Not That I Could Tell
When a group of neighborhood women gathers, wine in hand, around a fire pit where their backyards meet one Saturday night, most of them are just ecstatic to have discovered that their baby monitors reach that far. It’s a rare kid-free night, and they’re giddy with it. They drink too much, and the conversation turns personal.By Monday morning, one of them is gone.Everyone knows something about everyone else in the quirky small Ohio town of Yellow Springs, but no one can make sense of the disappearance. Kristin was a sociable twin mom, college administrator, and doctor’s wife who didn’t seem all that bothered by her impending divorce—and the investigation turns up more questions than answers, with her husband, Paul, at the center. For her closest neighbor, Clara, the incident triggers memories she thought she’d put behind her—and when she’s unable to extract herself from the widening circle of scrutiny, her own suspicions quickly grow. But the neighborhood’s newest addition, Izzy, is determined not to jump to any conclusions—especially since she’s dealing with a crisis of her own.As the police investigation goes from a media circus to a cold case, the neighbors are forced to reexamine what’s going on behind their own closed doors—and to ask how well anyone really knows anyone else.

Not That I Could Tell Details

TitleNot That I Could Tell
Author
ReleaseMar 27th, 2018
PublisherSt. Martin's Press
ISBN-139781250107886
Rating
GenreMystery, Fiction, Thriller, Suspense

Not That I Could Tell Review

  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    *4.5 stars*Picking up an author’s second book—especially one following a debut as stunning as Almost Missed You—sparks a certain level of excitement on my part that often coincides with a tiny bit of apprehension. For me, it’s almost a test of sorts. Will that sophomore offering land an author on my must-read list going forward or prove them to be a one-hit wonder, instead? Well, for everyone that loved Almost Missed You as much as this reader, have no fear—Not That I Could Tell proves to be jus *4.5 stars*Picking up an author’s second book—especially one following a debut as stunning as Almost Missed You—sparks a certain level of excitement on my part that often coincides with a tiny bit of apprehension. For me, it’s almost a test of sorts. Will that sophomore offering land an author on my must-read list going forward or prove them to be a one-hit wonder, instead? Well, for everyone that loved Almost Missed You as much as this reader, have no fear—Not That I Could Tell proves to be just as compelling and gripping as Jessica Strawser's fate-filled debut. Maybe even a touch more so.What stood out to me was the way the story was told or rather what wasn’t. We know from the beginning, there was a last minute girl’s night of sorts with a group of neighbors—think wine, the glow of a fire pit and the freedom to relax and let loose without the kids. What we aren’t made privy to is exactly what happened that night. It was the very last time anyone laid eyes on Kristin. Finding that she's simply vanished, along with her young twins, everyone naturally questions if it was her choice or if someone made it for her. Someone like her soon-to-be ex-husband. What this story is not is a police procedural or psychological thriller focused on unraveling every moment that leads up to Kristin’s disappearance. Instead, this work of women’s fiction—that falls on the darker end of the spectrum—is more about two different women, Izzy and Clara, and how they cope with the reality that their friend is gone. The magic of the story comes from the change it provokes in them and their perspective on life, in some shape or form. For me, that's where Jessica Strawser’s power lies—in creating deep and lasting impressions with her characters. They’re wholly relatable and real on some level; making the reader/character connection effortless on my part. Honestly, as a reader, is there anything better? Izzy was the first character to grab my attention and she pretty much refused to let go throughout the entire story. Her situation made my heart ache—like being held in a vice grip that’s continuously tightening, just begging for relief. Stronger than even she realized, Izzy’s perspective left me with this message—don’t assume anyone understands your true feelings; speak up before it’s too late and you're left saddled with the regret of what might have been.This story is yet another reminder that no one is perfect—we all come with flaws and life isn't always sunshine and rainbows—regardless of the face we put out to the world. So don't make assumptions—about people or this storyline. What starts to feel like a story headed to a predictable end is anything but. Speechless. Surprised. Awed. That’s all I’m going to say. Well, other than, Jessica Strawser has definitely earned her spot on my must-read list. *Thank you to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Deanna
    January 1, 1970
    Having previously enjoyed Jessica Strawser’s debut novel “Almost Missed You”, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to read her new novel “Not That I Could Tell”. “Ever wonder what your friends really think of you?” Although Izzy is new to Yellow Springs, Ohio, she’s been getting to know her neighbors and even spent Saturday evening overindulging in wine and conversation with five other women from the neighborhood. Izzy doesn’t usually overdo it on alcohol, but got caught up in the excitement o Having previously enjoyed Jessica Strawser’s debut novel “Almost Missed You”, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to read her new novel “Not That I Could Tell”. “Ever wonder what your friends really think of you?” Although Izzy is new to Yellow Springs, Ohio, she’s been getting to know her neighbors and even spent Saturday evening overindulging in wine and conversation with five other women from the neighborhood. Izzy doesn’t usually overdo it on alcohol, but got caught up in the excitement of the other women. With the exception of Izzy, all of the other women are married with children, and they were happy for the opportunity to relax around the fire without being interrupted every two seconds by a child wanting their attention.Izzy is surprised when the soon to be ex-husband of one of the women flags her down as she gets home Monday to ask her if she’s seen his wife, Kristen. Izzy hasn’t seen Kristen since Saturday evening. Paul tells her that Kristen didn’t show up for work and didn’t drop the children off at school. All three of them are gone...Clara Tiffin was the host on Saturday evening and her and her husband Benny live right next door to Kristen. Clara is a stay at home mother to four-year old Thomas and thirteen-month old, Maddie. Clara’s son Thomas goes to school with Kristen’s twins.When a detective stops by and asks Clara when she last saw Kristen, she is immediately concerned. “We’re trying to account for her whereabouts, Mrs. Tiffin. She didn’t show at work today, and Abby and Aaron never arrived at school.” Kristen Kirkland is the mom who always seems to have it together. She’s very involved in her children's school activities. She’s the mom who always helps decorate for holiday parties, brings the fanciest snacks, and knows the name of everyone – teachers, parents and children. So when Kristen and her twins go missing, everyone is stunned…especially the neighborhood women who thought they knew her best. However, the more they start to learn about Kristen..the more they wonder if they really knew her at all.Suddenly the neighborhood turns into a media circus……Though we learn about all of the women from the get-together, the story-line focuses more on Clara and Izzy; the personal issues they are struggling with, as well as their reaction to Kristen’s disappearance.Where is Kristen? Where are the children?I really enjoyed this novel and I was drawn to many of the characters. I found them very relatable... flaws and all. I was also completely taken in by the little ones, their interactions with each other and adults were adorable. I could “see” little Maddie as she chased after her brother. A game of hide-and-seek between Clara and her four-year old son had me laughing out loud.“Mommy, you count to ten and I’ll go hide behind the curtains in the dining room. Ready, go!”“Thomas, hide-and-seek only works if you don’t tell me where you’re going to hide. I’ll count and you pick a new place, okay?”“But the curtains are a great hiding place!”“But you just told me you’re going to be there. I already know”“Okay. Close your eyes-no peeking! I will go hide now—and do not look behind the curtains.”“Ready or not, here I come”Maniacal giggling came from the dining room….Jessica Strawser is a tremendous storyteller. With fantastic characterization, a compelling story-line, “Not That I Could Tell” is another awesome read that kept me gripped from start to finish. I was thrilled with this novel and I'm already looking forward to seeing what she comes up with next!Highly recommended!Thank you to St. Martin's Press for providing a copy of this book for me to read in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Kaceey
