If you were in the Witness Protection Program, would you tell the man you’re about to marry? On the other hand, if you knew someone who was in the Witness Protection Program (but didn’t know it), would you expect them to tell you?
I find these to be tough questions to ask. Why? Because in a way, I’d be lying if I was and didn’t tell the man I was about to entrust my life with. It’s a tricky question, certainly not an easy one to answer. Especially for a Christian, because God tells us not to lie. However, if my life was in danger, I might have to keep that secret, trusting God to reveal it at the right time.
These are all questions Susan May Warren deals with in her latest Deep Haven series novel, You Don’t Know Me. In this story, we get to know Annalise Decker and her seemingly perfect small town family. Except that her husband, who is running for mayor, is the black sheep of the town. Or so he thinks. And so does his mother. Who lives across the street. However, Annalise is carrying a secret no one knows and has kept it for twenty years. Until Uncle Frank shows up. Then, her seemingly perfect life begins to unravel.
Throughout the novel, Susan leaves the reader wondering if it will all work out in the end…or not, which makes it a page-turner. Dealing with the issues of trust, loyalty, judgment, faithfulness, forgiveness, and so many more, she touches on the question of whether one would stick by a spouse who has kept one too many important secrets over a vast number of years. The thoughtfulness that went into her writing makes it incredibly realistic for a fiction read. Emotions run deep, and you may wish to read with a box of tissues nearby, particularly toward the final chapters.
Susan writes from multiple character viewpoints. One moment, we’re in Annalise’s point of view. The next, we’re in Nathan’s. We also get to know Uncle Frank, Grandma Helen, and Colleen’s boyfriend Tucker from these points of view. The only thing I found slightly frustrating (but not enough, apparently, because I devoured this book and can’t wait to read the next one) was the switching. The only reason it bothered me at all is because of the time overlaps. Annalise would be somewhere doing something and then on to the next thing a few hours later, and we’d back up to the moment she left and hear from Frank or Nathan. This doesn’t happen consistently, but when it does, it feels like a rewind in the movie reel of the reader’s mind.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading You Don’t Know Me by Susan May Warren. I highly recommend it for those who enjoy a suspense novel that isn’t afraid to talk about the realities of life that we all deal with.