“Jewell’s novel explores the space between going missing and being lost….how the plots intersect and finally collide is one of the great thrills of reading Jewell’s book. She ratchets up the tension masterfully, and her writing is lively.” —New York Times
In the windswept British seaside town of Ridinghouse Bay, single mom Alice Lake finds a man sitting on a beach outside her house. He has no name, no jacket, and no idea how he got there. Against her better judgment, she invites him inside.
Meanwhile, in a suburb of London, newlywed Lily Monrose grows anxious when her husband fails to return home from work one night. Soon, she receives even worse news: according to the police, the man she married never even existed.
Twenty-three years earlier, Gray and Kirsty Ross are teenagers on a summer holiday with their parents. The annual trip to Ridinghouse Bay is uneventful, until an enigmatic young man starts paying extra attention to Kirsty. Something about him makes Gray uncomfortable—and it’s not just because he’s a protective older brother.
Who is the man on the beach? Where is Lily’s missing husband? And what ever happened to the man who made such a lasting and disturbing impression on Gray?
“A mystery with substance” (Kirkus Reviews), I Found You is a delicious collision course of a novel, filled with the believable characters, stunning writing, and “surprising revelations all the way up to the ending” (Booklist) that make the New York Times bestselling author of Then She Was Gone Lisa Jewell so beloved by audiences on both sides of the Atlantic.
|Product dimensions:||6.30(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
I Found You
Alice Lake lives in a house by the sea. It is a tiny house, a coast guard’s cottage, built more than three hundred years ago for people much smaller than her. The ceilings slope and bulge and her fourteen-year-old son needs to bow his head to get through the front door. They were all so little when she moved them here from London six years ago. Jasmine was ten. Kai was eight. And Romaine, the baby, was just four months old. She hadn’t imagined that one day she’d have a gangling child of almost six foot. She hadn’t imagined that they’d ever outgrow this place.
Alice sits in her tiny room at the top of her tiny house. From here she runs her business. She makes art from old maps which she sells on the Internet for silly money. Silly money for a piece of art made from old maps, perhaps, but not silly money for a single mother of three. She sells a couple a week. It’s enough, just about.
Beyond her window, between Victorian streetlights, a string of sun-faded bunting swings back and forth in the boisterous April wind. To the left there is a slipway where small fishing boats form a colorful spine down to a concrete jetty and where the great, dreadful froth of the North Sea hits the rocky shoreline. And beyond that the sea. Black and infinite. Alice still feels awed by the sea, by its vast proximity. In Brixton, where she lived before, she had a view of walls, of other people’s gardens, of distant towers and fumy skies. And suddenly, overnight, there was all this sea. When she sits on the sofa on the other side of the room it is all she can see, as though it is a part of the room, as though it is about to seep through the window frames and drown them all.
She brings her gaze back to the screen of her iPad. On it she can see a small square room, a cat sitting on a green sofa licking its haunches, a pot of tea on the coffee table. She can hear voices from elsewhere, her mother talking to the carer. Her father talking to her mother. She can’t quite hear what they’re saying because the microphone on the webcam she set up in their living room last time she visited doesn’t pick up sound properly in other rooms. But Alice is reassured that the carer is there, that her parents will be fed and medicated, washed and dressed, and that for an hour or two she won’t need to worry about them.
That’s another thing she hadn’t imagined when she’d moved north six years ago. That her spry, clever, just-turned-seventy-year-old parents would both develop Alzheimer’s within weeks of each other and require constant supervision and care.
On the screen on Alice’s laptop is an order form from a man called Max Fitzgibbon. He wants a rose made out of maps of Cumbria, Chelsea, and Saint-Tropez for his wife’s fiftieth birthday. Alice can picture the man: well-preserved, silver-haired, in a heather-colored Joules zip-neck sweater, still hopelessly in love with his wife after twenty-five years of marriage. She can tell all this from his name, his address, from his choice of gift (“big blowsy English roses have always been her favorite flower,” he says in the “any other comments” box).
Alice looks up from her screen and down through her window. He is still there. The man on the beach.
He’s been there all day, since she opened her curtains at seven o’clock this morning, sitting on the damp sand, his arms around his knees, staring and staring out to sea. She’s kept an eye on him, concerned that he might be about to top himself. That had happened once before. A young man, deathly pale in the blue-white moonlight, had left his coat on the beach and just disappeared. Alice is still haunted by the thought of him, three years later.
But this man doesn’t move. He just sits and stares. The air today is cold and blowing in hard, bringing with it a veil of icy droplets from the surface of the sea. But the man is wearing only a shirt and jeans. No jacket. No bag. No hat or scarf. There’s something worrying about him; not quite scruffy enough to be a drifter, not quite strange enough to be a mental health patient from the day care center in town. He looks too healthy to be a junkie and he hasn’t touched a drop of alcohol. He just looks . . . Alice searches her mind for the right word and then it comes to her. He looks lost.
