Review – I Found You by Lisa Jewell

I Found YouI Found You by Lisa Jewell

Published: April 25, 2017

Atria Books


5 Stars !!

Wow!! This is a fantastic psychological suspense novel.

Two decades of secrets.

A young bride with a missing husband. A lonely single mother and a man with no memory of who he is or where he came from. You may think you have it all figured out…but the truth may surprise you.

I was definitely surprised.

In the British Seaside…

Alice lives in a tiny house with her children and the stray animals that she’s picked up over the years. Alice has a thing for strays…and now a stray man is sitting on a bench near her home. Part of her wants to know why he’s just sitting there in the rain. As the day goes by she sees he’s still there, still getting drenched by the rain. She knows she should probably stay out of it. Alice has had trouble in the past with some of the decisions she’s made. But the more time that passes the more she wants to know why he’s there. What is his story?

After speaking with him she finds out that he has no idea of who he is, where he is from, or how he got to there. He has no wallet, identification, or any other possessions. He doesn’t even have a jacket to keep him dry.

‘How long have you been sitting out here?’

‘I got here yesterday.’

‘Where did you come from?’

‘I have no idea.’

Alice invites him in…


Meanwhile in a London suburb…

Newly married and new to the country, twenty-one year old Lily Monrose is anxiously waiting for her husband to arrive home from work. As dinner gets cold, Lily wonders where on earth her he could be. She finally decides to call the police but they tell her she needs to wait, that he hasn’t been gone that long. But he’s never late. She can usually predict to the minute the moment he will walk in the door. When she finally gets the police to take her seriously they tell her something that shocks her to her core…

Her husband doesn’t exist.


Twenty-three years before….

Gray and Kirsty are teenagers on their annual summer vacation with their parents when they meet a young man who starts to show an interest in Kirsty. Kirsty is young and her brother Gray feels something is off about this guy. He can’t quite put his finger on it but something about him makes Gray uncomfortable. However, his sister likes this young man and even their parents think Gray is overreacting.

Is Gray being too over-protective of his sister?

So many secrets….

I really enjoyed this book!

Lisa Jewell does a fantastic job of developing unforgettable characters….whether they had two legs or four legs. The animals were almost as entertaining as the humans. All so well written! I loved the personalities of the humans and the dogs.

I’m always impressed when an author can pull me so far into a story…I was fully invested in this novel and these characters, whether I loved or hated them, they all felt quite believable.

Although there were a few violent scenes, I didn’t feel like the author went overboard in her descriptions of the acts but still gave enough detail to make me hold my breath in anticipation of what was going to happen next.

Drawn in from the first page, this was a very enjoyable story with unique and intriguing characters, and a great plot. I loved it!

This may have been my first Lisa Jewell read but you can bet it won’t be my last.

Thank you NetGalley, Atria Books, and Lisa Jewell for providing an advanced readers copy of this book for me to read in exchange for my honest review.

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Review – My Husband the Stranger by Rebecca Done

My Husband the StrangerMy Husband the Stranger by Rebecca Done

Published April 6, 2017
Penguin

 

 

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I read the description for this book it hit close to home. My ex-husband was in a severe car accident while we were first dating in 1995 and suffered a head injury. This changed everything for him and although he was nothing like Alex there were some similarities. Especially right after the accident. His head was still swollen to about twice the size and he wasn’t acting like himself. He would get angry very quickly and had trouble with his memory. I remember thinking (I was 19) what if he stays like this? It was scary. We were told that once the swelling went down he should get back to normal. For the most part it did. That’s not to say there wasn’t lasting effects. Anyhow, this is a book review and not my life story so I’ll leave it at that.

I was very intrigued and excited to get reading.

In one moment EVERYTHING can change….

What you would do if your husband became another person overnight?

Molly and Alex seem like the perfect couple. Very in love, busy planning their future together. But after a terrible fall her husband sustains a severe head injury. This injury changes him into someone Molly has a hard time recognizing.

Told from Molly’s perspective in the present and Alex’s perspective prior to his accident. I like how it was written. It added insight into their early relationship and helped us get to know Alex – before.

***Possibly very minor spoilers****

For the next few years, Molly struggles to keep things together. Alex is distant, gets very angry, and has problems with his memory. On top of taking care of Alex. Molly is trying to hold on to a job she hates but desperately needs. She’s exhausted all of the time. Every morning she wakes up hoping it will be the day that Alex turns back into the man she fell madly in love with.

But everything may not be exactly what it seems….

This book was well-written and I was intrigued to see where it was going to go. I was pretty sure I had everything figured out and although I was partially correct, there were a few things I didn’t see coming.

It was quite emotional at times. I really felt for everyone involved. But I could relate to Molly as this person was not the man she married. But glimpses of the man she once knew kept her hopeful. The guilt at her feelings and at the same time wanting to care for him. This definitely relates to the vow “in sickness and in health”.

We may think we know what we would do in the same position, but like anything else until it happens to you….you just don’t know.

I enjoyed this novel. I will definitely be looking for more of Rebecca Done.

