Finding Me

Finding Me

by Kathryn Cushman

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What would you do if you learned your life was a lie?

All her life, Kelli Huddleston has been told the story of a fire--a fire that killed her mother and two siblings when she was an infant. After her father's death though, she uncovers evidence of a different story, including clippings about a boat accident that killed a young father and his infant daughter. And Kelli quietly realizes the story of her life has been a fiction.

How far would you go to discover the truth?

Armed with only a few pictures of what she thinks might be her family, Kelli crosses the country to Tennessee, determined to uncover the truth about what happened over twenty years ago in a small southern town. When the trip threatens to open doors to the past better left shut, and her plans for the future are jeopardized, Kelli is faced with an agonizing choice that will change her life forever.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781441265173
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/31/2015
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 334
Sales rank: 172,677
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Kathryn Cushman is a graduate of Samford University with a degree in pharmacy. She is the acclaimed author of over a half-dozen novels, including  Leaving Yesterday and A Promise to Remember, which were both finalists for the Carol Award in Women's Fiction. Kathryn and her family make their home in Santa Barbara, California.

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Finding Me 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Xaleah More than 1 year ago
Book: Finding Me Author: Kathryn Cushman Publisher: Bethany House This was my first time reading a book by Kathryn Cushman. I have to say I was sucked in right from the beginning. I was only a few chapters in when I realized I would not be putting this book down any time soon. The back of the book alone would suck someone into picking up this book and begin reading. What would you do if you learned your life was a lie? Imagine that everything you know about your current life has been a lie. All the information you have been fed, tidbits of your past, all untrue. The only thing you know to be true is the love of a father to his daughter, and right now you even question the reality of that. Kelli Huddleston only knew her current life, she never knew there was a past one, one that changed when she was just 1. She knew that her mother and two siblings had been killed in a fire when she was an infant, but that turned out to be nothing more than a story. Her Father and Step Mother were killed in a tragic accident leaving Kelli’s whole world crashing around. While sorting through her fathers belongings in his study, she begins to uncover pieces of a truth she had never known. With the recovery of pictures her father had stored in a safe, and newspaper clippings about a young father and daughter who died in a boating accident, Kelli begins to slowly piece her previous life together. Kelli decides she must learn the truth about her past. Armed with the pictures and newspaper clippings she begins digging into her past. She suddenly becomes a part of her families lives, but it is unknown to them. As her world is suddenly shaken and falling out from under her feet again she must choose which decision is best not only for her but for the lives of her family. What would you do if you were in Kelli’s shoes? I found this book to be fantastic. It was a page turner and I had a hard time putting it down. As I mentioned above it was my first time reading anything by Kathryn Cushman, but I have to say it will definitely not be the last. Disclaimer: I received this book complimentary from Bethany House to write an honest review. All opinions are my own and I will not be compensated in any way for writing this review.
EmilyAnneK17 More than 1 year ago
After her parents’ tragic accident, Kelli discovers something that her father had been hiding from her all her life—her mother and two siblings did not die in an accident when she was a baby. In fact, they are alive and well and think she and her father died in a different kind of accident. Searching for answers, Kelli travels across the country to meet them. But how long can she keep her identity a secret? And what’s more, does she even want to? Finding Me by Kathryn Cushman is not the kind of book I usually read. I prefer non-contemporary romance or fantasy. However, Finding Me surprised me. I loved it and could hardly put it down. I was always anxiously anticipating the situation in which Kelli finally told her mom and sister who she was. I imagined all kinds of scenarios, but the one that actually happened was more than satisfying and came at a reasonable, almost perfect time for her and her family. I hurt for Kelli. She suffered great losses on top of trying to understand why her father would lie and hurt her and his family the way he did. The pain in her life was understandable and deep. I could hardly have done better in that situation than she did. Because of this, it was amazing to watch her grow into someone willing to trust again and who will someday have the faith her mother did.  I really liked the relationships and the characters portrayed. Each was unique and had their own sorrows and joys. The family and friend relationships they had with each other, too, was complicated, sweet, and realistic. Many people were touched by Kelli and her dad and that made the impact of her dad’s sins greater and the love for Kelli deeper. Therefore, although the genre of Finding Me is not one I normally delve into, I found it to be fantastic in many ways. I look forward to reading more books by Kathryn Cushman and would definitely recommend this book to others.  I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Cheri5 More than 1 year ago
Finding Me was a great story. I started it and didn’t want to put it down - intriguing, made me think and was relevant to things people experience today. It’s one I want to share with many others because of the truths spoken throughout and just the great storyline and depth of characters. Highly recommend this author and this book.