An hour later the rain comes down. Alice peers through the spattered windowpanes and down to the beach below. He’s still there. His brown hair is stuck to his skull and his shoulders and sleeves are dark with water. In half an hour she needs to collect Romaine from school. She makes a split-second decision.
“Hero!” she calls to the brindle Staffy.
“Sadie!” she calls to the ancient poodle.
“Griff!” she calls to the greyhound. “Walkies!”
Alice has three dogs. Griff, the greyhound, is the only one she deliberately went out and chose. The poodle is her parents’. She is eighteen years old and should be dead by rights. Half her fur is gone and her legs are bald and thin as birds’ but she still insists on joining the other dogs for a walk. And Hero, the Staffy, belonged to Barry, a man who’d rented her shed from her a while back. He disappeared one day and left everything behind, including his mental dog. Hero has to wear a muzzle on the street; otherwise she attacks prams and scooters.
Alice clips their leads to their collars as they circle her ankles and notices something else that Barry left behind in his midnight flit, hanging from the coat hooks next to the leads. A shabby old jacket. She automatically wrinkles her nose at the sight of it. She once slept with Barry in a moment of sheer stupidity—and intense loneliness—and regretted it from the moment he lay down on top of her and she realized that he smelled of cheese. That it emanated from every crevice of his slightly lardy body. She’d held her breath and got on with it but ever after she associated him with that smell.
She plucks the jacket gingerly from the peg and drapes it over her arm. Then she takes the dogs and an umbrella and heads toward the beach.
“Here,” she says, passing the coat to the man. “It’s a bit smelly but it’s waterproof. And look, it has a hood.”
The man turns slowly and looks at her.
He doesn’t seem to have registered her intention, so she babbles.
“It belonged to Barry. Ex-lodger. He was about the same size as you. But you smell better. Well, not that I can tell from here. But you look like you smell nice.”
The man looks at Alice and then down at the jacket.
“Well,” she says, “do you want it?”
Still no response.
“Look. I’m just going to leave it here with you. I don’t need it and I don’t want it and you may as well keep it. Even if you just use it to sit on. Shove it in a bin if you like.”
She drops it near his feet and straightens herself up. His eyes follow her.
“Ah, so you do talk?”
He looks surprised. “Of course I talk.”
He has a southern accent. His eyes are the same shade of ginger brown as his hair and the stubble on his chin. He’s handsome. If you like that kind of thing.
“Good,” she says, putting her free hand into her pocket, the other grasping the handle of her umbrella. “Glad to hear it.”
He smiles and clutches the damp jacket in his fist. “You sure?”
“About that?” She eyes the jacket. “You’d be doing me a favor. Seriously.”
He pulls the jacket on over his wet clothes and fiddles with the zip for a while before fastening it. “Thank you,” he says again. “Really.”
Alice turns to check the locations of the dogs. Sadie sits thin and damp by her feet; the other two are scampering at the water’s edge. Then she turns back to the man. “Why don’t you get indoors, out of this rain?” she asks. “Forecast says it’s set to rain till tomorrow morning. You’re going to make yourself ill.”
“Who are you?” he asks, his eyes narrowed, as though she’d introduced herself already and he’d momentarily forgotten her name.
“I’m Alice. You don’t know me.”
“No,” he says. “I don’t.” He appears reassured by this.
“Anyway,” says Alice, “I’d better get on.”
Alice takes up the slack in Sadie’s lead and the poodle gets unsteadily to her feet, like a freshly birthed giraffe.
She calls for the other two. They ignore her. She tuts and calls again.
“Bloody idiots,” she mutters under her breath. “Come on!” she yells, striding toward them. “Get here now!”
They are both in and out of the sea. Hero is covered in a layer of green-hued mulch. They will stink. And it is nearly time to collect Romaine. She can’t be late again. She’d been late yesterday because she’d overrun on a piece of work, forgotten the time, and at 3:50 had to retrieve Romaine from the school office, where the secretary had looked at her over the top of the desk screen as though she were a stain on the carpet.
“Come on, you shitbags!” She strides across the beach and makes a grab for Griff. Griff thinks a game has been suggested and darts playfully away. She goes after Hero, who runs away from her. Meanwhile poor Sadie is being dragged about by her scrawny neck, barely able to stand upright, and the rain is coming down and Alice’s jeans are sodden and her hands icy cold and the time is ticking away. She lets out a yell of frustration and takes an approach she used with all the children when they were toddlers.
“Fine,” she says, “fine. You stay here. See how you get on without me. Go and beg for scraps outside the fucking butcher’s. Have a good life.”
The dogs stop and look at her. She turns and walks away.
“Do you want some dogs?” she calls to the man, who is still sitting in the rain. “Seriously? Do you want them? You can have them.”
The man startles and looks up at her with his gingerbread eyes. “I . . . I . . .”
She rolls her eyes. “I’m not being serious.”
“No,” he says. “No. I know that.”
