Gutierrez’s story encompasses a global recession, the devaluation of the peso, a devastating earthquake in Mexico City and the 1986 World Cup. By slipping back and forth across borders, alternating between Spanish and English and different points of view, Gutierrez creates the impression of lines easily crossed. The extent to which readers understand Lore’s decision to commit to two men and two families will act as a sort of personality test: How open-minded, how forgiving, how morally pliable are you? I can hear the book club discussions now ... While Gutierrez’s attempt to draw a parallel between Cassie and Duke’s relationship and that of Lore and her first husband, Fabian, feels tenuous, each woman’s desire to be known and understood is undeniably powerful ... And, really, isn’t that one of fiction’s most critical functions — not to make us agree, but to strengthen our empathy muscles?
Gutierrez handles her debut novel’s multiple timelines, Texas and Mexico settings, and alternating viewpoints with aplomb, and crafts an enthralling story that not only explores the human fascination with true crime but also deftly plumbs the depths of marriage and motherhood ... Mystery fans beguiled by Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch and women’s fiction readers who adored Taylor Jenkins Reid’s The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo will equally fall under the spell of this totally transporting tale.
Gutierrez has written a compelling, character-driven crime story that holds the reader’s interest to its very end, which, yes, is slightly ambiguous, but then, as Lore believes, truth is a malleable thing.
This elegant, evocative tale of suspense burrows straight to the heart of our cultural true crime fixation through an intense emotional dance between two seemingly different women ... More Than You’ll Ever Know has all the ingredients necessary for a good thriller. Gutierrez writes with an instinctive understanding of the scaffolding necessary to keep readers turning the pages, and the narrative flies by as the dramatic and emotional tensions in both women’s lives ratchet up ... Beyond the novel’s well-executed, suspenseful structure, Gutierrez also clearly understands her characters, where they’ve come from and what they want and need ... Gutierrez has crafted detailed, vulnerable portraits of women searching for clues to their own survival. In the process, she unearths some truly compelling insights about our cultural obsession with true crime.
Gutierrez offers a satisfying, convoluted path to answering both of these questions, but even more, she provides us with two fully rounded, vulnerable, and fascinating characters in Cassie and Lore. By telling Lore’s story through flashbacks beautifully situated in Mexico and Texas, she provides us, and Cassie, with a deep understanding of just how one woman can get trapped into living a double life full of lies. Love, she argues, is messy, fleeting, and out of our control—but it’s all the more beautiful for that ... Gutierrez imagines true crime’s often one-dimensional female characters with sophistication and grace.
Engrossing ... Gutierrez successfully taps into the current fascination with true crime and considers its potential pitfalls, as Cassie becomes willing to risk everything to get at the truth. While the crime itself isn’t so fascinating in the end, the author has a sure hand in creating atmosphere, such as a passage involving the Mexico City earthquake of 1985, when the love between Lore and Andres comes to fruition. There’s no shortage of books that travel similar terrain, and while this doesn’t stand out from the pack, it’ll do the trick for fans of the genre.