StorytellerKL More than 1 year ago
A thought-provoking and emotional read. I enjoyed the story and most of the characters. Kelli was wonderful and her sister Beth was pretty funny in her quirky way. Her husband was a great guy, for sure. I wished a few things were developed more, like the romance between Kelli and Shane, and the ending felt rushed to me as well. The emotional punch of the story fizzled out a bit, but that's not to say it was bad. Really did enjoy this book. Thank you to Bethany House for a copy to review.
TMS-Avid_Reader_Am_I_0828 More than 1 year ago
This comes from the author Becky Wade. “A Love Like Ours” is book #3 in “The Porter Family Novels” but is capable of standing on it’s own. Which it did my case and I don’t feel like I was missing too much of the back story. There is nothing worse than picking up a book to find out I’m missing some of the references made by the author. Becky has you looking at the story from both Jack’s and Lydie’s point of view. In the begin we get a sneak peek of Jake and Lyndie at a young age. Then we come back to them twenty years later. I love their interaction between them and the rest of the cast. Chances are you probably know someone like them in your own life. It’s nice to see the characters as “real” people- warts and all. The subject matter that Becky uses to bring attention to plight of our troops as they are coming home. We “see” a bit of what it is like for a returning Soldier from the War in Iraq and are dealing with PTSD -just ones our characters face. There are others subjects brought up, such Mollie’s (Lyndie’s sister) disabilities from birth, to the perils of dating for Lyndie and her friend Amber, and let us not forget about Silver Leaf, the Casanova thoroughbred. Finding faith, dealing with unusual situations and healing (personal or otherwise) are dealt with gently lessons from the Bible. Over all I liked the book very much and think it deserves 4 out of 5 stars. I would be interested to know what you think of it. I will be looking for the rest of the series next time I’m at my local library.
jnut1 More than 1 year ago
I am not sure what it is about Kathryn's books but I love each and every one of them. This was a home run to me. We meet Kelli, who loved her father like no other, right after her father and step mother are killed. Kelli is going through her dad's office and finds that he had a previous life.  Kelli decides to go check them out and spy on her family.  This is that story. Does it have a few flaws - sure but they are so small compared to the enjoyment of this book that I won't mention them. 