    January 1, 1970
    4.5*Lately I’ve been reading a number of books involving neighbors. How they interact together - and the expectations they have of each other when living so close. This one ranks right up there among my favorite “neighborhood books”.A backyard get-together of the neighborhood gals, where drinking and giggles are the order of the day. Baby monitors turned up high and husbands shooed off to do their own thing. Purely innocent. Just another fun, girl’s night out. Almost.The following morning, one o 4.5*Lately I’ve been reading a number of books involving neighbors. How they interact together - and the expectations they have of each other when living so close. This one ranks right up there among my favorite “neighborhood books”.A backyard get-together of the neighborhood gals, where drinking and giggles are the order of the day. Baby monitors turned up high and husbands shooed off to do their own thing. Purely innocent. Just another fun, girl’s night out. Almost.The following morning, one of the women is missing along with her young twin children. Maybe she left on her own, but how? And why? She never gave the slightest hint of any problem at the party last night. As the police begin their investigation, secrets start to unfold. Is anyone on this block safe?I absolutely enjoyed this domestic thriller. A fast passed, easy read. The characters are all vivid, making it easy to keep them apart as the story is told from several POV’s. This was my first book by Jessica Strawser. Though I have her previous one Almost Missed You on my list waiting for me. I plan on bumping it up to the top. I highly recommend!!Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press and Jessica Strawser for an ARC to review in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Susanne Strong
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 Stars* (rounded up).When a group of women get together, trouble always follows. Am I right or am I right? Not where I’m from, but whatever. Blame the alcohol.“Not That I Could Tell” is a STELLAR follow up to Jessica Strawser’s debut, “Almost Missed You.” In this novel, after a group of gals spend the night drinking around a bonfire, one goes missing along with her two children - Kristin is nowhere to be found. And unfortunately, all of her friends had way too much to drink to remember anythi 4.5 Stars* (rounded up).When a group of women get together, trouble always follows. Am I right or am I right? Not where I’m from, but whatever. Blame the alcohol.“Not That I Could Tell” is a STELLAR follow up to Jessica Strawser’s debut, “Almost Missed You.” In this novel, after a group of gals spend the night drinking around a bonfire, one goes missing along with her two children - Kristin is nowhere to be found. And unfortunately, all of her friends had way too much to drink to remember anything they talked about. Anything that would help figure out what might have happened to her, at least. They don’t know if she ran off, or if her soon to be ex-husband Paul had something to do with it. Each of Kristin’s neighbors cope with her disappearance differently, including Kristin’s best friend Clara, and the newest resident of Yellow Springs, Izzy. There are a couple of side stories involving both characters. How they interact with friends, the police and school administrators – simply fascinating. In my opinion however, the one involving Izzy stole the whole shebang! I won’t ruin it, but I will say that I think we’ve all been in her shoes and my heart ached for her. All of the characters in this novel GRAB your attention. My favorite? Why Izzy, of course! The character development is spot on. And the ending? Not what I was expecting at all! This is an easy, quick read. You can’t help but dig in and you don’t want to stop until you reach the very last page. This book FAR surpasses Ms. Strawser’s debut, “Almost Missed You”, which was was good - “Not that I Could Tell” however is simply fantastic. A must-read. Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press and Jessica Strawser for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review. Published on NetGalley and Goodreads on 9.17.17. *Will be Published on Amazon on 3.27.17.
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  • Kristin (KC) - Traveling Sister
    January 1, 1970
    *3.5 Stars*This book had one hell of an amazing kick off, presenting an atmospheric tone that was both enticing and mysterious: Women in a small neighborhood coming together one fateful night to let loose around a backyard fire pit—wine glasses and baby monitors in hand. Although these women tend to exude an I-have-my-shit-together appearance by day, their composed exteriors begin to fall away with the night, revealing dark secrets and hidden insecurities—all exposed...fire pit-side. Quite a fre *3.5 Stars*This book had one hell of an amazing kick off, presenting an atmospheric tone that was both enticing and mysterious: Women in a small neighborhood coming together one fateful night to let loose around a backyard fire pit—wine glasses and baby monitors in hand. Although these women tend to exude an I-have-my-shit-together appearance by day, their composed exteriors begin to fall away with the night, revealing dark secrets and hidden insecurities—all exposed...fire pit-side. Quite a freeing night, but the next morning they find themselves greeted by massive hangovers, along with the frightening news that one of these women has suddenly disappeared. “It’s no great accomplishment to get someone to believe a lie. It’s not that hard, really. Look at me: a doctor’s wife, working mom, good neighbor. You’ve already summed me up, haven’t you? You’re already filling in the blanks...But whatever you’re writing there, it’s not the truth.” This explosively alluring opening sparked a high level of excitement and intrigue that held tight for a while, but then began to simmer, taking a slow but steady decline all the way to a somewhat lackluster finish. There were parts I loved and found incredibly interesting, and then others that made the story feel like it was coasting in the mundane. I didn’t particularly care for the ending, and not because of what happened, but more of how it happened. It sort of played out like an ending to a movie: dramatized and predictable. I couldn’t help but feel there was more suggested than was ultimately delivered. I do have to gush over this author’s writing style, which was superb and remained solid throughout. I found myself rereading certain parts, so drawn in by the wording alone. The characters were flawlessly brought to life, each one unique from the next and harboring her own real-life demons. I think readers will most certainly enjoy this contrasting cast of characters. Overall, an enjoyable read, and I do intend to check out other works by this author!