She strides toward the slipway, toward the steps carved into the seawall. It’s three thirty. The dogs stop at the shoreline, glance at each other, then back at Alice. Then they run for her, arriving at her feet seconds later, salty and pungent.
Alice starts up the steps and then turns back when the man calls after her.
“Excuse me!” he says. “Excuse me. Where am I?”
“Where am I? What’s the name of this place?”
She laughs. “Really?”
“Yes,” he says. “Really.”
“This is Ridinghouse Bay.”
He nods. “Right,” he says. “Thank you.”
“Get inside, will you,” she says softly to the man. “Please get out of this rain.”
He smiles apologetically and Alice waves and heads toward the school, hoping he’ll be gone by the time she gets back.
Alice knows she’s something of an oddball in Ridinghouse Bay. Which, in fairness, was already pretty full of oddballs before she arrived. But even in a town this strange Alice stands out with her Brixton accent and her Benetton family and her slightly brusque ways. Not to mention the dogs. They make a show of her everywhere she goes. They will not walk to heel, they bark and snap, they whine outside shops. She’s seen people cross the street to avoid her animals, Hero in particular with her muzzle and her huge muscular shoulders.
Ever since she got here Alice has played the role of the enigmatic, slightly scary loner, though that is not at all what she is. In London she had friends coming out of her ears. More friends than she knew what to do with. She was a party girl, a come-over-later-with-a-bottle-of-vodka-we’ll-put-the-world-to-rights girl. She’d been the kind of mum to stand at the school gates after drop-off and say, come on then, who’s up for a coffee? And she’d be there at the heart of them all, laughing the loudest, talking the most. Until she pushed it too far and blew her life open.
But she has a friend here now. Someone who gets her. Derry Dynes. They met eighteen months ago, on Romaine’s first day in school. Their eyes met and there was a flash of mutual recognition, of shared delight. “Fancy a coffee?” Derry Dynes had said, seeing the film of tears over Alice’s eyes as she watched her baby girl disappear into the classroom. “Or something stronger?”
Derry is about five years older than Alice and about a foot shorter. She has a son the same age as Romaine and a grown-up daughter who lives in Edinburgh. She loves dogs (she’s the type to let them kiss her on her mouth) and she loves Alice. Early on she learned that Alice was prone to making terrible decisions and letting life run away with her and now she acts as Alice’s moderator. She sits and counsels Alice for hours about issues she has with the school over their handling of Romaine’s learning difficulties but stops her from storming into the office to shout at the secretary. She’ll share two bottles of wine with her on a school night but encourage her to stick the cork back into the third. She tells her which hairdresser to go to and what to ask for—“ask for stepped layers, not feathered, and a half head of highlights with foils.” She used to be a hairdresser but now she’s a Reiki therapist. And she has more of an idea about Alice’s finances than Alice herself.
She’s standing outside the school now, under a huge red umbrella, her boy Danny and Romaine nestled together underneath.
“Christ. Thank you. Dogs went mental on the beach and I couldn’t get them back.”
She leans down to kiss the crown of Romaine’s head and takes her lunch box from her.
“What on earth were you doing on the beach in this weather?”
Alice tuts and says, “You don’t want to know.”
“No,” says Derry. “I do.”
“Are you busy? Got time for a cup of tea?”
Derry looks down at her son and says, “Well, I was supposed to be taking this one into town for shoes . . .”
“Well, just come via mine then, I’ll show you.”
“Look,” she says, standing by the seawall, peering down through the cascade of rain pouring off her umbrella.
He is still there.
“Him?” says Derry.
“Yeah. Him. I gave him that jacket. One of Barry’s.”
Derry gives an involuntary shudder. She remembers Barry too. Alice gave her a very thorough and evocative description of events at the time.
“Did he not have a coat then? Before?”
“No. Sitting there in a shirt. Soaked. Asked me where he was.”
The two children pull themselves up onto the edge of the wall by their fingertips and peer over.
“Where he was?”
“Yes. He seemed a bit confused.”
“Don’t get involved,” says Derry.
“Who said I was getting involved?”
“You gave him a jacket. You’re already getting involved.”
“That was just an act of simple human kindness.”
“Yes,” says Derry. “Exactly.”
Alice tuts at her friend and heads away from the seawall. “Are you seriously going shopping?” she asks her. “In this?”
Derry peers into the dark skies overhead and says, “No. Maybe not.”
“Come on then,” says Alice. “Come to mine. I’ll put a fire on.”
Derry and Danny stay for a couple of hours. The little ones play in the living room while Derry and Alice sit in the kitchen and drink tea. Jasmine returns at four o’clock, soaked to the skin, with a wet rucksack full of GCSE coursework, no coat, and no umbrella. Kai comes back at four thirty with two friends from school. Alice makes spaghetti for tea and Derry stops her opening a bottle of wine on account of her having to go home. She and Danny leave at six o’clock. It is still raining. Small rivers of muddy rainwater pour down the slipway to the beach and cascade off rooftops. And now a howling wind has set to, sending the rain onto the perpendicular, driving it into everything.
