We Knew All Along
reviewed by Cara DiCostanzo
“I don’t want to be married just to be married. I can’t think of anything lonelier than spending the rest of my life with someone I can’t talk to, or worse, someone I can’t be silent with.”
― Mary Ann Shaffer, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Jewelann Jordan didn’t know how her life would unravel when she attended her high school reunion, dressed in her designer clothing and Louboutin shoes. She only knew she wanted to look better than anyone else and show the guy who broke her heart what he missed out on. So she straps on her designer shoes from her storage locker, filled with hundreds of clothing items and shoes from estate sales and gives herself a pep talk, knowing it is all an illusion.
We Knew All Along is one of those books that draws you in from the first page and doesn’t let you go until the very last. JewelAnn is stuck in an unhappy marriage with a man who refuses to let her work, is gone 3 weeks out of every month and expects her to cater to his every need. She is deep in credit card debt which her husband knows nothing about, because of her fondness for estate sales and designer clothing. Her 16-year-old son is traumatized from the death of his childhood friend and is described as “weird”. With no money and her house falling apart, she is in a downward spiral, so when she gets the chance to pretend to be someone else at her high school reunion, she shows her ex, Christian, what he is missing but leaves him hanging. JewelAnn feels powerful and has gotten her revenge, until she comes home one day and discovers Christian sitting with her husband, Ken, at the kitchen table. Ken has just rented the carriage house to him and she feels like she has made a big mistake.
There are so many stories within this novel that sometimes it is hard to keep straight. Is Christian a stalker? Does he have an ulterior motive? Is Ken having an affair? What is going on with Eli, her son, and Christian? I initially felt bad for Jewelann, she seemed to have an unhappy life. As we get further into the book, we realize she is not only the victim, but a martyr as well, who refuses to leave her husband. She has made terrible choices in her life, suffered and overcame an addiction, and stayed in a marriage where she didn’t trust or love her husband because she couldn’t afford to divorce him. When her husband’s paychecks stop hitting her account, she realizes she must act quickly as the pearls fall around her like a necklace that has been cut (one of my favorite quotes in the book!). These things made it hard to feel sorry for her at the end. We Knew All Along is a quick-paced mystery with a shocking twist in the last chapter. One I did not see coming. I love discovering new authors and I can’t wait to read more from this one!