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  • Larry H
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars, rounded up.Boy, do I love a little bit of soapy neighborhood melodrama and mystery..."It's no great accomplishment to get someone to believe a lie. It's not that hard, really. Look at me: doctor's wife, working mom, good neighbor. You've already summed me up, haven't you? You're already filling in the blanks. But whatever you're writing there, it's not the truth. And that's fine by me. It's easier, knowing you don't know me at all."One Saturday night, a group of female neighbors gets 4.5 stars, rounded up.Boy, do I love a little bit of soapy neighborhood melodrama and mystery..."It's no great accomplishment to get someone to believe a lie. It's not that hard, really. Look at me: doctor's wife, working mom, good neighbor. You've already summed me up, haven't you? You're already filling in the blanks. But whatever you're writing there, it's not the truth. And that's fine by me. It's easier, knowing you don't know me at all."One Saturday night, a group of female neighbors gets together around the firepit of one of their houses. They're excited with the prospect of adult company, and by the fact that their baby monitors actually work in the backyard. They all have a little too much wine that night, leaving everyone feeling a little worse for the wear the next day. But all agree it's a price worth paying, and the conversation flows all over the place.Life proceeds as usual on Monday until they get a real shock: Kristin, the seemingly near-perfect mother of twins, the class mom always willing to pitch in, has disappeared along with her children. Some of her clothes and the children's clothes and favorite toys are missing, as is her mother's heirloom china. But her cell phone was left behind.Kristin didn't seem at all dismayed that her divorce from her gynecologist husband Paul was nearly final. No one knows what to think about her disappearance, and as the police begin investigating, they uncover secrets that she never shared with her friends, secrets which make them fear the worst. As public suspicion centers around Paul, he tries to focus attention back to his soon-to-be ex-wife, all the while trying to make himself seem more sympathetic.Kristin's friends and neighbors try to make sense of what has happened, and how they were unaware of what Kristin was going through. For Clara, who lived next door, Kristin's disappearance and the facts swirling around remind her of an incident from her past that she has tried to put behind her, but she finds herself in the middle of the scandal, which causes issues for her husband and her young children. And Izzy, the neighborhood's newest resident, tries to stay above the fray and not pass judgment, because she is dealing with emotional issues of her own.How well do we know our friends? Should we listen to those around us or should we trust our own instincts? Not That I Could Tell follows the model of books like Big Little Lies and Marybeth Mayhew Whalen's When We Were Worthy , providing a compelling narrative, a healthy dose of melodrama, and a mystery that eats at the fabric of friendships and the neighborhood.Jessica Strawser does a great job with this book. I devoured it in practically one sitting, and although I had my suspicions of how things would resolve themselves, that didn't dampen my enthusiasm one bit. You've seen this before, but Strawser's storytelling ability keeps you turning the pages. I think this would make a great TV movie, too.I was looking for something a little lighter, and this definitely fit the bill. This will make a great vacation read!NetGalley and St. Martin's Press provided me an advance copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks for making this available! See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com, or check out my list of the best books I read in 2017 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2018/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2017.html.
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  • Theresa Alan
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed the second novel of Jessica Strawser. Several women meet around the firepit of Clara’s backyard one Saturday night. All of them except Izzy are married with kids. They all have a little too much to drink. By Monday afternoon, the soon-to-be-ex-husband of Kristin flags down Izzy to ask if he’s seen his wife and kids. When the police come to ask questions soon after, the women’s stories of Saturday evening—the last time anyone saw Kristin—are unfortunately a little hazy, but none I really enjoyed the second novel of Jessica Strawser. Several women meet around the firepit of Clara’s backyard one Saturday night. All of them except Izzy are married with kids. They all have a little too much to drink. By Monday afternoon, the soon-to-be-ex-husband of Kristin flags down Izzy to ask if he’s seen his wife and kids. When the police come to ask questions soon after, the women’s stories of Saturday evening—the last time anyone saw Kristin—are unfortunately a little hazy, but none of them can think of any reason for Kristin’s disappearance—as well as her twin children’s.Did she go on the run from her almost-ex-husband, Paul, or is he being unfairly blamed (since the husband is always the first suspect in a suspicious case)? Paul is an OB-GYN. His job is to care for women during a turbulent, sometimes scary time in their lives. He works so much, no one on the block knows him very well.Told from the alternating points of view of Izzy and Clara, the challenges of being single and being a mom are represented with sensitivity and depth. This is a well-paced mystery with likeable, complex characters.Thanks so much to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the opportunity to review this novel, which RELEASES MARCH 27, 2018.For more of my reviews, please visit: http://www.theresaalan.net/blog
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  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    January 1, 1970
    4 intriguing stars to the light mystery/domestic suspense, Not That I Could Tell! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ Having read Jessica Strawser’s debut book, Almost Missed You, I knew I had to read her second! The women of the neighborhood gathered around the fire pit at Clara’s house and had a carefree evening while indulging in perhaps too much alcohol. The next day, Kristen’s husband, Paul, flags down one of the women and asks if she knows where Kristen is. It turns out that Kristen and her two children disappeared a 4 intriguing stars to the light mystery/domestic suspense, Not That I Could Tell! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ Having read Jessica Strawser’s debut book, Almost Missed You, I knew I had to read her second! The women of the neighborhood gathered around the fire pit at Clara’s house and had a carefree evening while indulging in perhaps too much alcohol. The next day, Kristen’s husband, Paul, flags down one of the women and asks if she knows where Kristen is. It turns out that Kristen and her two children disappeared after the get-together. The police begin to question all the women, but their memories are hazy, and they don’t know why, other than the alcohol. The first suspect is always the husband, right?! Is Paul the culprit, or he is falsely accused? The narrators are Izzy and Clara, two of the neighborhood women who attended the party. Izzy is single, and Clara is married with children; the challenges for each of their lifestyles were explored and contrasted. I liked Izzy. She was fallible and interesting, and I admired her growth as a character. Overall, Not That I Could Tell is a slower-building mystery. It’s an easy read, perfect to relax into and watch it gradually unfold. For this and other Traveling Sister Read reviews, please check out Brenda and Norma’s amazing blog: https://twosisterslostinacoulee.comThank you to Jessica Strawser, St. Martin’s Press, and Netgalley for the ARC. Not That I Could Tell will be released on March 27, 2018!
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  • Berit☀️✨
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 Dramarama Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟.5This was a really fun read for me..... set in small town Ohio where the houses were as eclectic as the citizens..... whenever I read a book that takes place in a small town I always feel a little jealous, having lived in major cities my entire life..... and Yellow Springs was so picturesque and ideal, just the place you’d want to raise your family.....The neighbor ladies get together for a girls night out.... kid free and husband free... The wine is flowing, the fire is 4.5 Dramarama Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟.5This was a really fun read for me..... set in small town Ohio where the houses were as eclectic as the citizens..... whenever I read a book that takes place in a small town I always feel a little jealous, having lived in major cities my entire life..... and Yellow Springs was so picturesque and ideal, just the place you’d want to raise your family.....The neighbor ladies get together for a girls night out.... kid free and husband free... The wine is flowing, the fire is burning, and the tongues are loose..... and the next day Kristin is gone along with her twins... did she leave of her own volition? Or has something more sinister happened?This book really was about Clara and Izzy and how they coped with the disappearance of their friend/neighbor..... I really liked both of these ladies and related to them both in very different ways.... Clara is a stay at home mother with a fabulous husband (I must say) raising two kids and trying to be the best mom she possibly can.... Izzy oh Izzy... my heart broke for you girl! Caught in an impossible situation filled with regret... fighting her way back.... I really loved her character growth in this book... and I actually would appreciate another book with her to see where she goes from here......I loved being the nosy neighbor without having to leave the comfort of my own home or peak out my window..... I loved getting a glimpse into all these characters lives... the good, the bad, and the ugly.... and a very special mention needs to go out to the very precocious 12-year-old Nancy Drew A.k.a. Hallie.... there were some times during this book I absolutely felt as though she was more in touch with what was going on then the adults... and the girl had spirit!Absolutely recommend two fans of domestic thrillers with a slower pace.... this book didn’t keep me on the edge of my seat however I really wanted to know what was going on and The sooner the better....*** thank you to the publisher and Net Galley for a copy of this book ***
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  • Carol (Bookaria)
    January 1, 1970
    One Saturday night, a group of women get together on a backyard to have a few drinks and relax. They are neighbors and look forward to taking a break from the routine. However, a couple of days later they are all shocked to learn that Kristin -one of the women who went to the bonfire- is missing. The novel explores how each of the neighbors deals with Kristin's disappearance, specially Clara, a wife and mother, and Izzy, the newest person to have moved into the neighborhood.The novel takes place One Saturday night, a group of women get together on a backyard to have a few drinks and relax. They are neighbors and look forward to taking a break from the routine. However, a couple of days later they are all shocked to learn that Kristin -one of the women who went to the bonfire- is missing. The novel explores how each of the neighbors deals with Kristin's disappearance, specially Clara, a wife and mother, and Izzy, the newest person to have moved into the neighborhood.The novel takes place in Yellow Springs, OH and is narrated from different points of view. I was interested in reading the book because the description sounded like it would be a mystery, but it's more like women's fiction. It is slow paced and character driven.Overall it was ok. I recommend it to readers of contemporary fiction.