SeasonsofGrace More than 1 year ago
 I loved, loved, loved this book. It is mysterious, adventurous, emotional; an awesome package all wrapped up in one novel.  I love the characters, the story line, and then ending is amazing. But, be warned, you will most likely need a tissue box, or at least a few to dab the eyes, because while part of the book may consist of a little humor, much of it will be an emotional roller coaster. I enjoyed the way in which Kathryn incorporated God's love for us, forgiveness of sins, and a community that stood together and supported each other. Trust is also a biggie in this book. When one finds out her whole life was a lie (per say) how can one ever trust again? And who could you trust? There is so much more I could say about the characters, how they relate to each other, whether Kelli makes good choices or bad, but I really don't want to give this story away. So all I can say is: "Get your copy and read it!" You won't regret it! I was blessed with this book by the Bethany House Blogger program in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
LisetteRue More than 1 year ago
What would you do if you discovered that your past was not what you had been brought up to believe? If you’re Kelli Huddleston, you drive across the country to find answers. Armed with Miscellaneous and Odds and Ends, she takes off for Shoal Creek, Tennessee. Kelli intends to stay for a week, but that week turns into a temporary summer job. She has a boss (Ken Moore a.k.a. Kenmore) who values honesty, the boss’ son (Shane) who’s more than a little suspicious of her intentions in tiny Shoal Creek, new friends in Beth and Rand, and a very mom-like figure in Alison Waters. Her life is going to do a 180, and Kelli’s not sure she can handle it. Should Kelli throw the doors open wide and discover what she may? Or are some doors better left shut? On top of the tragedy of losing loved ones, Kelli also deals with the horrific realization that her life could truly have been completely different. It’s a story of contemporary Christian fiction, yet it’s written so realistically. Sadness, despair, anger, denial, acceptance – it’s all there, and I felt it as a reader, but I also felt Kelli’s joys and doubts in connecting with those she never knew. I rooted for her the entire time. Cushman’s story is one of rising above grief and adversity. But perseverance, too, to find the missing pieces Kelli never knew she was missing. It is a winsome, well-written tale. -- Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions are expressly my own.
VickiLN More than 1 year ago
Everything about this book is good. The storyline, the characters, the flow. Kelli has the task of going through her father and step mother’s things after an accident claims their lives. What she finds changes everything she thought she knew about her father and her life. From there she sets out to find the truth. During her trip she is faced with a very hard decision, one that she must make if she wants to learn the truth about what happened so many years ago. There is so much suspense while reading this book that you don’t want to put it down until the last word. I would 100% recommend this book. It would be a great choice for anyone who wants a mix of surprises, stories about a families, a little romance, and a story line that will leave you shocked throughout the book. This is a great beach read!
RGNHALL More than 1 year ago
This novel had me wondering what it would feel like to find out that one's entire life was one big huge lie!  I felt like I truly knew the characters in this story.  Kelli, Beth, Shane, Allison, and Kenmore felt as though they might actually be my own sister, mother, and friend.  Maybe I am the only one who has contemplated running away and disappearing before, but I have fantasized about it and David (Kelli's father) carried through with his plans!   Wow!   what a incredibly moving and exciting story this is!   I had to stop reading several times to go to church, to visit with family, and I could hardly wait to get back to my kindle to continue reading.   I was mesmerized!    I rate this book 5 stars and wish I could assign it 10 stars!    I received a kindle version of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.   All opinions expressed are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Meet Kelli Huddleston, a young adult woman who loses her job being honest in Finding Me by Kathryn Cushman. Amid this newest disaster in her life, Kelli goes to her father and step-mother’s home to clean out their estate from their recent and devastating passing. With grief pouring into every facet of her life, Kelli discovers her father is not who she thought he was, and to her utter horror, she realizes that she too is not the person she assumed she was. Seeking answers to her past and healing from grief, Kelli drives from California to Shoal Creek, Tennessee to find out who she really is. From the first chapter, I loved how Cushman tells a touching story of a young women seeking answers and trying to make the best of very difficult situations. Cushman’s characters are unaffected and create a story of the fantastical mixed with the everyday routine of living. I particularly was fond of Ken Moore, and his astute assessment of Kelli and his willingness to help her accomplish what she came to Shoal Creek to do.  Finding Me is definitely worth reading with its unexpected plot and genuine characters. I found Finding Me to be an apt title for the journey Cushman takes us on to understand better who we are and what relationships really matter as we follow Kelli on her search for resolution and peace. Bethany House gave me a complimentary copy of Finding Me by Kathryn Cushman for my candid review.