From the top floor of the house Alice sees that the man is still there. He’s no longer in the middle of the beach. He’s moved back toward the seawall and he’s sitting on a pile of rope. His face is turned up to the sky and his eyes are closed and something inside Alice aches when she looks at him. Of course he may be mad. He may be dangerous. But she thinks of his sad amber-brown eyes and the softness of his voice when he asked her where he was. And she is here in her home full of people, a pile of logs burning in the fireplace, warm and dry and safe. She can’t be here knowing that he is there.
She makes him a cup of tea, pours it into a flask, tells the big ones to keep an eye on Romaine, and goes to him.
“Here,” she says, passing him the flask.
He takes it from her and smiles.
“I thought I told you to go indoors.”
“I remember that,” he says.
“Good,” she says. “But I see you didn’t take my advice.”
“I can’t go indoors.”
“Are you homeless?”
He nods. Then shakes his head. Then says, “I think so. I don’t know.”
“You don’t know?” Alice laughs softly. “How long have you been sitting out here?”
“I got here last night.”
“Where did you come from?”
He turns and looks at her. His eyes are wide and fearful. “I have no idea.”
Alice pulls away slightly. Now she’s starting to regret coming down here. Getting involved, as Derry said. “Seriously?” she says.
He pushes his damp hair off his forehead and sighs. “Seriously.” Then he holds the flask aloft. “Cheers,” he says. “You’re very kind.”
Alice stares out toward the sea. She’s not sure how to respond. Half of her wants to get back indoors to the warmth, the other feels like she needs to play this out a bit longer. She asks him another question. “What’s your name?”
“I think,” he says, gazing into his tea, “that I have lost my memory. I mean”—he turns to her suddenly—“that makes sense, doesn’t it? It’s the only thing that makes sense. Because I don’t know what my name is. And I must have a name. Everyone has a name. Don’t they?”
“And I don’t know why I’m here or how I got here. And the more I think about it the more I think I’ve lost my memory.”
“Ah,” says Alice. “Yes. That makes sense. Do you . . . are you injured?” She points at his head.
He runs a hand over his skull for a moment, then looks at her. “No,” he says. “It doesn’t look like it.”
“Have you ever lost your memory before?”
“I don’t know,” he says, so ingenuously that they both laugh.
“You know you’re in the north, don’t you?” she asks.
“No,” he says. “I didn’t know that.”
“And you have a southern accent. Is that where you come from?”
He shrugs. “I guess so.”
“Jesus,” says Alice, “this is crazy. I assume you’ve checked all your pockets.”
“Yeah,” he says. “I found some stuff. Didn’t know what to make of any of it though.”
“Have you still got it?”
“Yes.” He leans to one side. “It’s here.” He pulls a handful of wet paper from his back pocket. “Oh.”
Alice stares at the mulch and then into the darkening sky. She pulls her hands down her face and exhales. “Right,” she says. “I must be mad. Well, actually, I am mad. But I have a studio room, in my backyard. I usually rent it out but it’s empty right now. Why don’t you come and spend a night there? We’ll dry out these bits of paper, then maybe tomorrow we can start putting you together? Yes?”
He turns and stares at her disbelievingly. “Yes,” he says. “Yes, please.”
“I have to warn you,” she says, getting to her feet. “I live in chaos. I have three very loud, rude children and three untrained dogs and my house is a mess. So don’t come with me expecting a sanctuary. It’s far from it.”
He nods. “Honestly,” he says. “Whatever. I really don’t mind. I’m just so grateful. I can’t believe how kind you’re being.”
“No,” says Alice, leading the wet stranger up the stone steps and toward her cottage, “neither can I.”
Reading Group Guide
This reading group guide for I Found You includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.
In a windswept British seaside town, single mom Alice Lake finds a man sitting on the beach outside her house. He has no name, no jacket, and no idea how he got there. Against her better judgment, she invites him inside.
Meanwhile, in a suburb of London, twenty-one-year-old Lily Monrose has only been married for three weeks. When her new husband fails to come home from work one night she is left stranded in a new country where she knows no one. Then the police tell her that her husband never existed.
Twenty-three years earlier, Gray and Kirsty are teenagers on a summer holiday with their parents. Their annual trip to the quaint seaside town is passing by uneventfully, until an enigmatic young man starts paying extra attention to Kirsty. Something about him makes Gray uncomfortable—and it’s not just that he’s playing the role of protective older brother.
Two decades of secrets, a missing husband, and a man with no memory . . .
Topics & Questions for Discussion
1. Before they ever speak, Gray has a decidedly negative impression of Mark. His family chalks it up to jealousy and possessiveness. How big a role do you think those biases played in shaping Gray’s apprehension around Mark? Is it possible to determine when you should trust your instincts and when you are being unfairly prejudicial? How might you tell the difference?