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  • Mary Beth *Traveling Sister*
    January 1, 1970
    The book starts out with Kristin and her two kids disappearing, they are missing and vanish without a trace. There was a neighborhood party the night before they disappeared. They were drinking wine and sharing stories, sitting around a fire with baby monitors turned up. They started getting drunk and don't seem to remember anything of that night. As the investigation starts lots of secrets appear and everyone seems like they could be a suspect. The setting is in Yellow Springs, Ohio. The inve The book starts out with Kristin and her two kids disappearing, they are missing and vanish without a trace. There was a neighborhood party the night before they disappeared. They were drinking wine and sharing stories, sitting around a fire with baby monitors turned up. They started getting drunk and don't seem to remember anything of that night. As the investigation starts lots of secrets appear and everyone seems like they could be a suspect. The setting is in Yellow Springs, Ohio. The investigation turns up with more questions than answers.This is a story about neighbors and their relationships. The book reminded me of the old television show of Desperate Housewives but not as humorous. The book deals with friendship, love, family, betrayal and domestic violence. I loved the ending which was unexpected and very sutprprising with some suspense.I struggled with this book. To me, this wasn't a fast paced thriller. It was a slow burn and didn't seem to have any twists or turns that I actually look for. I think that this would fit the chic lit genre a lot better.I feel that those that love that genre will love this book. I am not really into that genre. This book has the theme of Desperate Housewives, remember that old television show? It just wasn't as numerous as that show. The story was based on neighbors and their relationships. I felt like I did not have a strong connection with the character and for me to love a book, I have to love the characters. These are just my feelings though and I unfortunately have to be honest. If you have been interested in this book, I would read all of the four and five star reviews. There are lots of five star reviews. Lots of people loved it. I was hooked in the beginning then it seemed to go flat throughout the book until the end which was quite unexpected and surprising. I do recommend this book to those that love the chic lit genre. I think you will love it. This was a Traveling Sister read and want c n though I struggled with it, I enjoyed reading this with them.I want to thank NetGalley, St. Martin's Press and Jessica Strawser for the copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.
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  • Melisa
    January 1, 1970
    This is a story of friendship in the suburbs, secrets and lies and a neighbor who goes missing after a night around the campfire. The author has gotten life in the suburbs with young children spot on (I speak from experience!) and it was a believable tale of something that could definitely happen in my neighborhood. In fact, for me, it was its strongest point - what if this happened to you? How would you handle it? What would you do?I wish this one would have been categorized General Fiction/Wom This is a story of friendship in the suburbs, secrets and lies and a neighbor who goes missing after a night around the campfire. The author has gotten life in the suburbs with young children spot on (I speak from experience!) and it was a believable tale of something that could definitely happen in my neighborhood. In fact, for me, it was its strongest point - what if this happened to you? How would you handle it? What would you do?I wish this one would have been categorized General Fiction/Women’s Fiction instead of Mystery/Thriller, for I went into this prepared for something it’s not. An enjoyable read, but more of a slow going domestic suspense with an important message. Thank you to Netgalley, St. Martin’s Press and Jessica Strawser for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 3.5 stars
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  • Norma * Traveling Sister
    January 1, 1970
    NOT THAT I COULD TELL by JESSICA STRAWSER was an intriguing, entertaining, and fast read that didn't necessarily wow me but it was definitely still an enjoyable read! It was one of those reads where I was able to just sit back and enjoy the story and the characters. My favorite character was Izzy and I really enjoyed how she grew throughout this story! The full Traveling Sisters Review will follow shortly:https://twosisterslostinacoulee.com
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  • Debra
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 starsA group of neighborhood women gather to drink wine and talk. What could go wrong? Their baby monitors can be heard, and they aren't driving. Why not kick back and have a couple of drinks? Of course, with drinking, comes loose lips and several wake up the next day wishing she would not have shared what she did - confessions ranging from one woman being in love with her sister's husband to another not liking the size of her breasts. The ladies wake up fuzzy and hungover the next morning a 4.5 starsA group of neighborhood women gather to drink wine and talk. What could go wrong? Their baby monitors can be heard, and they aren't driving. Why not kick back and have a couple of drinks? Of course, with drinking, comes loose lips and several wake up the next day wishing she would not have shared what she did - confessions ranging from one woman being in love with her sister's husband to another not liking the size of her breasts. The ladies wake up fuzzy and hungover the next morning and while attempting to nurse their hangovers learn that one, Kristen, of them is missing along with her twins. What happened? Everything was great the night before, where could she be? Did she leave of her own free will or was there foul play involved? Was money an issue? Why has her ex-husband moved back into their home when he previously moved out and has his own apartment?Kristen, the missing mother, always appeared to have been on top of everything. She never forgot the names of the other Mothers at the pre-school, she worked, was married to a doctor and she was always so polished and put together. Even while going through a divorce form her husband, Paul, she appears unfazed and composed. Kristen's disappearance has sparked many questions in the community and as the police investigate, they don't seem to find any answers.Clara, lives next door and Kristen's disappearance has stirred up memories and thoughts from the past when she lost someone. Izzy, another neighbor, confessed being in love with her sister's husband during the women's night of drinking. He was her best friend and she always dreamed that they would end up together but then he fell in love with her younger sister. Now that they are married and having a baby, Izzy is a mess and distancing herself from her family while getting closer to a "person of interest".As this case goes from an active investigation to a cold case, the women are left to deal with their frustrations, family issues, and outlook on life. I've been reading a lot of books lately that ask the question "how well do you know those in your lives?" This question serves as an interesting premise and story set up. Everyone has secrets. Everyone has things that they do not want others to know, which is probably why we all love learning about other's secrets. This book grabbed my attention from page one. I thought it was well thought out, perfectly paced and intriguing. This book may never be considered the best book ever written, but it sure is enjoyable and provides the reader a chance to escape their lives and delve into the lives of others. This book is billed as being "women's fiction" but seriously, this really is a book for everyone. It touches on themes such as domestic violence, love, friendship, secrets and lies. Hard to put down, thoughtful and compelling. This book does not disappoint.Thank you to St. Martin's press and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.See more of my reviews at www.openbookpost.com
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  • Kendall
    January 1, 1970