parmilespages More than 1 year ago
After her father and stepmother are killed in a car accident, Kelli Huddleston is looking through her father’s office safe and discovers some very unsettling information.  Growing up, her father told her that her mother and two older siblings were killed in a house fire and that nothing remained of their belongings. It appears her past is very different than the story she had been told.   Kelli’s relationship with her father had always been very close and she trusted him more than anyone else.  But what she finds in the safe changes everything he ever told her and how she thinks about him.  She gathers what little information she finds and sets off on a journey to discover the new truth.  When she arrives at Shoal Creek, Tennessee, she is welcomed warmly by this small southern community and stays beyond the week she originally planned, compelled to piece together a past she knew nothing about.  I thought the story line was very creative.  Kelli is solving a mystery about her past and at the same time going through a journey of self-discovery and maturation.   She has to wrestle with some difficult decisions.  The characters were endearing, becoming like friends to the reader.  After finishing the book, I actually missed reading about these people.   The author was good at conveying the emotion of the characters and I found myself getting teary-eyed more than once during the narrative.  I would recommend this book for anyone liking Contemporary Fiction. I received a complementary copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review. 
DKStevens119 More than 1 year ago
Finding Me by Kathryn Cushman was a book I could totally feel what Kelli was feeling and thinking! My first thought was really? What a thing to find out after your parents die suddenly in an accident! Your father had a secret and you find out about it in his always locked safe in a room that had been off limits for your entire life! After going through my parents things when they passed, I could totally put myself in Kelli's shoes. Kelli needed the closure and to know exactly why her father had done this  to his family. I think she did the right thing looking for the truth! I found this a believable story of life's  circumstances and I found myself urging Kelli to keep going until she knew the truth!   I was gifted a copy for my honest opinion from Bethany House Publishers, A Division of Baker Publishing Group.  I really liked this book and  I'd recommend this book to anyone who enjoys good Christian Fiction.
artsybookworm More than 1 year ago
Finding Me by Kathryn Cushman is a contemporary stand alone novel. This is my first read of this author, but the premise sounded intriguing so I went for it. Even though the idea was kinda far fetched, it was still a very interesting read. Kelli Huddleston is still reeling from the death of her father and stepmother. Cleaning out their house, she finally checks out her dad's safe. What she finds inside makes her question everything she knew about her father. Determined to find out the truth whatever the cost, Kelli packs up and travels to Shoal Creek, Tennessee to get some answers. Not wanting anyone there to know why she traveled to their little town, she comes up with a plausible excuse and starts to look for her mom and siblings. But will she be able to handle what she discovers? All of the characters were well written, and I felt like I was there in the story with them. I wish there was more to the story like a sequel or something. I would love to hear more about Beth and Rand. They were one of the best parts of the book. Even though I want more books set around this family, the ending was quite satisfactory. :) I thought the author wrote really well of all the emotions Kelli was feeling. This one scene near the end of the book was heartbreaking, and I found myself urging her to tell them everything. But of course, she couldn't hear me so she didn't listen... haha If you are looking for a contemporary novel that is more than just a fluffy love story, pick up this book. But don't worry, there is a love story in there, too. It's just not the main focus. ;-) I was given this book free from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.
SusanSnodgrassBookworm More than 1 year ago
Kathryn Cushman has written another wonderful book in 'Finding Me'. It's a book of disappointment, hurt, pain and yearning for the truth.  Kelli Huddleston has just lost her father and stepmother to a car crash. She's always been told that a fire killed her mother and brother and sister when she was but an infant. Now, after her father's death, when she is going through the contents of his safe, she learns that there is a totally different story. Newspaper clippings about a boat accident that killed a young father and infant daughter throw her whole life and identity into question.  Kelli decides to try and find out the truth about her life and who she is, so she climbs into her car and travels the length of the country, determined to find out what happened over 20 years ago in a small Tennessee town.  Kelli wants to find out who she is and when she finds out, she is torn between creating a new life or going back to the old one and leaving things as they were. Can she do something that will bring hurt to the people she has grown to love? Will her choices change her life forever? Will she trust God to direct her path? Kathryn Cushman has written many good books, but this is one of her very best efforts. I loved every minute of it. It drew me in from the first and I read at every possible moment because I couldn't wait to finish it. I loved the characters. They were developed well enough that they seemed real. I loved also the small town and its citizens. In short, I loved everything about this book!  *I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for my honest review, which I have given.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I received a copy of FINDING ME by Kathryn Cushman from Bethany House. Let me start off by saying how much I enjoy Christian fiction. They are always feel good stories and this one is not an exception. This one gripped me from the back. Kelly Huddleston is coming to terms with a past that might not be all that she was told. I love novels that delve into the past. This one also involved a small town in Tennessee. I’ve never been there, but I feel as if I have, for the setting was painted not only beautifully, but realistically, with all of its joys and dangers. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but this is chilling, at times brutal, and altogether captivating. You truly feel for these characters, even the ones you are meant to dislike…or perhaps we, the readers, are supposed to see the good in everyone. This book will make you a fan of Kathryn Cushman. I highly recommend it. This was a lovely novel for an Easter Sunday. As another reviewer said, this a great book for forgiveness and seeing the need for the Savior. I applaud Kathryn Cushman. Bravo on an excellent book.
