‘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 Found You brings tells three very different stories – there’s Alice, who I thought was a bit mad, all things considered – three kids by three men, makes map-related items as her job, but she’s actually really lovely, and the way she goes out of her way to help Frank made me smile. Because, in this day and age, who would see a man, sitting on a beach, in the freezing rain, and offer him solace and somewhere warm to stay? That just wouldn’t happen in real life, I’m telling you. But as a story it so, so works, because it was fascinating! To see these strangers brought together, to see Frank, who isn’t really called Frank at all, because he’s lost his memories, trying to recall his life, and Alice helping him along every step of the way, was just so heart-warming.
There wasn’t just the Alice & Frank story, though. There was Lily, who’s frantic with worry when her husband, Carl doesn’t come home from work one day. They’re newly married, their life is perfect, so why has Carl disappeared? While you might read this and think duh, Frank is Carl, you’d be surprised, and the way the story went was just so absorbing. I never saw any of the twists and turns coming. I genuinely had no clue for ages who Frank really was, and how it linked to Lily, and how it linked to a summer in 1993, featuring bother and sister Gray and Kirsty. Lisa Jewell’s storytelling is just immense. The way she weaves three very different stories, but how you care about all of the characters just made me so happy, and that’s part of the reason I just couldn’t put this book down. I got so invested in Alice’s, Frank’s, Lily’s lives. I needed to know who Frank was, where Carl had gone, what had made Alice the way she was.
I loved every single page of I Found You. I laughed, I wanted to cry, my heart was fit to bursting sometimes. I was shocked, amazed, in awe. It’s just one of those books you know you’ll love, and as the pages flew by, I just couldn’t let go. Lisa Jewell amazes me every time I read one of her books, just when I think she’s written her best book ever, she goes and tops it. Again, and again, and again. Her past three books (including this one) have been crowned her best ever by me, but each one has got better still. I thank my lucky stars every day that Lisa took part in that bet that ended up with her book deal, because she’s so fabulously talented, and I’m just sad, yet again, that I have to wait a year for her next fantastic read, although she’ll have to go some way to top I Found You. It is officially my new favourite Lisa Jewell read.