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The You I Never Knew Mass Market Paperback – July 1, 2008

4.7 out of 5 stars 97 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Veteran author Wiggs's first romance for Warner reveals the pain that comes with love. When teenager Michelle Turner becomes pregnant, she finds herself abandoned by both her angry father and her ranch-hand lover, Sam McPhee, who vanishes before she can give him the news. When her father is at risk of dying from kidney failure 17 years later, Michelle, a successful single mom with a beloved but difficult son in tow, returns to tiny Crystal City, Mont., to donate the kidney that can save her father's life. Michelle is prepared to deal with the trauma of surgery, an estranged father and a rebellious child, but she is completely unprepared when she encounters Sam McPhee. Now a prosperous rancher and doctor, Sam quickly recognizes Cody as his, and with that revelation, a damaged family begins to heal itself. Overabundant flashbacks give the novel's first half a frustrating stop-and-start rhythm, and the character of Michelle never quite comes into focus. In contrast, Cody is beautifully and believably wrought as a teenager who hides a good heart under a bad attitude. Fragmented families are a romance staple, and Wiggs's sensitive portrayal of parents and lovers trying to bond despite a less-than-perfect past exemplifies the richness and realism this theme can lend a love story.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Wiggs's sensitive portrayal of parents and lovers trying to bond despite a less-than-perfect past exemplifies the richness and realism this theme can lend a love story."
--- Publishers Weekly

"Realistic, appealing protagonists, secondary characters who are much more than caricatures, and a plot compelling in its simplicity are pluses for this well-written, engrossing novel, which may surprise but not disappoint Wiggs's historical fans."   ---- Library Journal

'Susan Wiggs creates fresh, unique, and exciting tales.' - Jayne Ann Krentz
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 514 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (July 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446508829
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446508827
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,648,802 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Maudeen Wachsmith VINE VOICE on January 5, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Seventeen years earlier, Michelle Turner had fled Montana, pregnant and alone, to begin a new life in Seattle. Now she's returned, to donate a kidney to her father despite their nearly two-decade estrangement. Accompanying her is her surly teenage son, Cody, who is not happy about leaving his friends in Seattle in the middle of the school year.
Michelle''s father, Gavin Slade, was an Oscar-winning actor who moved to Montana long before it became the northern mecca of the rich and famous. Gavin had been an absent father for most of Michelle''s life until her mother died when she was a teenager and she moved to his Montana ranch.
There she met and fell in love with a boy from the wrong side of the tracks, Sam McPhee, who was working for her father as a ranch-hand. Unbeknownst to Michelle, Gavin had hastened the retreat of Sam and his alcoholic mother, Tammi Lee Gilmer, before Michelle had the opportunity to tell him he was going to be a father. Over the years, Michelle had lost touch with Sam who had become a world-class rodeo champion to earn money to pursue another dream. The last person she expects to see when she returns to Crystal City, Montana is her old love.
Sam had returned to Crystal City, unaware that Michelle had left. One of the main reasons for his return was the chance he might run into her again. He has never forgotten his teenage love. Unaware of Cody''s existence, he is surprised to find Michelle has a teenage son. When Cody comes to Sam'sranch to work off damage done in a fender-bender, it doesn't take Sam long to see himself in Cody and he confronts Michelle. Was she ever going to tell him the truth? And how are they going to tell Cody before he finds out from somebody else?
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The You I Never Knew is fascinating book by Susan Wiggs. Don't make the mistake I made and think it's just another "I'm not going to tell you that you're the father of my child" book. Ms. Wiggs has taken a cast of characters, the past and present, and written a book that will keep you tuned in from page one.
Michelle Turner fell in love with Sam McPhee. She was just a kid, the daughter a famous movie star Gavin Slade. He was the son of an alcoholic, a kid with big dreams, no money, and no future. They fell in love, she became pregnant, and he skipped town not knowing about the baby. Fast forward seventeen years, their lives are about to clash, each not having seen the other for seventeen long years.
Michelle is returning to her hometown to donate a kidney to her father who is seriously ill. With her is her sixteen-year-old son, Cody. Michelle has made a success of her life without any help from the father of her son or her own father who turned his back on her when she told him she was pregnant. Cody is a rebellious kid who is testing the boundaries. He has gotten in with a bad crowd and is making poor choices. Lives are about to change forever as the three come to grip with the past.
There is no way to adequately describe this book. Susan Wiggs has written an enthralling tale. I was particularly captivated with the scenes involving Sam and Cody. For those of you who have teenagers going through rough times, you'll recognize the tough love approach used in this novel.
This was a great book. My compliments to Susan Wiggs for writing such a fascinating story. Someone told me this was Ms. Wiggs' breakthrough novel from historicals to contemporaries. If this is the case, what a breakthrough it is!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The men in Michelle Turner's life have always been a source of tremendous heartache. Father, boyfriend, son, they were her persistent source of joy, pain, and sorrow. Despite their love for her, they were destined at one time or another to disappoint her. She was driven away by the father she idolized and barely knew when she needed him most. She faced the untimely desertion of the young man she dared to love. And thanks to the surly son he unknowingly bestowed upon her, she is slowly coming to the realization that she is, in a strange inversion when it comes to parenting, repeating her father's mistake. But Michelle is getting something many people don't: a second chance. Her father's illness has her determined to help him initially out of obligation. With her son in tow, she arrives in Crystal City, Montana only to discover her father trying helplessly to breach the gap between them, her ex-boyfriend who has far surpassed her expectations for him, and the truth about her own bitter disappointment in herself in the face of the dream she sacrificed for the three men who are the center of her world.
Susan Wigg's venture into the genre of mainstream fiction is a huge success. The story of strong-willed, disillusioned Michelle and the three men who dominate her life will pull at heartstrings and occasionally move you to tears. Michelle is clearly at the heart of this novel and the author explores her relationship with her father Gavin Slade, an aging Hollywood icon, Sam McPhee, her ex-boyfriend, and Cody, their son. Through Michelle, Wiggs explores the multi-faceted feminine dynamic many women will be able to relate to.
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