Lisa Jewell | July 2016 | 352 pp
I think this is my second completed Lisa Jewell book. I attempted The Family Upstairs and Watching You but DNF’d them both after several chapters. If you can love something as twisted as Then She Was Gone, well then, I loved it. I think I feel similarly about I Found You!
If I were you, I wouldn’t hold my DNF’s against Jewell. Im definitely a mood reader and will chuck the deuce quick if Im not getting on with the characters. I’ve been known to finish a story I didn’t like but, if I’m in the mood to disconnect from reality and travel into a book but, the book isn’t drawing me in, I will move on. Maybe try again later when i have access to more patience. All that to say, I’ll try these DNF’s again in the future.
In I Found You, we meet several people that wind up being bound together by the horrific incidents of a night at the beach in 1993 when they were teenagers. ‘Frank’ was there, that night in ‘93 but, the events were so traumatic, he’s lost his memories from the night and has never regained them. Until one day, he washes up on the shores of the same beach with no memory of who or where he is. Alice, a local, takes him in, offering shelter and kindness but he is still driven to get his memory back.
Meanwhile, across town, Lilly’s perfect husband of 3 weeks has disappeared. One minute he was texting her from the train, an hour from home, and the next, vanished. The police have no clues, except that his passport was a fake and he doesn’t exist. Lily is determined to find her husband and find out exactly who he is.
Pros: The players spiral together as we learn about the fateful night in ‘93, follow Lily looking for her husband and Alice, as she falls in love with the stranger she finds on the beach. Its a good story and even if a bit unbelievable, I still wanted to know what happened and what will happen. There are so many red herrings, the author does a good job of satisfying you in bits and pieces to keep you tuned in until the end.
Cons: In order to make this story happen, its kind of like Alice in Wonderland..you have to believe several impossible things from the start. That a grown woman, single parent of 3 young children, would take in a homeless stranger, clothe and feed him, have sex with him, even AFTER he admits to her he thinks he’s killed someone, that another adult woman would be so terrified of a 19 yo with a knife, that she would keep his secrets for years after he’s gone, that two teenagers couldn’t overcome one teen..and on and on. It’s impossible but, Jewell somehow captures your attention and pushes you forward. I think its the likability of the characters for me.
I like Jewells brand of thriller novels. While creating drama around the characters, her stories seem to include a heartbreaking element that captures you and makes you continue reading, hoping theres some retribution for the victims. As with Then She Was Gone, the story gets tied in a knot but, it isn’t without its missing pieces. Good book for sure 20/2021.
If you liked this, check out:
The Couple Nextdoor by, Shari Lapena