#review They Can Never Know by Sheri Meshal
For over fifty years, Cleota Ferguson has kept her head down and done as she was told. She managed to outlive her abusive husband, but that’s about it and not by much. Time is running out and the money already has, when she accidentally discovers the means to live a completely different life. Her meth-making stepsons are the last people who can ever discover what she’s found. Forget putting her in a home. They’ll put her in the ground right behind the barn. Sometimes you have to disappear to truly find yourself.
What would you do if your last chance at happiness required you do everything you’re afraid of?
“Hugely enchanting…reading Sheri Meshal is like listening to a favorite aunt who just happens to be a phenomenal storyteller.” ~ Anton Lee Richards, author Blueberry Pancakes
“Sheri Meshal has a gift for creating characters you’re going to want to spend time with. Cleota is a touching and provocative story. Go for the ride.” ~ Jim Wormington, author Under Different Suns
“A heartwarming story of a journey of self-discovery and renewal. In They Can Never Know, Sheri Meshal paints a portrait of a character you won’t soon forget.” ~ Ed Pionke, screenwriter, director, producer, Mother’s Milk
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More books from the author
Chicago wife, mother and finance executive Claire Cummings, arrives at work one morning to discover her friend Julia has embezzled millions and vanished. Blindsided and devastated by the betrayal, she’s sent home pending further investigation. Claire’s bizarre death the following day sends everyone reeling, guessing and looking for her in all the wrong places. In no time she’s addicted to an enchanting menagerie of tricks and techniques for getting the living’s attention, but most people are harder to reach than she’d ever dreamed and even harder to set free.
She was still a mother, a wife, a daughter and a friend… she’d move heaven and earth to keep it that way.
Sheri Meshal’s Swallowtail is a haunting story about life, love, loss and just how far we’ll go to control it all.
This debut from a thought-provoking new voice in fiction begs the question… what would you do if all the rules changed, and you were suddenly bestowed powers beyond your greatest imagination?
“This book comforts me. It is like being wrapped up in a blanket of love. I strongly urge you to read this book. While the story is a book of fiction, it will make you examine your life. It will move some of you to tears like me. Ultimately, it will leave you with a sense of love.” ~ Kelli R. Guilbeau
“This is quite a special book. The soft, delicate and imaginative way the author describes things in the book is truly beautiful. Swallowtail is now firmly in the top three of my all time favourite books that I will always treasure and I highly recommend this deeply moving and joyous book to you all.” ~ Beck Valley Books
“I am rarely so blown away by a book like I was with this one. SO many emotions and feelings are brought out by this story. Loss, coping, recovering and some real happiness.” ~ Jenn’s Review Blog
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Forty-one year old Dana Quinn, a closet writer, career waitress and three-time psych ward patient has just lost her last family member. For Dana to go on, she must create a life meaningful enough to answer her eternal question: why did she alone survive the tour bus crash that killed her family? That’s a tall order for someone who’s barely managed to exist. Never married, in and out of an institution where only her writing saved her, Dana works a dismal job with a few friends she’s managed to keep at a safe distance.
Feeling lost and hopeless in the weeks following Aunt Irma’s unexpected death, Dana discovers a letter and takes her aunt’s advice to simply walk away from her life in Queens and return to her family farm to write herself well one more time. For over thirty years Dana’s believed the farm was sold and did her best to forget it. But what if everything in the house is frozen in time exactly the way they left it? Nothing can stop her from walking through that door.
On the road she adopts a one-eared dog and finds a new best friend in Iowan-turned-New Yorker, Stu, who’s given up designing off-Broadway sets to care for his ailing mother back in his tiny hometown.
Chokecherry, her father’s beloved farm, is not at all what Dana expects and far more than she bargains for. By firelight, Malcolm reveals the cryptic history buried in the tunnel, and why the big barn strikes fear in the hearts of those who enter it. Despite its tragic past, the farm also possesses an undeniable capacity to heal the broken heart of anyone who embraces it. In fact, it seems to be a magnet for broken hearts. Just as Dana and her friends form a tight bond and rise to the challenge of helping Chokecherry realize its true potential, a supernatural ability she’s failed to repress for years, nearly kills her. Dana’s forced to fight for a life she wants—a life that finally answers her eternal question in ways she never could’ve imagined.
“Chokecherry is now up there with Swallowtail in my favorite book category!” ~ Life as Leels
“This was different from anything I have read before and it kept me captured. It must have been my fastest reading ever as I didn’t want to miss anything.” ~ R Simmons
“There is love, loss, and even a touch of the supernatural. Seriously this books has it all.” ~ Ashley’s Pretty Little Life
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About the author
Sheri Meshal spent most of her childhood on an old farm in Iowa. She loves dogs, neuroscience, reading and mini-triathlons. When she isn’t writing, she’s hanging out with her nieces and nephews every chance she gets.
She currently lives in Chicago with her boyfriend, Gabe and her dog, Jessica.
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I have volunteered to share my review and all the opinions are 100% my own.
At first I was confused, I have no idea why but the cover & blurb made me think that was set in some years gone by era and not the present. But once I got my head around that, I was immersed in Cleota Ferguson story. Suffering years of abuse form her husband, and general disrespect from her step-sons Cleota finds herself living in a rundown farm house, her husband now long dead and the step-sons coming by every now and then holing themselves up in the barn cooking up drugs.
Cleota finds an obscene amount of money hidden for decades in the floor of her house, and from that moment her life changes for the better. Despite her age and everything that she has endured I found myself connecting and rooting for her every step of her journey.
This was a great read, and my first from Sheri, look forward to reading more of her work.
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