2. Mark reveals his jealousy of Gray and Kirsty when he says “you live in your lovely, cozy little mummy-daddy-brother-sister bubble” (page 201). Did it surprise you that Gray’s envy and resentment was reciprocated? Considering what we learn about Mark’s family background, did you feel sympathy for him? Why, or why not?
3. Gray notes that there were plenty of girls on the beach who were, by appearances, a better match for Mark, and who weren’t accompanied by their families. What do you think initially attracted Mark to Kirsty? Why was his attention drawn to her rather than other women on the beach? Discuss.
4. When asked about how Carl treated her, Lily says “He worshipped me . . . it’s more than love. It’s obsession” (page 205). Later, he writes her a letter saying “I love you more than I have ever loved anyone or anything in my whole stupid life” (page 326). Do you believe he loved her? Why or why not?
5. After discovering what Frank did before he lost his memory, Alice chooses to forgive him. Would you have forgiven him if you were in her position?
6. Both Lily and Alice are attracted to men who have done terrible things in their pasts, and feel on some level they shouldn’t love anymore. In what ways do these two loves parallel each other? In what ways are they portrayed differently from each other? Compare and contrast, discussing the reasons behind these similarities and differences.
7. When Lily reports her husband’s disappearance to the police, she pretends to understand what a policewoman is saying because “she’s already sure this woman thinks she is an idiot” (page 39). Discuss with your group examples from your own life in which you saw or experienced someone making assumptions about intelligence as a result of cultural or language barriers. Have you ever inadvertently made similar assumptions yourself?
8. In response to Alice offering a lost stranger a jacket, her friend Derry tells her not to get involved. Repeatedly throughout the novel, various characters question whether Alice’s generosity is advisable, or if she is unwisely endangering her family. Did you see her actions as kind, or foolish? If the stranger had turned out to be Lily’s missing husband, would that have changed your ultimate opinion of Alice? Where would you draw the line between being charitable and leaving yourself overly vulnerable?
9. When Frank is trying to remember who he is, some of his memories are more accessible than others. For example, he is unable to remember to cut a bagel in half before toasting it, but he quickly rediscovers his ability to draw. Which of your memories or talents do you think would remain or be easily regained if you forgot who you were?
10. Lily unabashedly describes herself as a “very dark person” (page 205). What do you think she means by that? Do you think that is an accurate self-assessment? Do you consider yourself or any of your loved ones dark people?
11. Frank insists that he is not as bad a person as Mark, saying of his actions “It makes me wrong, but it doesn’t make me a monster” (page 302). Do you agree with this statement? Are there circumstances in which revenge—even violence— is justified? If so, where do you think the line should be drawn? How do you differentiate between justification and simply the motive for a crime?
12. Mark’s aunt says of his parents “They thought they could heal all the wounds and make up for all the hurt and unfortunately they were wrong. It was hardwired” (page 307). Do you agree that there is a point in a child’s life when it is too late to heal the effects of trauma, or to rehabilitate selfish and destructive behavior? Whether you agree or disagree, what do you think Mark’s family could have done differently to help?
13. One of the major themes I Found You contends with is how our memories shape us as people. Are there aspects of our personalities that are innate? Do our memories determine who we are attracted to, as Frank wonders when he questions whether he would have been attracted to Alice if he met her before his fugue state? Are some personal attributes more or less impacted by our experiences than others? Discuss.
Enhance Your Book Club
1. “Frank” suffers from a type of amnesia referred to as dissociative amnesia. Real life cases of amnesia are rare, but they do occur. As a group, consider learning about some of them and the mystery and suspicion surrounding this phenomenon. For example, you could read news articles about “Benjamin Kyle,” whose true identity was discovered in 2015 using DNA testing after eleven years of investigating. Or, you could listen to the story of Jeff Ingram on NPR’s StoryCorps series at NPR.org/2012/12/14/167187734/for-man-with-amnesia-love-repeats-itself.
2. Write a scene from the perspective of Mark, either from his time with Gray and Kirsty, or later in life with his Aunt Kitty or with Lily. How does he see himself? Does he care about the women in his life? What are his motivations? Does he attribute any of his behavior to the childhood abuse he suffered? If you’re choosing to write from a later perspective—how has he changed since his teenage years? Does he believe his own lies? Consider any of these questions, and share your writing with your reading group.
3. Check out more of Lisa Jewell’s books, such as The Girls in the Garden and The House We Grew Up In. To find out more about Lisa, visit www.facebook.com/LisaJewellofficial, or follow her on twitter @lisajewelluk.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is the first book I've read from this author and it won't be my last.
I like mysteries with interesting characters and this book fit the bill.
Loved the intertwining storylines. Short chapters made it a really quick read.
A little slow in the beginning, then I was hooked! Very ordinary people handling unordinary events.
Excellent mystery, great characters, believable twists, and very enthralling
I liked the way it all wrapped up.
