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Never Knowing
Never Knowing
Author: Chevy Stevens
At thirty-four Sara Gallagher is finally happy. Her antique furniture restoration business is taking off and she?s engaged to a wonderful man. But there?s one big question that still haunts her ? who are her birth parents? Sara is finally ready to find out. Some questions are better left unanswered. Sara?s birth mother rejects her?again. T...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780312595685
ISBN-10: 0312595689
Publication Date: 7/5/2011
Pages: 352
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.

3.8 stars, based on 96 ratings
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Paperback, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review
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Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Never Knowing on + 175 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
3/5 stars

The premise of this story was a good one: a young woman who was adopted but never felt wanted tries to locate her birth parents and finds that she was born as a product of rape and that her father is a serial killer -- one still active and loose.

The narration is in first person and the technique that worked so well in STILL MISSING is used again as a method to advance the story -- Sara relates what happens as though she is in therapy sessions with her psychiatrist (Nadine).

The first part of the story was absorbing and I was racing through the pages as Sara's life starts to fall apart and she becomes embroiled in a bait tactic to entice her killer father into a trap set up by police. Although she's engaged to be married to the love of her life and they've had a happy life together with her daughter from a previous relationship (Ally), she has a lot of issues and emotional drama that starts to cause problems between them. She's obsessive and compulsive -- and in some ways a very weak person. About half way through the book, I started to almost scoff in disbelief and frustration at what was transpiring. I almost put the book down in disgust. Because I can't NOT finish a book, and because I so enjoyed this author's debut novel, I made myself continue by suspending that disbelief and waiting for what I was positive was going to happen. Most of what I had anticipated was exactly as presumed.

Without spoilers, let me say that the ending, however, was NOT exactly as I had anticipated. There was a wholly out of nowhere twist which really didn't sit right and that left me unsatisfied with the conclusion.

Although I really wanted to love this book, I have to say that it was not as good as STILL MISSING though written in the same style. I like believable, strong heroines who, though damaged, don't behave like superheroes and who don't dissolve into tears or uncertainty at every turn. Who can make decisions without doing stupi,d unsafe things and who know their own minds. That said, Sara was not that heroine.

I'm sure that fans of Chevy's previous book will buy this one anticipating the same experience they had with STILL MISSING. I venture to say that most will find it won't provide that thrill but I do feel most will enjoy it anyway if they don't think too deeply and just go along for the ride.
reviewed Never Knowing on + 18 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
What a great book! I was hooked right away & didn't want to put the book down. The idea of finding out about your biological parents & the reason for your adoption is interesting enough in a common situation, but this author's scenario was horrifying!
I liked the way the story was told as therapy sessions. There was even advice the main character received that I know I need to learn lessons from!
The book was full of suspence. A little over 1/2 way through, I thought the pace was slowing down. I later realized I just couldn't wait to get to the end, & the ending was really good too. I didn't find anything disappointing about this book, & I am definitely going to look for the author's other book.
reviewed Never Knowing on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Wow! What an awesome book! The twists at the end will have you jump! I never expected them! Glad I am able to share my copy. :)
reviewed Never Knowing on + 57 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Very exciting thriller! I'll be watching for more from this author. She keeps me reading long into the night and walking more minutes on the treadmill. The two books by this author are as good if not better than the ones that are pumped out by James Patterson. Have fun with this one, I sure did!
reviewed Never Knowing on + 158 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I was referred to Chevy Stevens because of my love of Gillian Flynn. Her first book, Never Knowing, was also my first sampling of her writing.

The storyline hooked me from the jacket cover: Sara, an adopted single mother and furniture restoration artist, gets a wild hair to look for her birth mother. Her search is successful, but she doesn't get the happy reunion she imagined. Instead, she is greeted with revulsion and fear. A little extra digging yields the shocking truth: Sara's mother is the lone survivor of the Campsite Killer, a serial rapist and killer who has preyed on women every summer for more than 30 years.

The plot follows Sara's search for her father -- with the help of police. As he becomes more and more interested in Sara's life -- and more demanding of her time and attention -- their dangerous game of cat and mouse spirals predictably, but is engrossing nonetheless.

More interesting to me was Sara's search for evidence of her father's legacy in herself -- and in her impulsive and hot-headed six-year-old daughter. From their mutual history of crippling migraines to their shared affinity for coffee cookies, the similarities between serial killer father and daughter are chilling. It's a interesting take on the whole "nature vs. nurture" argument, for sure.

I liked Stevens' pacing and really enjoyed the overall storyline. I was not as enthusiastic about the "journals to the therapist" framework of the story, which is doled out in "sessions" rather than chapters. As a narrator, Sara is interesting. She's not fully reliable (after all, she might be more like her father than she feared) but her anxiety and suspicion add a nice tension to the story.

I wouldn't say I enjoyed Stevens' work as much as Gillian Flynn's, or even Jennifer McMahon's dark crime novels, but I liked it enough to seek out Still Missing.
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reviewed Never Knowing on + 680 more book reviews
Absolutely wonderful. Filled weith suspense, twists, and a shocking ending. The characters are so in depth that you think you know each one of them. There are characters to hate, characters to cheer on and so much more.
reviewed Never Knowing on + 2060 more book reviews
didn't finish this one--

adult woman with daughter is now trying to find her 'birth' mother, when she finds her she doesn't want anything to do with her so--she wonders why and starts digging and what she finds is the story-I guess--I didn't want to read about an adopted daughter that upon the birth of their own daughters to her adoptive parents she then became like their 'cinderella' and didn't want to read about her birth mother being raped by the father who turns out to be a serial killer and then eventually finds them---just couldn't go any farther with this one!
reviewed Never Knowing on + 235 more book reviews
I fell in love with Chevy Steven's style of writing with "Still Missing". She takes the reader on a journey of self discovery, tragedy, and survival, with lots and lots of therapy. She starts each chapter as a "session" with the therapist. So as your learning the everyday trials and anxieties that Sara is going through, you are also going back to the plot of the story as Sara goes through it. Its brilliantly written, with complex characters and a very intersting, twisting way of playing out the plot. To know from the very beginning who the killer is and how all the characters go through the story line, and even though you know who the killer is.....Steven's always throws a suprise (or two) in at the very end.