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I Found You by Lisa Jewell

I Found You

by Lisa Jewell

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On a rainy afternoon Alice comes across a man on her beach. The man, named “Frank” by the youngest of Alice’s three children, has lost himself—his name, his place, his past. Against her better judgment and the judgment of her neighbors, Alice takes him in, slowly coming to love the man before her, even as they both strive to find out who that is exactly. Simultaneously, Ukranian Lily Monrose, the twenty-one year old newly-arrived bride of Carl, is reporting her husband missing. Put off by the police, Lily takes matters into her own hands, looking for her husband while simultaneously navigating her new world of London with its unusual inhabitants.

Interspersed with the modern story is the tale of Gray and Kirsty, a teenage brother and sister on summer holiday who meet and fall into the web of Mark, a boy more complicated than anyone realizes.

Full review: http://lisaannreads.wpengine.com/review-i-found-you/ ( )
  ImLisaAnn | Aug 17, 2017 |
This is a fantastic character driven story that you don’t want to miss. You don't have to wait long for things to start happening; it captivates and keeps you fully engaged right away. The story has three distinct and very different storylines that eventually intersect for the big reveal. I love how flawed Alice, one of the main characters is. The choices she makes are questionable but keep you reading; you have to know how it all ends. The author does a fantastic job of keeping the reader guessing, and you quickly realize that all is not as it appears. The mystery is excellent but so are the original, authentic characters Lisa Jewell presents. I must admit though, that some of the scenarios require the reader to suspend logic.

Review previously posted at: goo.gl/4efQnx

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  Princetonbookreview | Jul 20, 2017 |
I Found You is not a perfect novel. In fact, it has many flaws, some of which should be enough to turn Lisa Jewell‘s latest novel into a dud. A funny thing happens while reading the story though. You get so caught up in the identity of the amnesiac, in the fate of Lily’s missing husband, in Gray’s growing concern about the man courting his sister that you forget the flaws and enjoy the story. This does not happen often, but when it does you remember once again that sometimes a book is more than just the sum of its parts. Such is the case with I Found You.

One cannot deny the faults that exist within I Found You, one of which revolves around one of the main characters. Simply, Lily Monrose is not an enjoyable character. There is a difference between an unlikable character and an enjoyable one. A character can be wholly unlikable – a mass murderer, a pedophile, a true villain – but can still be an enjoyable character. In fact, you might argue that often, the villains are the characters you enjoy the most. You do not like them because they are deplorable, but you find them compelling. An unenjoyable character is one about whom you cannot stand to read. He or she might not be a bad person, but there is something about him that annoys you to the point where you take no interest in their story. Lily Monrose is an unenjoyable character.

She should be a fairly sympathetic character. After all, she is a newlywed as well as a new immigrant to the United Kingdom. She has no family or friends she can lean on for support. Her knowledge of the English language is decent but not good enough to manage the nuances of a police investigation. Her plight should be enough to generate more than a little interest in readers. Yet, she is not sympathetic. She is harsh and off-putting. Her conversations with others are abrupt and strident, and you do not want to help her so much as you just want her to go back to Kiev and leave well enough alone. While I can see her behavior is supposed to show how strong she is, she comes across as a bit of a bully. I quickly found myself almost disgusted by her attitude and actions and had to skim those sections in which she is prominent.

The other major fault of the story is the fact that I figured out the various mysteries well in advance. I knew the amnesiac’s identity well before he started remembering things, and I knew what had happened with Lily’s husband. The reveals were not surprises to me so much as they were confirmations of things I had deduced many pages earlier. I was so confident that I knew how it ended that I noticed every red herring and clue Ms. Jewell had in the story. In other novels, being able to predict the ending is a deal breaker. After all, when it comes to mysteries and suspense novels, the unwritten understanding between reader and author is that the mystery will be difficult to solve unless you can find all of the clues and that the clues will be almost impossible to find. This is not the case with I Found You.

Either one of these issues are major enough that they should have been enough to turn me off of the story. Instead, I found myself not caring in the least. While I did have to skim those scenes during which Lily is the primary character, her presence ended up being little more than a minor distraction. As annoying as she is, it is the questions and clues she uncovers that are essential, and once you realize that, it is easy to ignore her. As for the predictability of the story, I found it to be a nonissue. I was having so much fun watching Alice live her life, watching the amnesiac struggle to remember, and watching Gray grow more protective of his little sister that I simply did not care whether I knew how it ended or not. The story swept me along, and while I never was completely immersed in it, I was nonetheless able to enjoy the ride.
  jmchshannon | Jul 18, 2017 |
Alice lives with her three children and three dogs in a small seaside town in Yorkshire. One day she finds a man on the beach who claims to have forgotten everything about himself, she invites him to stay until he remembers his life. In Surrey, Lily's new husband has disappeared leaving her alone in a new and strange country. How are these two events linked to each other and to a tragedy from over twenty years ago?

I have never read any of Lisa Jewell's works before, mainly because I associate her writing with the worst excesses of 'chick lit', therefore I was slightly skeptical about this book. In many respects my fears were justified but that is not to say that 'I Found You' is not a really enjoyable book. The story is overwritten as the plot is somewhat gothic and becomes rather silly towards the end. It is completely unbelievable in just about every respect but I couldn't stop reading!. There is a huge market for this sort of book, it is a perfect middle-of-the-road holiday read. ( )
  pluckedhighbrow | Jun 26, 2017 |
If you haven't read a book by Lisa Jewell yet, I FOUND YOU is a safe bet to start with. This book was my introduction to Jewell, and believe it, it's unputdownable.

The story begins when Allison notices a man sitting on the beach in the rain. She befriends him. He has lost his memory so does not know who he is or where he comes from. Her child has dubbed him "Frank."

Then other chapters tell the story of a young woman, Lily, who has married an older man who has suddenly gone missing.With his friend, Lily searches for him.

Obviously, these are the same story.

And so it continues from different viewpoints. But we also see what happened in 1993. So now we wonder: who is this man who has lost his memory? Is he good, or is he a murderer? We have the advantage of knowing both Frank's snatches of recovered memories and Lily's few discoveries.

I thoroughly enjoyed I FOUND YOU. Plot-driven novels can be shallow, but this is an exceptionally good one.

I received an ARC of this book through writeonCindy.wordpress.com. ( )
  techeditor | Jun 25, 2017 |
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