Just one of those that stays with you.
This would make a great suspense movie. Loved it.
Not My Kind of Book Single mom Alice finds a man sitting on the beach. He has no name and no idea how he got there. Sounds like an intreguing beginning, but the book doesn't deliver on its promise of a great plot. I found the writing to be less than stellar which spoiled the story line. And to make add to the disappointment, the language is offensive. F bombs abound with loads of profanity. I'll skip this author in the future. I wish reviewers would give a heads up on obsenities. Movies & TV are rated.....books should be, too.
Wow - this was a wonderful surprise. Bought this book at $1.99 price, so expectations weren't high. But it was exciting from start to finish, hard to put down, a page turner. I loved the way the author unveiled the story from three perspectives, weaving them together piece by piece. Was a great read all the way through.
This book was one given to me. I really did not know if it would be worth reading. After getting into it, I found it difficult to put down. It moved quickly. The plot was full of twists and turns. The characters were interesting. The setting was super. Just a good read for the summer.
I was a little nervous going into this book. I have only read one of Lisa's books in the past, and I wasn't all that fond of it. I am always one to not snub reading an author just because I didn't like something in the past. This book made me glad that I am always willing to try again. This book hooked me from the start. The confusion. The uncertainty. I wanted to know who was who and what exactly happened. The further into the book I got, the more I needed the ending. This is definitely a book you need to give your full attention to. The clues are both subtle and right in your face. You need to make sure that you absorb every single thing that happens in the present and the past. If you are looking for a book that will keep you on the edge of your seat and guessing from the beginning, this is definitely a book for you. The way the past and present eventually present themselves as one story, you can't help but to be cheering by the end.
I Found You by Lisa Jewell is a very highly recommended novel of suspense. This page-turner held my rapt attention from the mysterious beginning to the satisfying conclusion. For much of the novel the story follows three different narratives. The first part of the book follows Alice and Lily. Single mom Alice Lake lives in a seaside town, Ridinghouse Bay in East Yorkshire. She sees a man just sitting on the beach in the rain. He's been there for over a day and is soaking wet so she offers him a coat her former tenant left. She ends up inviting him to stay in her studio room/guesthouse for the night when it looks like he's simply going to stay on the beach. The man can't remember who he is or why he'd be at the beach. Alice's children give him the name Frank. Twenty-one-year-old Ukrainian Lily Monrose has only been married for three weeks to Carl, her British husband when he fails to come home from work one night. She has no idea where he is or how to find him in England. When she contacts the police and gives them his passport, she learns from them that his passport is a fake and officially her husband, Carl Monrose, never existed. Lily was sure her much older husband was devoted to her and loved her, so where is he? But maybe more importantly, who is he? The second part of the book opens in 1993 when Gray, seventeen, and Kirsty, fifteen, are on a summer holiday with their parents. In town and later on the beach nineteen-year-old Mark makes it clear that he likes Kirsty, while Gray doesn't quite trust Mark and his intentions toward his sister. This is a captivating novel where the tension increases with each new chapter. Who is Frank? Where/who is Lily's husband? What are Mark's intentions? But the overriding question is how well do you really know other people? Alice tries to help Frank figure out who he is while Lily tries to figure out where her husband is. The story of Gray and Kirsty eventually ties into the other two, but it all happens in a rather surprising way. Jewell's writing is admirable, both poetic and descriptive. I Found You is a well-paced novel that slowly becomes more and more unputdownable with each chapter. I can honestly say that I was equally interested in each character and every revelation or question that each new chapter divulged. The desire to just read one more chapter was almost addictive. She deftly moves her characters through their chapters and allows the questions and intrigue to build up while she develops her characters into believable people. Jewell combines impressive writing with great character development and wraps it all into a novel where the psychological suspense and mysteries keep building for a winning combination. Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Atria Books.
