Finders Keepers

Finders Keepers

4.2 16
by Fern Michaels

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New York Times bestselling author Fern Michaels thrills us, once again, with the story of an unforgettable young woman who was stolen as a toddler from a poor but loving family, and who must journey through a maze of heartbreak before she can reclaim her true identity.

Raised in a magnificent Charleston house, Jessie Roland wants for nothing. But as…  See more details below


New York Times bestselling author Fern Michaels thrills us, once again, with the story of an unforgettable young woman who was stolen as a toddler from a poor but loving family, and who must journey through a maze of heartbreak before she can reclaim her true identity.

Raised in a magnificent Charleston house, Jessie Roland wants for nothing. But as she grows into young adulthood, all she feels is loss and a desperate need to break free from the stifling possessiveness of her "parents." Somewhere, in the deepest part of herself, Jessie believes that the world she has always lived in is not the one she came from. . .or belongs in.

Now, at nineteen, she has escaped to Washington, D.C., where no one knows her, and where she is swept into a whirlwind marriage to a Texas senator's son. But the past will not release Jessie, who is still haunted by a sense of lost happiness, of simple, tender gestures buried in her memory. Only in Luke Holt, a reclusive rancher, will she discover the strength to penetrate the darkness, and find her way back to a place she can call home.

Editorial Reviews

The Barnes & Noble Review
Get ready for one of the most enthralling romance novels of summer! Romance novelist Fern Michaels writes fiction of strong emotional intensity. Her Vegas Rich, Vegas Hwat, and Vegas Sunrise hit the national bestseller lists for good reasons. She's a writer of fascinating characters, intriguing stories, and wonderfully drawn settings. But her new book, Finders Keepers, is one of her most involving yet! Romance readers will fall in love with the heroine of this one as she struggles to understand her past and, ultimately, her future.

Barnes and Thea Roland are a truly messed-up couple. After a few miscarriages, and the death of their baby daughter, they have turned to drink and avoidance to hold their crumbling marriage together. Thea is already a bitter woman because of these experiences. One day, when they are driving together, Barnes stops in a small mountain town to get his wife a soda. Near the soda machine is a stroller with a young child in it. Thea makes a mad dash from the car, and grabs the little girl. She and her husband kidnap the child in order to fill a void in their lives.

But the other side to this story is that of Grace and Ben Larson. They are the parents of little Hannah, the child taken by the Rolands. Grace runs out of the gas station, only to find that both her daughter and the family dog, Jelly, are gone. The dog has broken his lead and run off after the car. Three days later, the dog returns in terrible shape from having chased the car as far as it could. Hannah does not return. There was no witness to the kidnapping, andtheLarsons' lives take a turn for the worst after this tragedy. Grace loses her job and then loses interest in life; her husband, Ben, ends up losing his work, too. Finally, their house is foreclosed on. The local church builds them a home, and Grace spends the next several years pining for their lost child.

More than a decade later, in South Carolina, Hannah is now called Jessie. She has led an overly protected life with the clingy, smothering Thea. Every year Thea and Barnes Roland have sent huge amounts of untraceable cash to the Larsons as a way of making up for the monstrous act they committed. But no amount of wealth can make Jessie truly love Thea. Jessie has never had a life of her own nor been able to make her own decisions. Finally, soon after her high school graduation, she hatches a plan with her best friend, Sophie. She will just disappear so that her parents can't find her. Jessie loves Barnes, but when she lets him know that she will be leaving for good, he understands, having been completely defeated by his own guilt.

From this point on, Finders Keepers zooms! Jessie gets out and discovers life, and in the process begins to piece together the mystery of who she is and where she is from. But the real world outside her protected existence is not necessarily better. She marries badly but discovers in her second love, Lucas Palmer, the light at the end of this tunnel. As Jessie finds love and family, she also learns about true friendship and forgiveness.

Fern Michaels has written what is, in many ways, her masterpiece. It is a story both of emotional twisting and turning and of the coming of age of a young woman discovering the secrets of her childhood. There were points where I laughed and cried and never wanted the story of Jessie and her friends to end. Michaels has entered the ranks of the master storytellers of romance, which include Judith McNaught, Julie Garwood, and LaVyrle Spencer. Highly recommended!

Jessi Rose Lucas

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Michaels (The Vegas Trilogy) packs her pages with the iconography of the rich and miserable. Empty Georgia manses, loveless Texas ranches, deeds to Greek Islands and death-by-sports-car in France all help form the backdrop for the Jessie Roland saga. Adorable toddler Hannah Larson, only child of poor but decent Grace and Ben, is sitting in her stroller outside a Tennessee gas station when baby-starved Thea and Barnes Roland pull in for a cream soda. Thea snatches the child, Barnes puts pedal to metal and Hannah becomes "adopted" Jessie, doomed to a life of smothering love and material overabundance in Charleston, S.C., while her birth parents suffer and hope. On her way to NYU (instead of her parents' pick, Georgia Tech) Jessie detours through Washington and talks herself into a job as secretary to powerful Texas Senator Angus Kingsley, who has an icy wife, Alexis; a dying mistress, Irene; and a gorgeous son, Tanner. Jessie, of course, marries Tanner, and the trouble really begins. Long on episode, short on motivation, the novel offers scant payoff even in scenes that ought to tug the heartstrings, such as Jessie's reunion with her real parents. (A fine exception is the detailed, layered scene in which Mrs. Kingsley trashes the Other Woman's apartment.) The most vivid character in the book is Jelly, the yellow-haired dog who was guarding little Hannah and nearly died trying to track her. Not surprisingly, the funny bonus story at the end of the book ("A Summer Surprise") concerns a feisty woman vet who goes easier on her 11 pets than she does on her man. (Aug.)
Kirkus Reviews
Smashingly successful soapster Michaels (Vegas Sunrise, 1997, etc.) takes on Charleston, South Carolina, and the story of wealthy young Jessie Roland—old soap in a new wrapper. What can you say about Jessie's bony adoptive mother, Thea Roland, who—thrice miscarrying, with two stillborns and a dead baby daughter—lights a cigarette on page two, drinks from a gold flask, then blows a smoke ring, and—stunning them'improbably announces to her surprised doctor and husband that she's a drunk? Next, Thea kidnaps a golden-haired baby from a filling station and cries, "FINDERS KEEPERS!" as her husband drives her and her new treasure home. Years pass. Kidnaped baby Jessie becomes a solemn schoolgirl equipped with a $100 book-bag and a three-room playhouse, then as a college girl splits from tearful Thea, who replenishes Jessie's trust fund by selling, one by one, her 73 Greek tankers. When Jessie becomes pregnant, she marries lover Tanner Kingsley but loses the baby during an accident, a baby she hopes will be cared for in heaven by Sophie, the best friend who committed suicide and has left her a fortune. When Thea dies, she leaves her tell-all diaries to Jessie, who discovers the identity of her real parents and, after reuniting with them, leaves for Nairobi. Paralyzingly ladylike junk that's bloated with redundant dialogue and that, going by Michaels's record, will sell.

Product Details

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Meet the Author

FERN MICHAELS is the USA Today and New York Times bestselling author of the Sisterhood series, Mr. and Miss Anonymous, Up Close and Personal, and dozens of other novels and novellas. There are over seventy million copies of her books in print. Fern Michaels has built and funded several large day-care centers in her hometown, and is apassionate animal lover who has outfitted police dogs across the country with special bulletproof vests. She shares her home in South Carolina with her four dogs and a resident ghost named Mary Margaret.

Brief Biography

Summerville, South Carolina
Place of Birth:
Hastings, Pennsylvania
High School

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