- Series: Random House Reader's Circle
- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Bantam (May 19, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0385340141
- ISBN-13: 978-0385340144
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 62 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,014,916 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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No One You Know: A Novel (Random House Reader's Circle) Paperback – May 19, 2009
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The Amazon Book Review
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“Michelle Richmond’s encore to The Year of Fog is an equally addictive read.”—Denver Post
“Richmond sets out to create not a straight-up thriller, but a novel that explores love, family, work, guilt and the responsibility of the writer to his or her subject, all within the framework of a murder mystery.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“Michelle Richmond never strikes a false note in No One You Know.... It's an intelligent, emotionally convincing tale about a family tragedy and the process of storytelling.”—Boston Globe
“As complex and beautiful as a mathematical proof, this gripping, thought-provoking novel will keep you thinking long after the last page has been turned.”—Family Circle
"Beautifully written"—Seattle Times
"Heartrending and immediately readable"—San Francisco Examiner
“Another enjoyable blend of mystery and domestic fiction…. Quietly captivating.”—Publishers Weekly
“Richmond has a knack for creating accessible, grippingly authentic characters….No One You Know a tautly drawn tale.”—East Bay Express
“Richmond turns a family crisis into heartbreaking and compelling reading…. Riveting.” —Booklist, starred review
“Intelligent, emotionally convincing…Michelle Richmond never strikes a false note in No One You Know.”—Boston Globe
“Richmond’s fiction is made rich by the relationships between her characters and the carefully researched nuances of their lives.”—Birmingham magazine
From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Michelle Richmond is the author of The Year of Fog, Dream of the Blue Room, and the award-winning story collection The Girl in the Fall-Away Dress. A native of Mobile, Alabama, Michelle lives with her husband and son in San Francisco, where she is at work on her next novel.
From the Hardcover edition.
Top customer reviews
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Fascinating reading on so many levels. This was not fluff at all.
When I enjoy a piece of literature I want to shout it to the world, as I feel when I listen to Sibelius or Rachmaninov, in this fractured world where a liar with a big mouth and lack of knowledge tilts earth on its axis.
This novel distracted me from the acrimony.
"A story has no beginning or end. Arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead," Author Richmond writes. Ellie's life has been shaped by her sister's unsolved murder, and the "true crime" account of it written by a professor, Andrew Thorpe, she once intimately trusted. That book revealed Lila's math professor and secret married lover as the perp. But Ellie begins to question everything she thought was true when a chance meeting in an unlikely place yields Lila's notebook that she used to jot down mathematical equations, leading her on a search to discover what really happened that fateful night.
I read an ARC of this novel which describes the book like this: "A riveting family drama about the stories we tell - a novel of astonishing depth and beauty, at once heartbreaking, provocative, and impossible to put down." Jacket copy often exaggerates, but in this case I wholeheartedly agree with it. I will go out and buy a copy of this for my "keeper" bookshelf and I fully expect that this will appear on my year-end best list. Let me tell you why.
The narrative is very much about how little twists of fate can alter our life stories. For example, if Ellie had let Lila take the car that Wednesday, she might still be alive, Ellie's parents might still be together, Ellie might be married and have kids by now. Stories and the endless variations of storytelling are themes in counterpoint with the very strict and exact nature of mathematics. I loved how all the pieces of the story fit together in the end like a perfect mathematical proof.
Thorpe once said in one of the classed Ellie attended that "in order for a book to be really good, it's not enough to develop the major characters. The minor ones, too, have to be distinct. When readers close the book, they should remember everyone who walks across the page." I do.
There is a smattering of mathematical talk that went way over my head, but I still found it fascinating. Ellie also has a very interesting job. Due to her great sense of smell, she works as a coffee cupper, looking for great coffee beans all over the world. And despite what some other reviewers have said, I enjoyed learning more about coffee.
Extremely highly recommended!
Read more of my reviews at presentinglenore.blogspot.com
The characters were solidly put together, if never really fascinating in their behavior, but some expository information, like that about coffee or the history of famous math theorems, felt researched by the author rather than lived.
The story is really a mystery and not suspenseful: the murder occurred long ago and the investigating character never really faces any threat in her efforts to uncover the bad person.
My only quibble, not enough to cost it a star, are the constant insider references to San Francisco and environs. I lived in the Bay Area most of my life, and I found the references a bit smarmy and self-congratulatory. But that's a quibble. Read it and enjoy!