MzKCKitty More than 1 year ago
Kelli Huddleston has always been told that her mother and siblings died in a house fire. But when her father and stepmother die in a car accident and Kelli has to go through her father's things, she finds a whole different scenario emerging and decides to go find out for herself what really happened. I was not familiar with Kathryn Cushman's work before but I intend to be very familiar in the future. What a great author to add to my "favorites" list!  This book kept me hooked until the very end. I needed to find out what happened more than I needed my sleep. The book and its characters found a home in my heart. Highly recommend! Bethany House gave me a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
IoanaN More than 1 year ago
Finding Me by Kathryn Cushman starts with a promising plot. The idea explored in the novel is interesting. However, by the time I reached the first quarter of the book, I knew what has happened, and just waited to see how the characters will react to the whole thing. I loved the idea of the novel, but somehow, the more I read, it became somewhat flat. All in all, it was an interesting book. The plot was what gave it gusto. It is a quick read, it gives a nice image of a small town, America, and it has the potential to be an intense read and make you wonder what will happen next. But! (These are spoilers from the book, so for whoever wants to read the book, it would be better to not read them.) The plot: the "bad" character in the book, David Waters/ Don Huddleston stole money from the company he and his best friend had in order to facilitate his escape and build a new life in another state with his mistress and his one year old daughter (he actually made everyone believe he and his daughter, Kelli, died in a boat accident). Over twenty years later, when he and his mistress-turned-wife die in a car wreck, Kelli finds out there is another family she knew nothing about - her mother, a sister and a brother. The novel deals with Kelli's search for her family and her attempts to get to know them better. For starters, I didn't necessarily feel the characters to be so well developed, if I can use this word. That character, Nancy, Kelli's sister, was especially annoying, although she "had a good heart". The main character, Kelli, was OK, but towards the end of the novel she becomes annoying, but this is probably understanding considering the circumstances that brought her there in the first place. For someone who claimed from the very beginning she was pretty strained financially, she did OK with paying two rents, do a TLC on the store she worked at, with money from her own paycheck, and make three trips California-Tennessee. I probably liked the old man, Kenmore, the best. He seemed authentic. What really bothered me was that the characters didn't "speak" that much. Most of the things you found out or learned about, as well the events of the past and what they felt were given straight forward by the author. I would have liked to hear the characters talk more about what mattered, not the silly things they seemed to talk about for half the book. As I read more and more, the chapters started to be divided in shorter sub-chapters and each sub-chapter seemed to have a last sentence that summed up the feelings, the events, or gave a sort of conclusion. It felt a bit just thrown in there, although I see how they were meant to create the suspence and drama. And speaking of this, in the last maybe 20 pages of the book, everyone (that is, the other family) learns the truth and all are OK with this. Kelli's fears that they might react badly are understandable, but the suspence was in vain as they all accepted it and simply put it under the label "something to process and think over in time". I received an ebook copy of this book from Bethany House Publishing in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts expressed here are my own. 3* out of 5