I FOUND YOU is almost three stories in one. First there is the Alice, a single mother living in a cottage on the beach. She takes in strays and has a room for rent. One day she notices a man sitting on the beach. He sits there all day. It rains and he still sits. Curiosity gets the better of her and she asks him why he is sitting there. He can’t remember and so she invites him into her home while he tries to figure it out.
At the same time, Lily, a new bride in a foreign country, waits anxiously for her husband to come home from work. Hours and then days go by and he doesn’t appear. Lily must find out what happened to her doting husband. Her husband may not be what he seems.
At some point in this story, the author introduces a shared past story for a few new characters. Grey and Kristy are a whole different story as they spend the summer by the beach with their parents. Frank starts to remember that tragic summer. I was completely thrown off by this additional story line at first, but I came to see why it was important. The author weaves these three tales into a coherent slow building mystery.
This story switches between these three story lines. I grew to really like Alice and Frank, the man with amnesia. Alice is a little rough around the edges but she is so full of love and trust. Lily is left in a precarious situation. She is brave to stay and fight to find out what happened to her husband. I don’t think I would have done the same thing. Grey and Kristy’s story seemed peaceful but there was a menacing character inserting himself into their lives that left Grey needing to protect his sister Kristy.
All of the characters have distinct voices and depth. I enjoyed the descriptive scenes the author laid out in this tale. I could clearly see all the characters and had no trouble keeping their stories, and backgrounds, straight.
The problems I have with this story are Franks amnesia and Mark’s shady character. I did enjoy the way the author tied everything together. The characters alone were worth reading about in this book even if the main idea, the amnesia, is a bit overdone. The ending was very satisfying. I would definitely read this author again.
I Found You by Lisa Jewell
Published by Simon and Schuster on April 25th 2017
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary Women, Family Life, General
eARC provided by Atria Books
“Readers of Liane Moriarty, Paula Hawkins, and Ruth Ware will love." —Library Journal (starred review)
“Jewell’s novel explores the space between going missing and being lost….how the plots intersect and finally collide is one of the great thrills of reading Jewell’s book. She ratchets up the tension masterfully, and her writing is lively.” —New York Times
In the windswept British seaside town of Ridinghouse Bay, single mom Alice Lake finds a man sitting on a beach outside her house. He has no name, no jacket, and no idea how he got there. Against her better judgment, she invites him inside.
Meanwhile, in a suburb of London, newlywed Lily Monrose grows anxious when her husband fails to return home from work one night. Soon, she receives even worse news: according to the police, the man she married never even existed.
Twenty-three years earlier, Gray and Kirsty Ross are teenagers on a summer holiday with their parents. The annual trip to Ridinghouse Bay is uneventful, until an enigmatic young man starts paying extra attention to Kirsty. Something about him makes Gray uncomfortable—and it’s not just because he’s a protective older brother.
Who is the man on the beach? Where is Lily’s missing husband? And what ever happened to the man who made such a lasting and disturbing impression on Gray?
“A mystery with substance” (Kirkus Reviews), I Found You is a delicious collision course of a novel, filled with the believable characters, stunning writing, and “surprising revelations all the way up to the ending” (Booklist) that make New York Times bestselling author Lisa Jewell so beloved by audiences on both sides of the Atlantic.