Atria Books: 4/25/17
eBook review copy; 352 pages
I Found You by Lisa Jewell is a very highly recommended novel of suspense. This page-turner held my rapt attention from the mysterious beginning to the satisfying conclusion.
For much of the novel the story follows three different narratives. The first part of the book follows Alice and Lily.
Single mom Alice Lake lives in a seaside town, Ridinghouse Bay in East Yorkshire. She sees a man just sitting on the beach in the rain. He's been there for over a day and is soaking wet so she offers him a coat her former tenant left. She ends up inviting him to stay in her studio room/guesthouse for the night when it looks like he's simply going to stay on the beach. The man can't remember who he is or why he'd be at the beach. Alice's children give him the name Frank.
Twenty-one-year-old Ukrainian Lily Monrose has only been married for three weeks to Carl, her British husband when he fails to come home from work one night. She has no idea where he is or how to find him in England. When she contacts the police and gives them his passport, she learns from them that his passport is a fake and officially her husband, Carl Monrose, never existed. Lily was sure her much older husband was devoted to her and loved her, so where is he? But maybe more importantly, who is he?
The second part of the book opens in 1993 when Gray, seventeen, and Kirsty, fifteen, are on a summer holiday with their parents. In town and later on the beach nineteen-year-old Mark makes it clear that he likes Kirsty, while Gray doesn't quite trust Mark and his intentions toward his sister.
This is a captivating novel where the tension increases with each new chapter. Who is Frank? Where/who is Lily's husband? What are Mark's intentions? But the overriding question is how well do you really know other people? Alice tries to help Frank figure out who he is while Lily tries to figure out where her husband is. The story of Gray and Kirsty eventually ties into the other two, but it all happens in a rather surprising way.
Jewell's writing is admirable, both poetic and descriptive. I Found You is a well-paced novel that slowly becomes more and more unputdownable with each chapter. I can honestly say that I was equally interested in each character and every revelation or question that each new chapter divulged. The desire to just read one more chapter was almost addictive. She deftly moves her characters through their chapters and allows the questions and intrigue to build up while she develops her characters into believable people. Jewell combines impressive writing with great character development and wraps it all into a novel where the psychological suspense and mysteries keep building for a winning combination.
Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Atria Books.