    So, lately I have been reading a lot of books about neighbors! I wondering if this is the new "girl" title? haha.A backyard full of women lounging in front of a bonfire and drinking their worries away with tons of laughter. Baby monitors turned on full blast and husbands forbidden on this girls night. This sounds like my kind of night.... almost! The next morning one of the women in this group of girls is missing along with her 2 twin children. Did she leave on her own? Is she missing? Did somet So, lately I have been reading a lot of books about neighbors! I wondering if this is the new "girl" title? haha.A backyard full of women lounging in front of a bonfire and drinking their worries away with tons of laughter. Baby monitors turned on full blast and husbands forbidden on this girls night. This sounds like my kind of night.... almost! The next morning one of the women in this group of girls is missing along with her 2 twin children. Did she leave on her own? Is she missing? Did something horrible happen to her and the children?The police start to get involved in this tragic event that is unfolding in this quant neighborhood. Secrets, lies, and deception starts to slowly unwind like a spiders web. Who is innocent? Who knows more then they're leading the others to believe? Some the things that I loved in this novel was the dual POV. I LOVE this and being able to dive into the mind's of each and every character. But, sadly I couldn't get invested in these characters that much. I was waiting for something to happen and couldn't get my attention until like 70 percent in :(. Finally, when story was revealed I just wasn't that impressed and it left me wanting more from the story. Although, I didn't see that last twist coming at the end which was a pleasant surprise :). I will still definitely like to see more from this author :).This was a traveling sister read and like always loved seeing the ladies different point of views on this one. I feel like this was half and half on who loved it and who didn't. Please go to Traveling Sister's blog to see our full sister review<3: https://twosisterslostinacoulee.com Overall, 3 stars for this one.Thank you so much to Jordan Hanley, St. Martin's Press, and Netgalley for the advanced arc in exchange for my honest review. Publication date: 3/27/18Published to GR: 3/25/18
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  • Taryn
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars. Six women gather in a neighbor's backyard for a casual evening of drinking and conversation. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, but by sunrise one of the women and her two young children are missing. Law enforcement and media swarm the neighborhood, while the women rack their brains trying to remember if anything odd happened the night before. What happened to Kristin and her twins? Did she run away or did someone harm them? Could her soon-to-be ex-husband be to blame? You probably t 3.5 stars. Six women gather in a neighbor's backyard for a casual evening of drinking and conversation. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, but by sunrise one of the women and her two young children are missing. Law enforcement and media swarm the neighborhood, while the women rack their brains trying to remember if anything odd happened the night before. What happened to Kristin and her twins? Did she run away or did someone harm them? Could her soon-to-be ex-husband be to blame? You probably think I care a lot about what my friends think. I don’t. None of this charade is for them. It’s no great accomplishment to get someone to believe a lie. It’s not that hard, really. Look at me: doctor’s wife, working mom, good neighbor. You’ve already summed me up, haven’t you? You’re already filling in the blanks. But whatever you’re writing there, it’s not the truth. And that’s fine by me. It’s easier, knowing you don’t know me at all. Because as long as you believe that what you see is what you get, I get to stay this way. Poised. Devoted. Alive. The chapters alternate between the perspectives of two of the missing woman's neighbors, with the occasional cryptic chapter from someone I immediately assumed was Kristin. Izzy just moved to the neighborhood. She has been secretly in love with her best friend for years, but he ended up falling in love with her sister. She moved to Yellow Springs for a fresh start, hoping that the distance would help her get past the heartbreak and help her build something of her own. Bonding with her new neighbors has been nice, but she can't resist focusing on what could've been. Clara has lived in Yellow Springs for a year. She was hoping for some peace and quiet after an incident that altered her perspective on life, but much to her husband's chagrin, she's managed to find herself at the center of yet another conflict. Clara spent the most time with Kristin out of all the neighbors, but as the investigation into Kristin's disappearance unfolds, she realizes how little she actually knew about her "close" friend. Clara's story didn't interest me as much as Izzy's tale of unrequited love, but she's a kind, supportive friend and her relationship with her children and husband was sweet and authentic.If you like Celeste Ng's characters, you'll probably like Jessica Strawser's characters too. (There's also an Ohio connection there!) They both have a knack for exploring emotional conflict and zeroing in on all the oddball thoughts and little quirks that make a complete person. There are so many little details that make the characters relatable. I laughed when Clara mentioned that she still expected authority figures to be "significantly older than her," even though she's in her mid-thirties. Even minor characters like Izzy's mom have traits that make them feel familiar: "She was the type who was so good at fussing over things that she almost seemed to enjoy it—and thus didn’t bother to adjust her intensity for big problems or minuscule ones, or for those within her control or well outside." Strawser also excels at building authentic relationships between characters. Izzy enjoys Clara's company because Clara is the one person that doesn't make her feel like she's "in the wrong place in her life." Clara bonds with her twelve-year-old neighbor Hallie because she recognizes "a familiar loneliness, a solidarity shared among only children with varying degrees of absentee parents."  The missing woman Kristin and Hallie's mom Natalie are the only characters that receded into the background for me. Two of my favorite characters were Izzy's father and aspiring investigative reporter Hallie, because they both steered the main characters in different directions. The missing, the hidden, the murdered, and the otherwise lost never get to tell their sides of the story. It’s the last and sometimes cruelest injustice. Because often the people left behind to shape the narrative have an agenda that doesn’t necessarily revolve around the truth. It’s not always out of malice. There’s self-preservation to consider. One’s image, state of mind, well-being. The human desire to attempt to make sense of a world with no real order to it, to demand to know why when there is no reason—or at least no good one. The explanations given, the conclusions drawn, might be willfully dishonest, they may be obliviously ignorant, or they could be part of the truth—but rarely are they the whole story. Still, by default, those versions are the only ones that will ever be told. I just read Just Between Us, a book about a group of women where the most elusive one is married to a potentially abusive doctor, so that probably affected my reading experience. Even in that review, I mentioned that I keep reading variations of the same theme! While I loved the characters, the story was slow and uneventful. Between Izzy's moping over a situation that could only end one way and detailed descriptions of Clara's day-to-day life as a stay-at-home mom, the story stagnated. At about 85% I was wondering if anything was ever going to happen. (Something actually did happen a few pages later!)  I also didn't feel any urgency or concern over Kristin's whereabouts. Like Izzy, I "didn’t actually know Kristin well enough to be truly fraught over her vanishing act." The story deals with potential domestic abuse, but Izzy's story of unrequited love was actually the emotional core for me. I liked the ending, but it felt too familiar. "The world will drag you down if you let it. Sometimes you have to be happy in the little bubble you create for yourself." What is our responsibility to our friends and neighbors? Should we mind our own business or do we assume "some risk ... with proximity"? Izzy prides herself on being an objective observer during the whole situation, but perhaps taking a stand would've been the right thing to do. Clara and her husband's opposing perspectives on this issue is a source of conflict in their marriage. This story is about beginning again when it seems impossible. Even when it seems like all hope is lost, it's never too late to set things right. It also deals with the useless but comforting rituals we use to console ourselves and the futility of seeking explanations where there are none to be found. Not That I Could Tell is mostly about the friend and acquaintance of a missing woman working through their issues, rather than a twisty suspense novel. If slow pacing due to moping or child-rearing bores you or you've read a "behind closed doors" story recently, you might want to skip this one for now. However, even though I was anxious for something to happen, Strawser's writing and characters kept me turning the pages. If you like slow-burn stories with interesting and relatable characters, this book may be for you!This author also wrote Almost Missed You, which I really enjoyed. It's about a woman who thinks her life and marriage is perfect until her husband runs away with their child. But maybe the signs were there all along—she just wasn't ready to see them yet.__________I received this book for free from NetGalley and St. Martin's Press. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. It's available now!
