characters are staying true to the readership and growing with us. It makes the stories relevant in a different way, as we see characters struggling in their lives and marriages, yet finding a way to forgive and stay true to their marriage vows.
As with the previous Deep Haven novels, You Don't Know Me is well written, with engaging characters facing problems we can relate to (well, keeping secrets and things not always being what they seem, if not the part about being an ex-drug addict in a witness security programme), and a clear but understated Christian element. The book was inspired by a real-life situation, which makes it all the more poignant. An enjoyable read.
Thanks to Tyndale House and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
Susan May Warren is an author that I enjoy immensely. She writes prolifically. I honestly don't know how she writes as many books as she does -- and they're all creative and the type that pull me deeply into the story. With You Don't Know Me, she explores the theme of secrets and how it impacts those we love.
Annalise Decker has it all. Everybody acknowledges it, but the reality is her life is a lie. And now her past is ready to catch her. Hidden by Witness Protection, her worst fears are realized when the man she testified against comes after her. No one knows she has a new identity and the truth could destroy everything she has and the people she loves.
As the story spins out, the secrets others have harbored and the pain they create spins an intricate web. While there is a small sense of suspense, this is really a story of healing from the past, couples with a nice romance with strong secondary characters. An engaging, enjoyable read.
Can you imagine what it would be like to be suddenly thrust into the Witness Protection Program, leaving behind everything and everyone you know, to start all over again?
You Don't Know Me asks that emotionally charged question. Deidre O'Reilly has had to start her life all over once 20 years ago, so when faced with being moved again she has many challenging decisions to make.
Susan May Warren writes a fast moving tale filled with action, and emotions that run deep. I loved how fast the pages turned and how it had me on the edge of my seat, worried to death how they would ever untangle the mess they were in!
The characters were strongly written and the plot was very touching and poignant. Ms. Warren worte every aspect of this book with such meaning and suspense, that even though this wasn't exactly my style, I came away satisfied and an even bigger fan of Ms. Warren than before.
I don't want to give too much away so I'd better stop talking pretty soon, but this is a book that I highly recommend, as a fast paced emotionally charged read that requires a whole box of tissues to get through!
I received this book from the publisher through Litfuse in exchange for an honest review! Thanks!
Do you know who your neighbors are? I mean, REALLY know who they are?
Susan May Warren has woven an intricate, intriguing story about a young woman, Annalise Decker, who is in the Witness Security Program after testifying again drug lord, Luis Garcia. Her life became established like any normal family life would in Deep Haven. Except she has secrets. Secrets she's told no one, not even her husband and children. However, secrets usually come back to haunt you one way or another. This happens to Annalise when Garcia jumps parole and strikes out to find and kill her twenty years later.
Susan's superb suspense book starts out with the typical heart-warming and sometimes tense Decker family issues ranging from cancer, other-side-of-the-track boyfriend, small family arguments, and a husband running for mayor. Nathan's issues of trying to better himself, Annalise's multiple activities in the community and family, children in school and doing well academically, and both Nathan and Annalise involved in campaigning for Nathan as Deep Haven's mayor sets the typical family scene.
Enter Agent Frank Harrison, aka Uncle Frank, and typical family life flies out the door. The chatter between Frank and Annalise raises suspicions, but not enough to divulge the "secret." Plus, the romance between Frank and Nathan's mother, Helen Decker, has a life of its own, and Nathan isn't so sure he likes it! It's important that an agent stays neutral in his cases, but Frank oversteps those lines and makes a dangerous situation worse.
The author's multiple twists keep you hanging onto your seat. You think you have it figured out, and she throws a wrench into the plot! It ain't over till it's over. Just the way I like a great suspense story!
The issue of God and His loving care is carried through the doubts of Annalise as things keep falling apart. Will she learn to accept God's love despite the circumstances? She's been running and hiding for years. Will she run again when the Garcia gets close? Or will she trust God, her agent and her family? You can find out by picking up Susan's book, You Don't Know Me. A suspense and romance reader's delight!
This book was provided free by Amy Lathrop of Liftfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review. No monetary compensation was exchanged.