6 November 2016
Book Review: I Found You by Lisa Jewell
'I got here yesterday.'
'Where did you come from?'
'I have no idea.'
East Yorkshire: Single mum Alice Lake finds a man on the beach outside her house. He has no name, no jacket, no idea what he is doing there. Against her better judgement she invites him in to her home.
Surrey: 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.
Two women, twenty years of secrets and a man who can't remember lie at the heart of Lisa Jewell's brilliant new novel."
I am a big Lisa Jewell fan, so when I was sent a copy of her latest book to release, I couldn't wait to read it. It seemed different to the other novels I've read by Lisa before, but change can definitely be a good thing! This one centres around a man who doesn't know anything about who he is, where's he come from and no idea what to do next. Alice takes him into her home, determined to help him find out about who he is. The other end of the country finds newly married Lily Monrose, whose husband has inexplicably vanished. She's new to the country, but is sure her new husband wouldn't abandon her for no good reason. But when she finds out the her husband's identity is a lie, Lily begins to question everything about their life.
What I loved about this book was the mystery, and how that kept me completely hooked and wanting to keep reading long past my bedtime! I was determined to find out who the mystery man that Alice found on the beach is, and why he has ended up there not knowing who he is. Equally, I wanted to know why Lily's husband had vanished, and was sure there was going to be a link between the two. As you read this story, there is also a throwback story that takes place 20 years ago that somehow links in with the one of the present day. There's lots going on but I found it easy to keep track of the many threads and characters.
Lisa Jewell's writing was really enjoyable to read, and moves the book along at a good pace. It doesn't slack at all, but doesn't move too quickly that you can't keep up with what is happening. I enjoyed how she mixed up the stories too, flitting between Lily and Alice's stories all the time, leading us to form our own conclusions of what is going on and why. The air of mystery about it was so intriguing too, and as it hurtles to its dramatic conclusion and reveal, I was completely absorbed by it and couldn't put it down until I had turned the final page.
I loved the character of Alice, she was very likeable and kind, after all not many people would take in a strange man they found on the beach who has no idea who he is! We sense that there's been trouble in her own past too, but this isn't gone into hugely until quite a way through the book. She seemed lovely though, and the complete opposite to lonely Lily, who doesn't quite know what to do now her husband has vanished. I, of course, felt sorry for her, but didn't feel too connected to her story like I did with Alice, she just felt a bit aloof and unattached for me, it felt quite strange how unemotional the young woman was. Other characters do pop up but the brunt of the story is spent with these two women, and of course the mystery man who Alice finds.
This was a novel that is full of mystery and intrigue, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading something totally different. Lisa is one of those writes who can draw a reader into the world she creates with her words, and she certainly accomplishes that with this book. There's a particular scene that really drew me in with the drama, the suspense and the action - it was brilliantly written and I literally couldn't stop turning the pages to find out what on earth was going to happen next. As things came together towards the end, I was able to figure it out for myself what had happened, but there were still a few curveballs thrown in and I really enjoyed all of it. This is one of Lisa Jewell's best books of late, and I definitely recommend it!