ISBN-13: 9780385340144
Publisher: Bantam Books
Published: May 2009
331 pgs

No One You Know has been on my radar ever since I read several good reviews from fellow bookbloggers. The book blurb said "this is a riveting family drama about loss, love, and the way hope redefines our lives" so I had expected the story to be captivating and intriguing and I am glad it does not disappoint.

The story begins when Ellie Enderlin is on a business trip in Nicaragua when she stumble upon a man who was the lover and murderer of her sister, Lila. Ellie could not help thinking Peter McConnell being the one who killed her sister, after all he was married and he was believed to be the last person Lila had seen before her death. On top of that, Ellie could not help but wonder about the book her English professor has written about her sister and the case. The book made it to the bestselling list, but it made her feeling more loss and worst, betrayed. She thought she could share her grievances to Andrew Thorpe but apparently she was wrong.

Her parents became distant after Lila's death; the three of them withdrawn from one another and bury themselves into their own work. Ellie has always been considered as an average girl in her parents' eyes; she is not like Lila who is the Maths genius so she could understand their pain when they had lost Lila twenty years ago.

Now a coffee buyer, Ellie never expected a chance meeting with Peter McConnell would fuel her desire to look into the unsolved murder of her sister and how one thing leads to another as she delve deep into the past and present, and how it would change her aspect of life after knowing the real truth.

Once I started reading No One You Know, I could not put it down because the writing style is beautiful and lyrical, but most of all it is intriguing and haunting. Although the premise reads like a mystery novel, the story is basically about the relationship between the sisters and how the people around them affect their life. It is also a story about loss, betrayal and shall I say prejudice too? After all, Peter McConnell is labelled as the murderer but the police could find no evidence of him to-date. In fact, I think he plays a major role behind Ellie's quest of finding the truth, and I can't help but to wonder where the story would take if he does not come along and is only known as the murderer.

Anyway, I think the story is nicely wrapped up but what most matters is, I enjoyed reading it. And did I tell you I liked the prose? I guess I did. And, I liked how the author use the concept of Mathematics to blend in with the plot and made everything seems more intriguing and in a manner that one could not help but to marvel at the fantastic realm of Mathematics. For example:

"... one is a beautiful number. One is its own factorial, its own square, its own cube. It is neither a prime number nor a composite number. It is the first two numbers of the Fibonacci Sequence. It is the empty product: any number raised to the zero power is one. It might be argued that one is the most independent number known to man. It can do things that no other number is capable of."

"An equation isn't necessarily about numbers. It's about patterns. The universe is governed by mathematical patterns. Gravity, string theory, chaos theory, quantum mechanics - all of it can be expressed in terms of equations."

I look forward to reading The Year of Fog which I heard is just as good as No One You Know.

Other reviews:
A Striped Armchair
Musings of a Bookish Kitty
Peeking Between the Pages
Presenting Lenore
The Bluestocking Society
(Let me know if I missed yours.)

14 Responses
  1. Anonymous Says:

    cool...everytime I read a review of this book, I think at least someone will not like it as much. But apparently everyone does love it. And I'm glad. Looks like I will have to buy this book too.

  2. Debi Says:

    This one has sort of been on my radar, too. Glad to hear you enjoyed it, Melody!

  3. Iliana Says:

    So glad to hear you enjoyed this one Melody! I read Year of Fog earlier this year and loved it. I think it's interesting how she blends in different ideas into the story. You said in this one it's mathematics - in Year of Fog there was a lot about photography and memories. I know some readers find that tedious but I liked it. This one is on my radar definitely!

  4. Darlene Says:

    Wonderful review Melody. I liked this novel as well. I really enjoyed the use of mathematics but I love numbers. I like how you described the story as haunting - very true.

  5. The Bookworm Says:

    Great review, and very cool that you found this one through fellow bookbloggers then enjoyed it so much.

    I like the passages you quoted.

  6. Jess Says:

    I am looking forward to reading this for book club next month -- thanks for the review.

  7. I've been seeing this one around and it looks good--interesting how the author seems to tie the mathematics into the book. I was always better at math than English. :P

    By the way, got Goodbye Tsugumi from Amazon today per your suggestion and can't wait to get started on it! :)

  8. Melody Says:

    Violet - It sure is a great book! I hope you'll enjoy it when you get to it.

    Debi - I'm glad to hear this book is on your radar!!

    Iliana - I'm really intrigued about The Year of Fog now that you mentioned photography and memories, hehe. I can't wait to read it.

    Dar - Thanks! I find the concept to be refreshing, since I don't think I've read anything like this.

    Naida - Thanks, Naida! :)

    Jess - That's great! I can't wait to hear what you think of it.

    Trish - I'm the opposite! I get poor grades for my Maths, LOL.

    Oh, I'm so excited that you got Goodbye Tsugumi! I look forward to your views on it soon.

  9. Ana S. Says:

    I've had my eye on this ever since Eva reviewed it. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it too!

  10. Ceri Says:

    Great review :-) This sounds like a good read.

  11. Melody Says:

    Nymeth - I hope you'll enjoy it when you get to it!

    Lady Lazarus - Thanks! :)

  12. Julia Says:

    Wonderful review, Melody! I can see how the story interested you after reading your review :)

    Interesting, and it does make me want to pick it up and read

  13. Melody Says:

    Julia - Thanks! :) I hope you'll pick up this book.

  14. Weirdly, I enjoyed the process of reading this book, but it left me a little cold. I enjoyed your review. Thanks for the link!

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