My enormous thanks to Lovereading for an advanced reader copy of I Found You by Lisa Jewell in return for an honest review. I Found You will be published by Century, an imprint of Penguin Random House, in e-book and hardback on 14th July 2016 and is available to order from Lovereading, Amazon, Waterstones, W H Smith and all good bookshops.
I Found You
‘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.
Two women, twenty years of secrets and a man who can’t remember lie at the heart of Lisa Jewell’s brilliant new novel.
My Review of I Found You
With a man sitting unmoving on the beach for hours, Alice Lake can’t leave well alone. When she invites him into her home, events will turn out to be more than she bargained for.
Let me say at the outset that you do need to suspend your disbelief at one or two of the plot events and character actions in I Found You, but the writing is so good you don’t notice because the pace is stunning and enthralling.
I Found You is exciting, entertaining and a crackingly good read. I was gripped from the very first line of this thriller – if it’s right to call I Found You a thriller, because it has elements of crime, romance and contemporary fiction too so that there is something for everyone between its pages without it losing its identity as a brilliant story. In effect there are three narratives happening at the same time that weave together like DNA strands to form a fabulous whole. All the elements that make for a truly satisfying read are there. Lisa Jewell knows exactly how to drip feed information that compels the reader to want to read more and more and I found myself unable to put the book down. I loved the way the story built continuously, revealing itself to the reader at the same time as to the characters. It has layers like the onion Lily’s mother advises her to peel away!
I found all the characters life-like and convincing so that I cared what happened to them, especially Alice and ‘Frank’. Even the more minor characters like the children (and dogs) felt completely natural and whilst Kitty may act in ways we find hard to accept, she is entirely understandable. Without wishing to spoil the plot, I Found You made me wonder how I might react in similar circumstances.
What also appealed to me was the quality of the prose. I appreciated the past tense use for the events that occurred in the past and the present tense for the current events as it made the writing feel fresh and immediate. Lisa Jewell’s style flows so smoothly and I found her descriptions added just the right level of detail to bring the scenes and settings alive in my imagination. Similarly, I found the dialogue natural so that it felt as if I were eavesdropping conversations rather than reading a book.
There’s depth of emotions from fear to hatred, to love and friendship as well as a touch of humour to balance the darker elements of the writing. There are some important issues addressed by Lisa Jewell too. How would we behave in similar circumstances? What kind of effect can the past make on our present? How far should we judge our gut feelings or should we stick with conventionally acceptable approaches to others? Whilst I was thoroughly entertained and completely involved in the story, I have been left with some thoughtful questions in my mind.
For those who like a feeling of humanity with their thrillers, I think Lisa Jewell’s I Found You is a perfect read. This is the first time I’ve read one of her books but it certainly won’t be the last.