Thursday, April 11, 2013

Alice's Review: And Then I Found You

Summary:  Katie Vaughan is no stranger to tough choices.  Shes made them before. Now its time to do it again. Kate has a secret, something tucked away in her past. And shes getting on with her life. Her business is thriving. She has a strong relationship with her family, and a devoted boyfriend whom she wants to love with all her heart. If Kate had ever made a list, Rowan would fill the imagined boxes of a perfect mate. She wants the facts to move from her head toward her heart and settle in with deep love, something past admiration and comfort. But when Kate discovers the small velvet box hidden in Rowans drawer, she panics. It always happens this way. Just when Kate thinks she can love, just when she believes she can conquer the fear, shes filled with dread. And she wants more than anything to make this feeling go away. But how? When the mistakes have been made and the running is over, its time to face the truth. Kate knows this. She understands that a woman can never undo what can never be undone. Yet, for the first time in her life she also knows that she wont fully love until she confronts those from her past. Its time to act. Can she do it? Can she travel to the place where it all began, to the one who shares her secret? Can the lost ever become found? And Then I Found You gives new life to the phrase “inspired by a true story.” By travelling back to a painful time in her own familys history, the author explores the limits of courage, and the price of a selfless act. ~

Review: And Then I Found You is a deeply moving novel by Patti Callahan Henry.  This is the first time I am reading a novel by this author and I enjoyed it.  Overall, the novel is quite wonderful.  It is deeply moving with memorable characters.  It tugged at my heart.  It is well written and beautifully told.  Invest in some tissues, you will need them.

I do have one little quirk I can’t quite get over.  It’s that I never warmed up to woman formerly known as Katie.  I know everyone’s reasons for placing a child up for adoption are personal and won’t always make sense to others.  However when the main character in a novel is the one facing this life altering decision, I think it’s fair to expect those reasons be understood by the reader.  I still don’t get it.  I truly believe it takes a tremendous amount of courage and selflessness to do what she did, yet I never felt it was a great sacrifice on her part.  It seemed more like an excuse not to move on with her life and pine for her first love Jack.  She was 21 years old when she made the decision.  She was old enough to think it through and be selfless and courageous in other ways, like letting go of a failed relationship with a high school sweetheart.  Now that would have made sense.

I realize I am being overly judgmental of Kate.  What really surprised me is that in spite of my dislike for her, I really enjoyed this novel.  I openly cried more than once.  It is very heartwarming and touching.  I really warmed up to the supporting characters and loved the southern feel of And Then I Found You. I also like Jack a lot.  Although his story is secondary, I understood him. 

Ms. Callahan Henry wrote this novel in a way that I see a road trip in my future to the South.  And while I’m there, I’m going to look for Mimsy’s and LUNA and hope to see Jack or Nicole at the corner coffee shop.  That’s how real this novel feels and that’s how good this novel is.

Final Take: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher and for a copy of the book.


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