Author: Jessica Strawser
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: March 28, 2017
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewer: Jessica Higgins
A wonderful debut novel that will leave the reader guessing at every turn and wondering if we ever really know the people we have in our lives.
Violet and Finn’s relationship has been one people talk about as the couple that was meant to be. They came to be together by not one, but several coincidences. A chance meeting on a beach, another with a note on a website to find each other again, and friends that connect them as well. Three years into their marriage Violet thinks things are perfect. They have a little boy named Bear, whom they both love and are all going on a family vacation back to the beach. One afternoon as she is relaxing on the beach, Finn offers to take Bear back to the hotel for his nap so she can relax. As the afternoon wears on, she packs her things and heads back to the room to find it empty, no Finn, no Bear. All of the boy’s things are gone, it’s like they were never there to begin with. Violet finds herself living her worst nightmare and starts to wonder if she ever really knew the man she married.
Caitlin and Finn have been best friends for years. When he takes off with Bear it is Caitlin he runs to for help, demanding she help hide them or he will reveal a secret that could destroy her family. Caitlin is faced with a difficult decision, help her longest, closest friend to protect her secret, or do what she knows deep down is the right thing to do.
This story is told from alternating viewpoints of Violet, Finn and Caitlin and back and forth from present to past. It is rare that an author can pull something like that off, but Jessica Strawser did an outstanding job with Almost Missed You. For a debut novel, this was outstanding. Rarely have I read a book that made this kind of emotional connection, was a thrilling page turner, and made me think so hard about the possibility of this actually happening in my own life or the lives of people I know. It was incredibly easy to see the depth of love all of these characters had for their children and also the hard choices they were facing with each step they took. Violet lived every mother’s worst fear, losing a child, and more astounding to someone they thought they could trust. Finn was the epitome of someone in need of help dealing with pent up issues keeping him from moving forward with his life. And Caitlin is stuck in the middle. She knows about Finn’s past and doesn’t want to betray him in any way but can’t stand to see Violet hurting. I think the reason this story worked so well was the fact it was told from so many different viewpoints. We got to see more of what was happening compared to if it was just from one character’s viewpoint.
I love finding new authors that I will want to stick with for years to come and I am happy to say I think I found one in Strawser. I recommend this book to all those that enjoy a good mystery that is tight with emotional connections that will keep you turning the pages well past bedtime.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.