Lisa Jewell is an author you can absolutely depend upon to provide you with a story to lose yourself in and I Found You was no different. Those of you who think that this is shelved under light reading, you are wrong. There are dark aspects to this story which rival the best of the ‘grip-lit’ that adorn bookshop’s shelves the world over.
Cold and wet and staring out to see stands a man with no name. Well of course he has a name but he can’t remember anything. He hasn’t the faintest clue who he is or where he is. On the other side of the beach, behind a rain-streaked pane of glass stands Alice Lake. Alice is watching the man, all morning and into the afternoon when she is moved to take him a spare coat. Alice is a kind-hearted, if one who fate hasn’t handed her the best of luck. She has three children ranging from mid-teens to five-year old Ronnie and they all have different fathers but her luck has turned and she now has a good friend Derry in Ridinghouse Bay, East Yorkshire. Derry tells her to leave the man on the beach to his own devices, but Alice isn’t terribly good at following advice and she longs to know more about him.
In Surrey in a newly built flat Lily Monrose has lost her husband of three weeks. She has rung his mobile but there is no answer. Lily has only just landed in the country following their wedding in Ukraine and she knows no-one. With Carl missing Lily has to become resourceful if she’s to track down her husband.
These two storylines continue at parallel for part one of the book and then we slip back in time to 1993 and join a family holiday in Ridinghouse Bay. Coincidentally they are staying in the same house that Alice and her family inhabit in the present day. This turns out to be a holiday that no-one will forget.
This book, like so many of Lisa Jewell’s previous books captured me from the start. I wanted to know more about the man on the beach, I wanted to be free-spirited Alice’s friend, I put myself in Lily’s shoes and marvelled at her persistence and ingenuity in a foreign land and would happily have chatted to the family holidaying in Ridinghouse Bay. All the characters feel totally authentic and act in a realistic way which lends a great deal of depth to what turns into probably the darkest of all Lisa Jewell’s novels. I was gripped from the beginning and if there was a word for gripped more, then I was that from part two which resulted in total grippedness by the last pages of this book, which had me shedding a small tear or two for all that had gone before.
Reading this novel felt like meeting an old friend, or few; the writing style is ‘friendly’ and the first person present tense gives the feeling of immediacy which made me feel like I was at worst an onlooker although at times I really believed I was there as I came up with my own wild theories as to what was going on.
I Found You was published on 14 July 2016 by Random House UK who allowed me to read a copy of this book and this unbiased review is my thank you to them.
My favourite Lisa Jewell books:
click on the covers to read my reviews
Lisa Jewell Novels
• I Found You (2016)
• The Girls (2015)
• The Third Wife (2014)
• The House We Grew Up In (2013)
• Before I Met You (2012)
• The Making Of Us (2011
• After The Party (2010)
• The Truth About Melody Browne (2009)
• 31 Dream Street (2007)
• Vince and Joy (2005
• A Friend of the Family (2004)
• One Hit Wonder (2001)
• Thirtynothing (2000)
• Ralph’s Party (1999)