Never Knowing: A Novel by Chevy Stevens
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
All her life, Sara
Gallagher has wondered about her birth parents. As an adopted child with
two sisters who were born naturally to her parents, Sara never had an
ideal home life. The question of why she was given up for adoption has
always haunted her. Finally, she is ready to take steps and to find
But some questions are better left unanswered.
I picked up Never Knowing and was sucked into it pretty much immediately. The story is told through therapy sessions with the main character, Sarah telling her Psychiatrist, Nadine what has been happening in her life. This could have worked well if it had been done differently. Unfortunately I didn't think it worked all that well because all we get is Sarah starting to talk to Nadine and then it goes into the story and we forget that she is even talking to her psychiatrist until the end of each chapter when she once again addresses her. It would have been nice to get some feedback from Nadine, but it just feels like Sarah is rambling on and on and Nadine isn't really there.
In the beginning I liked the main character, Sarah and her fiancé, Evan a lot, but as the book goes on I liked them both less and less. Sarah actually began to really get on my nerves. Her constant going back and forth and in circles, obsessing over everything, and blaming herself for things a serial killer was doing got old and started to drag the book down after a while. I really got tired of reading the word "guilt". If she were a real person that I knew she would drive me crazy. The thing is that even though I found her annoying, I totally understood why she was the way she was. She grew up with her adoptive dad blaming her for a lot of things that weren't her fault, withholding affection from her, and pretty much causing her to feel like she didn't matter. One really frustrating thing about this book is that she never confronts him about all of this. I really, really wish she had.
Evan began to bother me with the way he dealt with her and treated her over a few things in the book. He got jealous over stupid things and just seemed like he wasn't very available emotionally for her. However, I could see how Sarah could be emotionally draining so I get why he reacted the way he did at times.
What if murder is in your blood?
This could have been an even better story if the author had explored the relationship between Sarah and her serial killer father on a deeper level. The thing about this book that really gripped me was the dialog between Sarah and her father. I went from being horrified and scared right along with Sarah when he first contacts her to─ and I never thought I would say this─ to actually feeling sorry for him at times, even though he was a serial killer. He was a sick person who didn't want to be, but there was just no fixing him even though he thought Sarah could.[ I wish Sarah had not ended up killing him and that the book had ended differently. Yes, I wanted him caught and justice served, because he murdered a lot of women, but he said throughout the whole book that he would never hurt Sarah and Ally, because they were his daughter and grandchild. He really wanted that relationship badly and the love it would bring that he never really had. Unfortunately, he didn't understand how to go about it. He actually never lied to her and it was just sad the way things ended with her killing her own father because she was afraid of him and thought he was going to hurt them. Not really sad that he had to die, because he deserved to die for the things he had done to those other women, but sad that Sarah ended up doing it. (hide spoiler)]
There is a twist in this book, but unfortunately the twist was something I saw coming for miles and was hoping it wouldn't go there because it was just so implausible. I could believe everything else about the book could really happen, but not that, and it kind of ruined the book for me.[ In my opinion the book would have been better if it had stuck to the one villain plot of catching the serial killer, but the whole cop with an agenda thing was too unbelievable. (hide spoiler)]
I enjoyed reading this book even though I found it disappointing in some ways and I may eventually read something else by this author. There is a book that was written a few years after this one with Nadine as the main character that looks interesting.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher through a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review.
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