Thank you NetGalley, Rebecca Done, and Penguin UK Michael Joseph, for providing an advanced readers copy of this book for me to read in exchange for my honest review.

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Throwback Thursday – Every Last One by Anna Quindlen

throwbackthursday

Throwback Thursday is a meme created by Renee at It’s Book Talk to share old favorite books rather than just the new shiny ones. This is a great idea to bring back to life some much-loved books. Please feel free to join in.

My choice for this week is: 

Every Last One by Anna Quindlen

Every Last One

I read this book at least five years ago but it is still a favorite.  A very emotional read. When I finished reading this book, it was all I could think about for days….

Mary Beth Latham is a devoted mother of three. Lately she finds herself thinking more and more about how fast life goes. She feels like her children have grown into teenagers almost overnight.

Told from Mary Beth’s point of view, the first half of novel is about the Latham family. We learn about each family member and what happens in their daily lives. I know that some people found the first half really slow but I feel that the author wanted the reader to really know this family……before

When I first started reading this novel, the only thing I knew was that is was about a family tragedy. I didn’t even read the description on the back of the book.

Honestly I don’t think there’s much more I can say about it as I don’t want to spoil it. However, I will say that I was gutted by the events in the book. I was an emotional mess. Some people may find it too upsetting but I’m still glad I read it. It’s a book that will make you cry, make you angry and make you think….

This novel made me question the way I parent and also parenting in general. How and when to discipline, when to intervene, when to let go and about a thousand other questions that came to mind in regards to the different ways in which we all parent. Now that I’m the parent of a teenager I question it even more.

A Quote from the book:

“I never thought anything really bad would happen. It was all the good things that seemed real to me — where they’d go off to college and where they’d live and what my grandchildren would call me.”

The writing is authentic, the characters so well-developed. I was completely engrossed in this book from beginning to end.  It is a tragic, emotional, and powerful read that you won’t soon forget.

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Review – The Cutaway by Christina Kovac

The CutawayThe Cutaway by Christina Kovac

Published March 21, 2017
Atria

 

 

 

4 Stars

I was very intrigued after reading the description for this book.

Virginia Knightly is a young and intelligent TV producer. She is the only woman at her news station in a position of power. When a missing persons notice comes across her desk and catches her eye, she can’t shake the feeling that she knows the woman. Eventually she remembers that she saw her in a video clip. Virginia senses something from the woman’s reaction to whatever is happening. She can’t get the woman out of her head.

Virginia has a great memory. It’s not photographic, but her mind will grab on to an image and not let go. This can be helpful in her line of work. However, the downside to this “gift” is that she can’t ever get rid of the pictures either…which can be very painful at times.


“Be careful what your eyes take in. What you see becomes a part of you”

Virginia feels like she is meant to cover this story. The missing woman is a beautiful young attorney named Evelyn Carney. She was last seen leaving a restaurant where she met her husband for dinner. Apparently the dinner hadn’t gone well and she left in a distressed state.

No one has seen her since.

When Virginia is summoned to a meeting with the news director. He tells her there are going to be some layoffs at the station. Virginia is not happy, but he’s not done with the bad news. He tells her that for now, he is going to be overseeing content and production of the station…. which is Virginia’s job. He’s demoting her but tells her it’s just for the time being, that HE’S going to get things back on track. She’s livid but the missing woman’s case helps distract her.

Virginia thinks this story will help her get her job back. But it means doing things a little differently. She starts to investigate on her own with some help from an anchorman, Ben as well as her ex-boyfriend, Michael Ledger who is the lead detective on the case.

She gets her hands on Evelyn’s journal and learns how ambitious she is. She wonders if Evelyn’s ambition got her involved in something she couldn’t get out of. What about the people in Evelyn’s life…..her angry husband? a new lover? a prominent prosecutor? a former professor? Virginia wonders who knows more than they are saying. But as she continues her investigation, things start happening that make it obvious she isn’t just putting her career in jeopardy, but possibly her life.

Where is Evelyn?

Virginia is a great character. An intelligent woman who has a strength many would envy. She likes the mystery behind her stories, she’s addicted to figuring out the unknown, determined to get answers. She won’t take garbage from anyone but she’s also very caring and honest. I liked a lot of the characters but had a hard time connecting with some of them.

I enjoyed seeing how things worked behind the scenes. The media, police, and politics quite often go hand in hand. I could see how chasing a story could become addictive. The high you get when you get that perfect shot or when you break the story. It sounds intense.

It took me a little while to get into the story. But it picked up as I kept reading. As well as working the case, Virginia’s also trying to deal with some personal issues. I found her story interesting. It gave some insight into what makes her tick. The second half of the book gripped me and definitely made up for the slow start. I liked how it all came together in the end.

All in all ‘The Cutaway’ was an interesting read. Suspenseful with some good twists and turns. A missing woman, secrets, possible corruption, conspiracies and cover-ups. I was excited to find out what happened.

A very good debut novel. I look forward to reading more from Christina Kovac.

Thank you NetGalley, Atria Books, and Christina Kovac for providing an advanced copy of this book for me to read in exchange for my honest review.