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  • Holly B
    January 1, 1970
    3.5This was my first Jessica Strawser novel and from the moment I started reading I knew this was going to be a story that would keep me curious about what was up with this charming little neighborhood.All the ingredients for a compelling mystery are here - the ladies, the backyard get together, the wine, the sleeping children. What no one realizes is that one of them will soon disappear and detectives will come knocking on doors.You may not know everything about your neighbors or your friends. 3.5This was my first Jessica Strawser novel and from the moment I started reading I knew this was going to be a story that would keep me curious about what was up with this charming little neighborhood.All the ingredients for a compelling mystery are here - the ladies, the backyard get together, the wine, the sleeping children. What no one realizes is that one of them will soon disappear and detectives will come knocking on doors.You may not know everything about your neighbors or your friends. You may not even remember your last conversation. Some of the ladies turned suspicious eyes to their missing friends doctor husband (who she was divorcing!) while another instead decided to give him a shoulder and an open ear. Who knows....maybe he is hurting too.I liked the characters and the many times they surprised me with their own assumptions about what happened to their friend. Lots of peering through curtains and checking out driveways will lead to an unexpected end. I would recommend for domestic mystery fans.Thank you to Netgalley for my ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Sarah Joint
    January 1, 1970
    This is a quick and easy read that seems more of a women's fiction or domestic drama than suspense or thriller. There is indeed a mystery and missing people involved, but the focus of the book is on those left behind. Part of the ending was strong, but I wasn't as attached to the characters as I would have liked and it was missing the wit and quirkiness that has made me love other "neighbor" books. I did enjoy it, but I was expecting a bit more. I'm happy I read this with a group, because it was This is a quick and easy read that seems more of a women's fiction or domestic drama than suspense or thriller. There is indeed a mystery and missing people involved, but the focus of the book is on those left behind. Part of the ending was strong, but I wasn't as attached to the characters as I would have liked and it was missing the wit and quirkiness that has made me love other "neighbor" books. I did enjoy it, but I was expecting a bit more. I'm happy I read this with a group, because it was interesting to see what didn't work for some people definitely did for others. This would be a great book to take to the beach or on vacation with you for those who love domestic dramas with a mystery involved. I was a fan of the charming setting of Yellow Springs, Ohio. Six neighborhood women gather together one Saturday night to relax in one of their backyards. Armed with baby monitors to listen out for their sleeping children, they bond and drink a bit too much wine. They spend the night laughing and confiding in each other, growing closer. That makes it even more stunning when the next day, one of them is gone. Kristen and her twin children seem to have vanished. They left behind a lot, but some important items have disappeared with them and there doesn't seem to be signs of struggle. Did she just pack up and move on without any warning? Or did her handsome soon to be ex-husband have something to do with it?The whole neighborhood is rocked by this event. When the ladies are questioned about Kristen and her husband Paul, they begin to realize that perhaps they don't know them quite as well as they thought. Banded together by their concern, they begin to spend more time together as they try to wrap their brains around what happened. As time passes with no new news from the police, everyone starts to wonder if they'll ever know exactly what happened to Kristen and her children. Though they all worry, their lives still go on and we get to know the characters and their issues quite well. I received a copy of this book from Net Galley and St. Martin's Press, thank you! My review is honest and unbiased.
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  • Carrie
    January 1, 1970
    Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser is a domestic drama mixed with a bit of suspense. This one would be another of what I’m starting to call my popcorn books in which you just sit back with your popcorn and watch the drama unfold in this neighborhood.One Saturday night Clara decided to invite all the ladies in the neighborhood over for a bit of a girls night. A little wine and adult company around the fire pit sounded perfect to the busy mothers of the group. Izzy who had just moved didn’t Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser is a domestic drama mixed with a bit of suspense. This one would be another of what I’m starting to call my popcorn books in which you just sit back with your popcorn and watch the drama unfold in this neighborhood.One Saturday night Clara decided to invite all the ladies in the neighborhood over for a bit of a girls night. A little wine and adult company around the fire pit sounded perfect to the busy mothers of the group. Izzy who had just moved didn’t have children to chase around but she was all for making some new friends in her new neighborhood after having her heart broken when the man she loved married her sister.On Sunday most of the group found themselves nursing hangovers after getting a little too carried away with the wine in which they weren’t used to having. But on Monday morning everyone was completely shocked to hear that one of their neighbors had gone missing after their party. Kristin’s estranged husband had called in the police when he couldn’t get in touch with her with it looking like she had packed up her twins and left.One might think this would be more of a thriller with a missing mother and her children with no clue where they had gone or what had happened to them but their story is somewhat background to getting to know the drama of the neighborhood. The story mostly follows Izzy and Clara but you do get to know all of the neighborhood including a very ambitious twelve year old that gets involved investigating. It was all quite captivating with an easy flow to the story and great characterization. I’d count this as another winner from Jessica Strawser that had me engaged all the way to the end.I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/
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  • megs_bookrack
    January 1, 1970
    I get the sense she views neighbors the way I do--sort of like family. You don't get to pick them, and you're stuck sharing space whether you like it or not, so you might as well try to get along.When a group of neighborhood women gather around a fire pit, drinking wine into all hours of the night, you never know what's going to happen. Unfortunately for this group of ladies in Yellow Springs, Ohio, fun and games turn to fuzzy memories and a lot of questions come Monday morning. Kristin, one of I get the sense she views neighbors the way I do--sort of like family. You don't get to pick them, and you're stuck sharing space whether you like it or not, so you might as well try to get along.When a group of neighborhood women gather around a fire pit, drinking wine into all hours of the night, you never know what's going to happen. Unfortunately for this group of ladies in Yellow Springs, Ohio, fun and games turn to fuzzy memories and a lot of questions come Monday morning. Kristin, one of the group, doesn't show up for work and her twins don't arrive at school. Where could she possibly be?The police asking questions of Kristin's whereabouts quickly devolves into an all-out media circus in this once quiet neighborhood. Suspicions fall at the feet of Kristin's estranged husband, Dr. Paul, one of the creepiest doctors you'll ever meet.The main course of the book follows along with the lives of the women remaining; showing how Kristin's disappearance has affected them, their lives and their relationships to one another. Izzy, the newest member of the neighborhood gang, and the only single-woman, plays a very special role in the drama as she appears to have befriended Dr. Paul.This is a very well written book. I think Strawser really excels at writing and examining different types of relationships. Additionally, I feel she does a great job exploring women's issues: what it is like to be a mother, a stay-at-home mother versus a working mother, a single woman, women in love with other women, women's relationships to their families, different expectations placed on women at different points in their lives, etc. She writes so fluidly; it all has such a nice feel to it.I was surprised to find that overall the Goodreads rating for this book is around a 3.50; although that still means it is a 'good' book, I would have assumed it would be higher, more like a 4. I think the main problem is the fact that this is classified as a Thriller and I would disagree with that designation. I would classify this as a Domestic Drama or even Women's Lit. It is my opinion, that her books would be better served if they were marketed in that way as if you go into this looking for 'Adult Thriller' you may be disappointed. Of course this is solely my opinion, I do not work in publishing, so really, what the hell do I know?Overall, I had a really enjoyable time with this book. Strawser's writing always sucks me in and I will definitely pick up anything else she writes in the future. Thank you so much to the publisher, St. Martin's Press, for providing me with a copy of this book to read and review. I always appreciate the opportunity to provide my opinions.
