Reviewed by Amanda Schafer
If you’ve ever wondered what life would be like in the Witness Security Program (WitSec) for you, your loved ones, or the people left behind, Susan May Warren gives a great depiction of that life in You Don’t Know Me. Inspired by a conversation she had with a woman on an airplane, Warren dives into the emotions a witness has when being hidden and the constant fear that one day that secret life will come to an end.
Annalise Decker is a devoted wife and mother living in the small town of Deep Haven. She’s a member of the PTA, her children are active in school and sports, and her husband, Nathan, is running for mayor. Annalise has lived the best life she knows how to live, but has always been looking over her shoulder….wondering, waiting for that day when her past would catch up with her.
Annalise used to be Deidre O’Reilly, a teenage girl who rebelled and got into a mess of trouble with a man named Garcia. Years ago, Annalise testified against Garcia and then was hidden in the WitSec Program when Garcia went to prison. Finally after all these years Garcia is out of prison and Frank, Annalise’s WitSec agent, has to come and warn her that she might be in danger once again. Due to her public life as the wife of a mayoral candidate, and one misguided letter from years past, Garcia is out to track her down and finish what he started. Now she has a decision to make…leave her family and start from scratch or take them with her when she disappears again?
Nathan’s mom, Helen, lives right across the street from Annalise and Nathan. When Frank shows up unexpectedly, he has to convince everyone in the family that he is Annalise’s long lost uncle, but while doing this he ends up falling in love with Helen. However, there are things about Helen’s past that she has to confront and let go of before she can even think of pursuing a relationship with Frank. At the same time, Frank knows that he can’t think of a new relationship until he has taken care of his top priority: the safety of Annalise and her family.
Suddenly, Garcia shows up and kidnaps Annalise. Her only concern is getting him away from her family and out of their lives forever, but will she have to give up her life in the process?
This book is a part of the Deep Haven series of books written by Warren, but reading them out of order doesn’t seem to matter. I didn’t feel completely lost having not read the previous books first. I think one of the most important parts of this book is realizing that we all have secrets that we try very hard to keep hidden from even our closest friend or relative. Do we ever really know the people we live with? On one side it seems intriguing and mysterious to think there are things I don’t know about my family, but it’s also a bit scary. You Don’t Know Me really makes you stop and think about the secrets you’ve kept from those you love and what would happen if they found out.
What would life be like in the Witness Security Program? Perhaps one perspective comes from Annalise when she notes that it doesn’t hurt to remember the past. But that “maybe by wiping the past clean, by not ever revisiting it, she had stolen the depth and power of amazing grace.”
My favorite quote from this book:
“Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be happy. And sometimes you have to find those happy places in between the pain.”
Amanda lives in Missouri with her engineering husband, two sons, and one daughter. In between homeschooling and keeping up with church activities she loves to read Christian Fiction, Women’s Fiction, and any Chick-Lit. She never goes anywhere without a book to read!
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Tyndale House Publishers. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.
Win a $200 Weekend Getaway from @SusanMayWarren! RSVP for Facebook Author Chat Party on Oct. 23rd!
Welcome to the campaign launch for Susan May Warren’s latest offering in her beloved Deep Haven series, You Don’t Know Me. Susan is celebrating with a $200 Weekend Getaway Giveaway and hosting a fun video Author Chat Party!
One fortunate winner will receive:
- A $200 Visa Gift Card (Use that to catch up with a loved one and “Get to Know” your spouse, friend, sister, mom…whomever!)
- The entire set of Deep Haven Books
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 22nd. Winner will be announced at the “You Don’t Know Me” Author Chat Facebook Party on 10/23. Connect with Susan for an evening of book chat, Deep Haven trivia, and a live video chat! There will also be info about Susan’s BookShout read-along and a chance to win gift certificates, books, and other fun prizes!
So grab your copy of You Don’t Know Me and join Susan on the evening of the October 23rd for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the books – don’t let that stop you from coming!)