AND THEN I FOUND YOU is a story centered around Kate Vaughn, who lives in Bluffton, South Carolina, where she grew up and met her first love at the tender age of thirteen. Katie always knew that Jack Adams was the only guy for her, and even though they were 'together' all through high school, Jack's family moved to Birmingham, Alabama but their bond remained strong. Even when they went to separate colleges, their commitment to each other was in tact. But Katie's decision to take a job in Arizona helping troubled teens through introducing them to the wilderness, the stress of a long distance romance really began to take its toll. Jack was close to achieving his dream of becoming a lawyer and working in his father's firm in Birmingham, and he was ready to start his life there with Katie, but each time Katie postponed her relocation to Alabama for one more season, Jack felt forced to move forward with his life, even if it meant doing so without Katie.
Katie went to see Jack to plead with him to wait just once more for her. They spent a very intimate night together and when Katie returned to Arizona, she thought she'd gotten through to him, but soon she discovered he'd moved on and eventually married another. Katie was dealt a double-blow when she realized she was carrying Jack's baby. Both their worlds were turned upside down and the decision was ultimately made to put the baby up for adoption.
Thirteen years later, a friend's request popped up on Kate' Facebook page from a young girl named Emily. Though she'd spent every day of her life since giving birth wondering about her daughter, she wasn't at all prepared for the new reality that was happening now. So many questions, possibilities, and fears rose instantly to the surface. The first person she thought of was Jack, who had written her every year on the birth date of their daughter, they called Luna. What did this mean for Kate and her current love, Rowan, who was anxious for a commitment from her and what did it mean for Jack, who had his own family in Birmingham?
I'm going to be straight up and say I initially wasn't all that gung ho for this novel. I tend to shy away from books with a lot of family heartbreak and misery, but I am very happy to say I really enjoyed this book. It wasn't all tears and sadness like I imagined it would be. Right away, I liked Katie and I loved Jack, even though he did frustrate me a lot. His goodness always won out and I never could stay upset with him for long. I was surprised to learn that the story was inspired by an actual event in the author's own family, which obviously made it even more believable. It was also so well written that I felt I was living through this with a friend. With all the social media out there, our world is a much different place than it used to be and I'm sure there are many stories of people finding lost loved ones via Facebook. It made this book very relevant to our times and lent an incredible realness to it.
Although I had a pretty good idea how this story was going to end early on, I really did enjoy both the story and the characters. I appreciated all the complicated emotions they went through during what I can only imagine must be an extraordinary experience. For anyone who has been involved in adoption, on either side, to them I must say that I believe Patti Callahan Henry did a very respectful job with this most delicate subject matter. Though I've never read any of Ms. Henry's previous novels, I wouldn't hesitate now to pick up any of them.
I encourage you to stop by the She Reads blog for links to more reviews of this endearing novel. I would like to thank both the She Reads Book Club and the publisher for supplying me with my review copy. This book is hitting shelves this Tuesday, April 9th.
AND THEN I FOUND YOU
Author: Patti Callahan Henry
Publisher: St. Martins Press
Published: April 9, 2013