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  • Jan
    January 1, 1970
    Solid mystery, reminiscent of Liane Moriarty, but more low key in intensity. I think this story is about relationships more than anything else. The mystery propels the story forward, but what is front and center throughout is the relationships between the women in this small neighborhood who call themselves friends, but soon realize that they don't really know that much about each other after all.After a fun, liquor infused evening around a campfire, it's discovered that one of these women has d Solid mystery, reminiscent of Liane Moriarty, but more low key in intensity. I think this story is about relationships more than anything else. The mystery propels the story forward, but what is front and center throughout is the relationships between the women in this small neighborhood who call themselves friends, but soon realize that they don't really know that much about each other after all.After a fun, liquor infused evening around a campfire, it's discovered that one of these women has disappeared. The house is empty of all personal items and the kids favorite toys are gone. There are no apparent signs of foul play, but things just aren't adding up. As these women struggle to make sense of things and move forward with their lives, outside influences invade their small cocoon and cause all kinds of problems that test their relationships even further.Told through multiple POV's, the story unfolds like an onion, revealing a new layer each chapter. When the final 'twist' is revealed, I actually smiled, as I couldn't have thought of a better way to end this.This doesn't happen to me often, but I can honestly say that I enjoyed getting to know these women! I really wish they lived nearby, because my butt would be sitting at their next campfire, wineglass in hand!!ARC provided by NetGalley
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  • Diane S ☔
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 Another book featuring a group of women living in close proximity together. Another book with a desperate housewives vibe, though this one does have a serious subject underlying the surface goings on in this neighborhood. I wish I could say I connected with this story, but the truth is I did not. One of the woman and her two children disappear. Is it foul play, she was getting a divorce, or was she on the run to or from something?Interesting concept, but I had a hard time keeping these women 2.5 Another book featuring a group of women living in close proximity together. Another book with a desperate housewives vibe, though this one does have a serious subject underlying the surface goings on in this neighborhood. I wish I could say I connected with this story, but the truth is I did not. One of the woman and her two children disappear. Is it foul play, she was getting a divorce, or was she on the run to or from something?Interesting concept, but I had a hard time keeping these women separate, they all seemed somewhat the same. For a good part of the book, there was alot of guessing, hinting and talking, without much actually happening. I'm probably not the fairest reviewer for this type of book, not my favorite get re to begin with and then add in the fact that I have read more than one these type of books lately.The last third of the book did see more things happening and redeemed itself somewhat by revealing a few surprises, afee things I didn't see coming. Many others have loved this book so was I said I am probably not the right audience, reader, so seek out other reviews and read for yourself, see where you fall.ARC from Netgalley
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  • Dana
    January 1, 1970
    I hate giving a book 2 stars, but this just wasn’t the book for me.This is a story about a group of women living on the same street and one goes missing...and that was about it up until 70 % , when we had a little action, then it fizzled back out. The final reveal was not at all exciting and overall the ‘mystery’ was predictable.My biggest issue was not even the lack of excitement...although that certainly didn’t help, but the characters felt flat. I’m not sure I could even describe one of them I hate giving a book 2 stars, but this just wasn’t the book for me.This is a story about a group of women living on the same street and one goes missing...and that was about it up until 70 % , when we had a little action, then it fizzled back out. The final reveal was not at all exciting and overall the ‘mystery’ was predictable.My biggest issue was not even the lack of excitement...although that certainly didn’t help, but the characters felt flat. I’m not sure I could even describe one of them as not much differentiated one from the other. Some were married, one single and a lesbian couple, but their personalities didn’t come out and that is what I love in a book - to know the character. After closing the book I don’t even know what they looked like (other than maybe the hair color of a few and what the appearance of the missing wife's husband), what they enjoyed, etc. .. just no life breathed into the story. I love light reads and add them in between heavier books, but this was not even ‘light.’ Maybe it’s the artist in me, but I want to be able to visualize what I’m reading and this was a gray blur. Colorless. Lackluster.I hate to write a negative review, but this is how I felt. Marketing this book as the next Big Little Lies was disappointing and deceiving. I loved that book and the characters. It was very lively.I enjoyed reading this with the Traveling Sisters!. We were about 50-50 on the ratings.
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    NOT THAT I COULD TELLJessica StrawserMY RATING ⭐⭐⭐⭐▫PUBLISHER St. Martin’s PressPUBLISHED March 27, 2018A fun girls night out with wine and friends turns one neighborhood into the media’s spotlight. SUMMARYA group of neighborhood women gather around a fire pit one Saturday night. With wine in hand the conversation turns both giddy and personal. On Monday morning, one of them is missing. Kristen, the mother of four-year-old twins and school mom volunteer extraordinaire is in the midst of a divorc NOT THAT I COULD TELLJessica StrawserMY RATING ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️▫️PUBLISHER St. Martin’s PressPUBLISHED March 27, 2018A fun girls night out with wine and friends turns one neighborhood into the media’s spotlight. SUMMARYA group of neighborhood women gather around a fire pit one Saturday night. With wine in hand the conversation turns both giddy and personal. On Monday morning, one of them is missing. Kristen, the mother of four-year-old twins and school mom volunteer extraordinaire is in the midst of a divorce to a handsome doctor. No one saw her leave or knows why she might have left. As secrets are revealed Kristen’s ex-husband to be, Paul is at the center of the police investigation. Clara who was Kristen’s closest friend on the block, is very much reminded of an incident in her past, and has suspicions of her own. Izzy who only moved to the neighborhood recently, is not jumping to any conclusions, besides she is dealing with issues in her own love life. As the weeks pass and the media attention dwindles the neighbors are left to realize they may never know why Kristen disappeared. “The missing, the hidden, the murdered and the other wise lost never get to tell their sides of the story. It’s the last and sometimes cruelest injustice.”REVIEWThe big question is what happened to Kristen and the twins? Was she running away from something or was Paul responsible for her disappearance? A search of Kristen’s computer revealed visits to domestic abuse sites. But if that was the case, why didn’t she say something, or reach out to someone for help. NOT THAT I COULD TELL is an intriguing and evocative domestic thriller that will captivate you and leave you wondering about how well you know your own neighbors. JESSICA STRAWSER has drawn an ideal cast of neighbors who all react differently to Kristen’s disappearance. Strawser creatively imparts backstory in italics at the beginning of each chapter. The writing is absorbing and will keep your head in the book until late into the night. Strawser is the Editor-at-Large at Writer’s Digest Magazine. Her debut novel was Almost Missed You (2017). Thanks to NetGalley, St Martin’s Press and Jessica Strawser for an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.
