‘How long have you been sitting out here?’
‘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.
I Found You is a great novel by an author I am never let down by: Lisa Jewell. It centres on two women: one, Alice, a single mum who takes in a vulnerable man she finds on the beach who can’t remember who he is or how he got there; and the other, Lily, desperately searching for her new husband who didn’t come home from work one night.
It’s a novel that I find really hard to categorise. There are certainly mystery elements – who is this stranger and what happened to make him lose his memory – but there’s also a lot of brilliant character development in Alice, ‘Frank’ (the nickname Alice’s daughter gives the man in question) and Lily.
I really enjoyed the different timeframes in the novel, switching between present day narratives featuring Alice and Lily, and going back in time to the childhoods of Kirsty and Gray on their holiday. Often I find myself willing the story to get back to the present day but in this novel I really enjoyed (maybe ‘enjoyed’ is the wrong word here!) the past storyline as much as the present. I found it really gripping and could feel a sense of dread washing over me the more I read about the person trying to worm their way into Kirsty and Gray’s family holiday…
I Found You manages to combine mystery, dark themes, some uplifting moments and plenty of emotion – more than I expected to find in this book’s pages, if I’m honest – to result in a gripping, absorbing read that I honestly didn’t want to put down and read in a matter of hours!
There are lots of twists and surprises in this book. You think you’ve figured it out, not just in terms of what happened but who is who, but then you find you haven’t quite grasped it…
This is another triumph from the brilliant Lisa Jewell, who can do no wrong in my eyes!