REVIEW: I Found You by Lisa Jewell
I FOUND YOU by Lisa Jewell captivates with a family vacation gone wrong, propelling the future for many when the past refuses to stay where it belongs. Excellent suspenseful story that shocks as it redeems.
Single mother Alice Lake has found a remote British seaside cottage to live with her three children. She earns a living as an artist, and has convinced herself she doesn’t like people that much. When she discovers a lost man sitting on the beach in the rain, her entire world fluctuates. Here is someone she can care for, if only he can remember his life before today.
I immediately liked Alice. She’s odd and funny. She loves her kids, but hasn’t always been the perfect mother. She’s in trouble for her shortfalls with her children’s school more than she’s not. Alice tries to toe the line and succeeds half of the time. Allowing a lost man to live in her backyard studio will be another tally on the long list of misgivings from the people in town. Her best friend, Derry, thinks she has gone mad. She might be right.
Alice fits the artist persona with her entire being. Her philosophy, the way she handles her kids, her habit of gathering stray animals, and her loving heart exemplify her character. What she does for a living is very creative and speaks to her intelligence.
Twenty-one-year-old newlywed Lily calls the police when her husband never comes home from work near London. He has been lavishing her with gifts and affection for ten days since they came to their new home after their honeymoon. Sadly, Lily doesn’t know any of Carl’s family because of their whirlwind romance. She doesn’t have phone numbers, or even know where they live. In a new country and not familiar with much at all, the only person she can contact, besides the police, is an old friend of Carl’s who reluctantly helps her, much to the chagrin of his wife.
As Alice helps the lost man get situated, they go through the few pieces of paper in his pockets as clues. They call him Frank until they can figure out his real name. Frank starts to get pieces of his memory back, but no one, including the reader, expects what happens next.
A word of warning for readers who are offended by violence against women. There are some graphic descriptions of a crime in progress. It’s necessary for the progression of the story, and in my opinion, it doesn’t detract from the beauty of the novel. There is love and forgiveness, so it’s a full circle of emotion, but it can be disturbing as it takes place.
I’m quickly becoming a fan of Atria Books for fiction that draws me in. From the covers to the stories, they’re what I’ve been craving. New-to-me author Lisa Jewell seamlessly builds tension as the reader comes to care about her characters. The story steadily forms between a family vacation in 1993 and current events, then races to find the despicable villain. This novel is so much more than it seems from my description, or the blurb. Grab a copy and settle in for a haunting journey that sometimes tells you more than you want to know, but everything you need to feel that justice is done.
I FOUND YOU is a superb psychological thriller with shocking surprises and convincing romantic elements that mesmerize. Fans of suspenseful women’s fiction will appreciate the drama that unfolds. I was immediately drawn to the characters. I was shocked, horrified, and sad about their circumstances, yet I couldn’t stop reading, because I knew there had to be more. That anticipation kept rolling until the satisfying end.
Review by Dorine, courtesy of The Zest Quest. Digital ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley for an honest review.
I Found You by Lisa Jewell
Category: Women’s Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
Publisher: Atria Books (April 25, 2017)
Rated 4.5 out of 5