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  • Shannon
    January 1, 1970
    Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser was exactly what I needed after just finishing an extremely dark book. I would describe this as a light mystery. The story reads with multiple POVs which is always a winner with me! Motherhood, relationships, friendships, secrets, betrayal oooo yes!Five women gather around a bonfire for a girls night in their neighborhood. Baby monitors in hand they get to talking and drinking... lots of drinking. It’s all fun and games until the massive hangovers hit th Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser was exactly what I needed after just finishing an extremely dark book. I would describe this as a light mystery. The story reads with multiple POVs which is always a winner with me! Motherhood, relationships, friendships, secrets, betrayal oooo yes!Five women gather around a bonfire for a girls night in their neighborhood. Baby monitors in hand they get to talking and drinking... lots of drinking. It’s all fun and games until the massive hangovers hit the next morning! None of the ladies remember much from the night before so it’s a shock to find out their friend, Kristen and her twins, are missing. Where did she go? Why did she leave? Kristen didn’t give any hints the night before that she was leaving. Is her husband, Paul, responsible for her disappearance? As the police investigation gets started more secrets about Kristen are revealed. How well do we really know our neighbors? We never know what goes on behind closed doors except for our own. I am a mother myself so I was giggling when Clara was playing hide and seek with her son. The description was on point lol. The last chapter?? Yesss! I was smiling. Great ending. Also, I’d like to point out the cover of this book! How gorgeous!!! Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for sending me a copy for my honest review. 4 stars and I recommend!
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  • JanB
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsThis was a quick, easy read that I devoured on a long car ride. I would categorize it under domestic suspense/women’s fiction, not mystery/suspense. After the women in the neighborhood gather around the firepit for a fun evening of chatting and drinking wine, one of the women, Kristin, along with her two children are missing. Where are they and is her soon-to-be ex-husband, the handsome well-liked physician, responsible? The story builds slowly as we get to know each of the characters a 3.5 starsThis was a quick, easy read that I devoured on a long car ride. I would categorize it under domestic suspense/women’s fiction, not mystery/suspense. After the women in the neighborhood gather around the firepit for a fun evening of chatting and drinking wine, one of the women, Kristin, along with her two children are missing. Where are they and is her soon-to-be ex-husband, the handsome well-liked physician, responsible? The story builds slowly as we get to know each of the characters and their families. The disappearance of Kristin affects each of the women differently and we learn the background and personal issues that affect them. How well can we really know our neighbors?There’s not a lot of tension as you would get in a traditional mystery. Instead, things are revealed slowly, and I had more questions than answers until the last 20% or so. I found the characters interesting, even when I found some of their actions inexplicable. The ending was a complete surprise! I enjoyed the author note at the end and appreciated her research into a very important and timely issue. Recommended for fans of slow burn women’s fiction/domestic suspense.*Many thanks to NetGalley for a copy of the book for review* I read and enjoyed this with the Traveling Sister group. For their reviews, please visit their blog at:https://twosisterslostinacoulee.com
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  • Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
    January 1, 1970
    Mega standard adult thriller that was predictable and meh at best. Mehhhhhhh.
  • Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    Women enjoying a care-free night, a night that turned into telling too many personal things, and then a morning that turned out badly.The women of Yellow Springs and their specific neighborhood were all busy with work and children and enjoyed spending time with each other, but did they really know each other?They all questioned themselves the morning that Kristin was found missing along with her twins, her mother's china, and a million dollars.Her estranged husband moved right into the house an Women enjoying a care-free night, a night that turned into telling too many personal things, and then a morning that turned out badly.The women of Yellow Springs and their specific neighborhood were all busy with work and children and enjoyed spending time with each other, but did they really know each other?They all questioned themselves the morning that Kristin was found missing along with her twins, her mother's china, and a million dollars.Her estranged husband moved right into the house and kept a vigil as he waited along with the neighborhood. Did he have anything to hide, was he the reason for Kristin's leaving, or did she leave for her own reasons?The police questioned everyone in the neighborhood and school. Meanwhile two of the neighbors had some problems of their own. Clara had something in her past that still haunted her, and Izzy had her sister's husband as her problem.We follow along as the police and the community try to figure out what would have made Kristin leave, where she is, and is she safe?Each chapter was headed with statements that left obscure clues but clues that kept you guessing who the unidentified character was and what they had to do with the situation.NOT THAT I COULD TELL moved smoothly along with enough hints at what may have happened, that you felt for the characters and wanted to be there to join in the investigation and in their lives.NOT THAT I COULD TELL was an intriguing, tension-filled mystery that increased in intensity as the secrets and surprises were revealed along with other underlying themes.If you enjoy guessing and wondering, you will enjoy Jessica Strawser's newest book. 4/5This book was given to me as an Advanced Reader by the publisher. All opinions are my own.
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  • Stacey
    January 1, 1970
    It seems that I’ve read a few ‘neighborhood drama’ books lately, but what set Not That I Could Tell apart from the others is the mystery involved. A group of ladies in the neighborhood get together one night to sit around the fire and drink a few glasses of wine. I can relate, I’ve been there and the excitement to talk to adults without kids! As the wine flows, inhibitions are let down and secrets start to be told. This is good stuff! As the evening comes to a close, feeling tipsy and a new sens It seems that I’ve read a few ‘neighborhood drama’ books lately, but what set Not That I Could Tell apart from the others is the mystery involved. A group of ladies in the neighborhood get together one night to sit around the fire and drink a few glasses of wine. I can relate, I’ve been there and the excitement to talk to adults without kids! As the wine flows, inhibitions are let down and secrets start to be told. This is good stuff! As the evening comes to a close, feeling tipsy and a new sense of closeness to their neighbors, they call it a night and go home. They wake up the next day in a fog and to the news that Kristin and her children have disappeared. Each wonders how much wine they had and retraces their conversations for possible clues given by Kristin.They all have their theories and center around her estranged husband. But how well do they really know him or her for that matter? The story explores these theories at the same time elaborating on each of the women and their personal stories and how they all eventually intersect.I loved the idea of these women coming together one night to relax and unwind and share parts of their lives with each other. It is very relatable, but then the disappearance set this story in motion. The unraveling toward the end left me with my mouth agape. Well done, Jessica Strawser! Thank you, NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press, and Jessica Strawser for the opportunity to read the arc.
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  • Katie B
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsI have to say I'm a big fan of these neighborhood books in which everyone on the block has a secret and they are all up in each other's business. I might not want to live in a neighborhood like that but it sure makes for fun reading. While this story can be classified as a mystery, I think it reads much better as a good, solid fiction book.Kristin and her two children have gone missing and her soon-to-be ex-husband, Paul, is questioned by police. The community is left wondering did he h 3.5 starsI have to say I'm a big fan of these neighborhood books in which everyone on the block has a secret and they are all up in each other's business. I might not want to live in a neighborhood like that but it sure makes for fun reading. While this story can be classified as a mystery, I think it reads much better as a good, solid fiction book.Kristin and her two children have gone missing and her soon-to-be ex-husband, Paul, is questioned by police. The community is left wondering did he have something to do with their disappearance or did Kristin and the kids leave on their own free will. As Kristin's friends in the neighborhood question how well they truly knew her, they also will be dealing with their own secrets.Obviously the disappearance is a huge element of the story but I actually found myself at times more interested in the backstories of the other female characters, particularly with Izzy. I did struggle though about halfway into the story as it felt like everything was just being dragged out. The last third of the book really comes together though and by the end I was able to appreciate the story the author wanted to tell. If you are a fan of Liane Moriarty, consider giving this book a try!
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