Ha! This was an amazing read. From the beginning, I was charmed by its innocence and then as the pages rolled along I was cast into a storyline filled with amazing characters that filled out this story. It was a story brilliantly told, a story where we had to peek back in time to see where the story originated to find the root of its evil and when it all came together, it was a masterpiece. I truly loved it! My first novel by Lisa Jewell but it will definitely not be my last. He couldn’t remember his past but he was drawn to the ocean and this particular section of it. Alice, a single mother notices the man sitting on the beach, just staring out into the ocean. As it starts to rain, he continues to sit and stare, not moving, just staring out into the water. His name nor what he is doing, he cannot remember yet Alice decides to take him home where she lives with her three children. Lily had married Carl ten days ago, and he just started back to work after their honeymoon. It’s been twenty-four hours and Carl still is not home from work, Lily can file a missing person’s report but she realizes she doesn’t know much about Carl. Are these two stories even related? It’s 1993, (about 20 years earlier) the Rabbit Cottage is being rented by Tony and Pam and their two children Kristy and Gray. They do this every year but this year they will met Mark who is staying with his aunt. There is no turning back now as this story has me in its grips. I received a copy of this novel from NetGalley and Atria Books in exchange for an honest review. (less)
I loved this book! Alice finds a man just sitting on the beach in the back of her house. She goes by her window several times and still, he's just sitting there. It starts raining and still he's just sitting there looking out at the water. She gives him a coat left from an old tenant who rented her little cabin in the back. After talking to him, she finds out he has lost his memory and invites him inside. Meanwhile, the author has several other plots going on in the book. While reading, your not sure how or where everything fits. However, when it all comes together, oh my gosh. I am getting goose pimples writing this and thinking about how it all tumbled out in the end. This is an amazing read with lots of suspense. The characters are well developed and unforgettable. There is evil in here too. Evil you cannot even believe. This was not my first book by Lisa Jewell, I've read several and she has not failed me yet. Once again, an awesome read that I highly recommend. Thanks to Atria Books for approving my request and Net Galley for the free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
I really enjoyed this book. It is told from several different people. Alice finds a man sitting alone on the beach in the rain. She invites him into her home. The poor man has no memory and her youngest child names him "Frank". As we follow Alice and Frank's story throughout the book, we learn of Alice's life and follow Frank trying to piece together his life. The second person's story is Lily. She is a young woman recently married and her husband never returns from work one day. Her story is one of trying to find her husband and what happened to him. The third part of the story is from 1993 and follows a family on vacation. There is a Mom, Dad, a son Graham, and a daughter Kirsty. As all three story lines continue it is quite a mystery how the three tie together. You think you have it figured out then a twist happens and makes you think again. It was a really great thriller mystery book and I really enjoyed it. Thanks to NetGalley and Atria Books for allowing me to read and review this book. I received an ARC of the book for an honest review.
This is my first Lisa Jewell novel and I didn't know quite what to expect. I was attracted to this one because I absolutely love stories of someone losing their memory and then trying to piece together what happened to them. It makes me feel like a detective to attempt to work it out alongside them, piece by piece. A character with memory loss is the ultimate unreliable narrator! Although there was one section relating what had happened in the past that had me on the edge of my seat there wasn't as much nail-biting suspense as I had expected. Instead this is more of a character driven story and a lot of time is spent getting to know all the players. I have to say that I didn't especially like or relate to any of the characters, except Alice's soft heart regarding taking in strays. I wasn't sure I really wanted to spend time with these people! At first it wasn't clear how the three different story lines were going to come together but when it did I wasn't really surprised by very much of it. The ending felt a bit rushed and because a major part of it happened outside of the story and we just hear about it from the main characters it was a bit of a let down to me. I think I would have preferred to have the major showdown scene happen "on camera" so to speak. I was happy with the resolution I just really wanted to "see" it happen. Thank you to Atria Books for providing an Electronic Advance Reader Copy via NetGalley for review.
Alice Lake is a single mother barely keeping it together in a small seaside town, when a strange man with amnesia shows up on her beach. In London, a young newlywed’s husband suddenly goes missing, and she is determined to find him. As Alice and this man try to figure out who he is and why he is there, they begin to unravel a secret from the past. All the while, Lily’s investigation into her husband’s disappearance brings her to the very same seaside town. Only together can they fully reconstruct the past and get the answers they all need. There is so much I enjoyed about this book. The plot was wicked smart. The way each bit was unraveled worked beautifully for me. Going back and forth between past and present, while also jumping between different character perspectives eked out a little bit of information at a time, making me feel like I was getting somewhere while also bringing up more questions. At some point along the way, I suspected some version of what happened, but not the ending. Definitely not the ending. Alice might have been a bit flaky, but I loved her imperfections, and her willingness to keep trying, to keep doing better. And that she accepts her flaws, and doesn’t obsess about them. Honestly, I detested Lily. I disliked her so much I had a very difficult time feeling badly about her circumstances. I’m not sure how I feel about the relationship between Alice and the amnesiac man, but I suppose stranger things have happened. I found the story to be clever, properly intense and mysterious, and all around good fun. My first book by Lisa Jewell, certainly won’t be my last. Note: I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley. I pride myself on writing fair and honest reviews.
