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


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.

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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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Finders Keepers 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome story! a nice story to read, I love the way she describes "jelly" the dog in the story, surely she's a dog lover. =)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book will get you from page one and keep you up every night until page 361!!! I agree with others the last chapters could have been different but.... i would tell every one you MUST read this! The thought and writing that went into this, the detail and many stories just make you wish it would be a trilogy or 600 pgs! Bravo Mrs Michaels, well done!
SassieNL More than 1 year ago
Right from the first page this book instantly gets your attention and holds on to it. I just wanted to keep reading to know what was going to happen next. I could just feel the emotions of each of the charecters through out the book. In short I loved it.
Goofygirll More than 1 year ago
Very good book. Enjoyed it very much.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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jbarr5 More than 1 year ago
finders keepers by Fern Michaels Jelly has returned and he's injured. The baby is not with him. Grace's daughter, Hannah has been taken. The dog must've ran after the car that took the girl. She can't believe her girl isn't there, she sewed dresses for her and knitted her sweaters for when she returned. 18 years later he gives her choices: he's tired of working 2 jobs and same food every night, either they start spending some of the money or he's out of there. She has a girl and is there when she goes to school every day giving her a rose. She's got every toy that is on the market, when a new one arrives at the store, one is delivered to her also. She's so spoiled, she wants coveralls, not frilly dresses. She wants to fit in with the rest of the girls at school. Hannah has nightmares about 'Jelly' and her mother has no idea what it's all about. The parents discuss sending money to the people they took the little girl from. They got their house back and she continues to make sweaters for her little girl, who would be 18 now. They continue to get a yearly package of money, they put it in the toy box with the lock to never be spent. They've got 2 boys now but she still grieves for her little girl. They have to put the dog down also. Jessie is on her way to NY after visiting with her best girlfriend in Atlanta. She is loving the freedom and the travel. She makes it to DC and calls her best friend a change in plans is in the works. Their schooling and careers go on til tragedy occurs and they pull together to get through it. Liars and running away, private investigators, pregnant and deaths, overdose of pills and gardens. She's so glad Sophie had done things, she was always so smart, she thought of everything. Love how tying everything together, even the name of the book, great link up!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This story began and ended well but sort of rambled through the middle. Not one of Fern Michaels best.
DMaraj More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was excellant! I just recently got into reading in my spare time and I am glad I began with this book. I have always been more of a TV person, but while reading this book, TV didn't even compare to the images I had swirling around in my mind. The only reason I didn't give the book 5 stars was because of the ending. It seemed like it ended way too soon. I would have liked to read more about Jessie's new relationship with her parents. Also, what's the deal with her and Luke? I really think they were meant to be together, so in my ending...they are.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the first Fern Michaels book I have read. I really enjoyed it!!! I have struggled with infertility and I can understand how Thea could go nuts. I can't understand why if they were so rich why did they not adopt a baby. Back in the fifty's it should have been pretty easy to adopt. I also have to agree with the other readers that I was very disapointed in the ending. I thought Fern Michaels should have had more of a reunion with Jessie and her real parents. And why did Jessie have to go to Africa to build Sophie a bridge?
Guest More than 1 year ago
everyone needs to read or listen to this book. i loved it.