Alice finds him sitting on her beach. It's raining, he has no jacket, and doesn't know his name, how he got there, where he came from. Alice takes in strays ..usually dogs, but this time she's going against her gut feeling and inviting him to stay with her and her children. Many miles away, Lily is feeling abandoned. She's been married for 2 weeks and her new husband has been missing for several days. He doesn't answer his phone, he's not shown up at work. And when she finally goes to the police, she finds that her husband doesn't even exist. Twenty-three years ago, siblings Gray and Kirsty are teenagers spending the summer on holiday with their parents. Another visiting teen has his eye on Kirsty. Gray is getting really bad feelings about this new guy, and he fears for her safety. Alternating chapters are in the voices of Alice, Lily, and Gray. I thought I had it all figured out...but surprise! I didn't. It became something more ..more sinister...more dangerous...filled with dark secrets that have been hiding for decades. This is a well-written psychological with solidly built characters. I have read several of this author's books and she has never disappointed. Many thanks to the author / Arrow Books / Netgalley for the digital copy of I FOUND YOU. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
Alice, a lonely single mom, lives in a cottage by the sea with her three children. Her nature is to help people and animals. She finds "Frank," sitting in the sand, watching the sea. He can't remember his name or anything else. She offers him shelter. Lily is a newlywed whose husband vanishes. Their lives become linked in unexpected ways as secrets are revealed... Gripping mystery romance. Not as fast-paced as some suspense reads. Interchanges from past to present. A solid whodunit written from an English perspective. 3 1/2 stars. Voluntarily read ARC for an honest review, thru Netgalley and publisher.
STORY-LINE I FOUND YOU: In I Found You, author Lisa Jewell crafted a complex story-line of intrigue, mystery, guilt, and murder. Alice Lake finds a amnesiac young man on the beach in Ridinghouse Bay. Taking him under her wing and into her home, he slowly recovers his memory; revealing a tale of horror. Meanwhile in London, Lisa Monrose, discovers her husband of three weeks missing. Alone in a strange country, without friends or money, Lisa contacts the police; she's told her husband doesn't exist. Realizing she knows little about her husband, Lisa sets out to find him and discover his secrets. Decades earlier as teenagers, Gray and Kristy, vacationed in Ridinghouse Bay. They meet a young man whose complex and dark. Much older than Kristy, he takes an unhealthy interest in the young Kristy, leaving Gray with a bad feeling. Really bad feelings, he can't shake. Secrets, mystery, and intrigue abound in this tale; all will meet in this small coastal town as Jewell reveals the interconnecting story. Grab a comfort seat, my mystery suspense novel review of I Found You follows. CHARACTERS, PLOTTING, DEVELOPMENT: I Found You by author Lisa Jewell, grabs the reader immediately and does not let go until the last page. Filled with twists and turns, intrigue, mystery, and suspense, the reader gasps as each new developments revealed. I tried to read this straight through, however sleep intervened as I surrendered to the Sandman. Upon waking, I immediately grabbed I Found You and started reading. This is a can't put it down book. Author Lisa Jewell created a first-rate mystery suspense novel. With a fast and smooth pace, Jewell, leads the readers from one twist to another seamlessly. Jewell smoothly crafted a tale converging one town and 5 main characters, inter-grading, connecting, and weaving their story-line into one intriguing tale of murder, terror, deception, dependence, and guilt. Weaving the many threads together, Jewell created a novel that will stay with the reader long after they finish the book. Sprinkling emotion and revelations along the story, Jewell, does not reveal the crux of the story-line until absolutely necessary. Using the form of telling the story from the past to present and so on throughout the book, Jewell wove a complex story-line easy to follow and understand. The transitions were smooth and seamless as Jewell takes the reader from past to present and back again. Blown away as Jewell revealed the connections and how the characters relate to each other, I gasp at the interconnections. Amazed at Jewell's talent for suspenseful intrigue, she drew out the story-line without wearying the reader; her talent's evident to the reader from page one. Jewell crafted likeable believable characters and a realistic story-line containing dark secrets, then she wove it all together for a cohesive tale I could not put down. Jewell created an adversary worthy of the title of villain. A psychopath of pure evil, yet, I came to feel a bit sorry for the villain by the end of the book. Yes, Jewell's talent is such that she causes the reader to feel empathy for him. Portraying each many faceted character with depth and developing them throughout the story, I found could not wait to see how this tale would revolve around the characters and resolve. Finally, in concluding my mystery suspense novel review of I Found You, I found a solid novel, well-written and well-developed with an intriguing story-line. Jewell kep
This was my first book by British author Lisa Jewell. I enjoyed it so much, I've decided I need to check out her previous ones that I've missed. I Found You gradually converges three intriguing and puzzling storylines: Single Mum, Alice, finds a man in a fugue state on the beach near her house in East Yorkshire and decides to offer him a place to stay until they can figure out who he is. Meanwhile, in London, newly-wed Lily, who is originally from the Ukraine, reports her husband, Carl, missing. He disappeared on his way home from work. The third storyline goes back twenty odd years to 1993 when the Ross family spent their annual holiday at Ridinghouse Bay where teenagers Kristy and Graham meet 19-year-old Mark who is spending the summer with his Aunt, Kitty. I was fully engaged in this from start to finish. The style was to the point, the dialogue realistic and most of the characters were likable. Alice, in particular, with her rather unconventional household and her plain-speaking ways, was an appealing character. I had different theories how the puzzle would slot together as the story progressed and was still proved wrong in the end. While there were certainly moments where I couldn't help wondering whether people would really act in the way these characters did, it didn't stop me from enjoying this story. It was a nice combination of family drama, mystery, suspense and romance.