Review: And Then I Found You by Patti Callahan Henry

Katie Vaughn runs a successful boutique in South Carolina. When she finds an engagement ring in her boyfriend’s drawer, she goes into panic mode, realizing she must confront her past before she can move forward. You see, Katie has a secret that has weighed on hear heart for over a decade—a secret which can open up a world of joy or condemn her to more heartbreak.

Flashback: On the first day of spring, thirteen-year-old Katie falls in love with Jack. From their first kiss under a lazy Southern moon they believe they’re meant to be. College parts the couple, then law school for Jack. When Katie finds meaning as a counselor for troubled teens in the wilds of Arizona, Jack feels abandoned. He doesn’t understand her need to be so far away and pleads with her to return. She keeps telling him just a few months more…a few too many times. On their last visit together, Jack announces he’s moving on without her. Emotions run hot, and the couple has one last night together…a night with consequences that will echo for the rest of their lives.

Back in Arizona, Katie discovers she’s pregnant, and that Jack has married someone else. She bravely decides to give their daughter, whom they nickname Luna, up for adoption. And they go about their lives, trying to forget, but yearning to fill the empty aching places inside.

Now, thirteen years later, Katie (now calling herself Kate) impulsively decides to track down her first love in an attempt to figure out how it all fell apart, hoping she can mend her heart. She sets of a chain of events that will change them forever.

*********
I loved this book. I’d been meaning to pick up some of Patti Callahan Henry’s other novels, so I was overjoyed when She Reads announced And Then I Found You  was the April book pick. Now I must go back and read her previous books while I deal with the guilt of having missed yet another fabulous Southern Women’s Fiction writer.
This is a sometimes heartbreaking novel of love and loss, but it’s not one to have you crying or feeling sorry for the characters throughout. Kate is pretty tough, closed off and protective even, and feels she did the right thing when she placed her daughter up for adoption. Even though she was twenty-one at the time. Even though she was close to her supportive family—a family who offered to raise the baby for her, who begged her not to give away their first grandchild. She hand picked the family she wanted her daughter to have, with two parents who loved each other and wanted a child more than anything. Her Jack was married, and his commitment lay with his new family.
I wanted to like Jack more than I did.  It vexed me how he never told his wife about Luna (even after they divorced), how he dumped everything on Katie. They had such a rich history. He was a lawyer by then, not just some poor loser boyfriend. But he was married to someone else. He and Katie exchanged letters once a year on Luna’s birthday, and that was it. Then when Katie did show up on his doorstep, he still kept that wall up.
The tension between the two pulled me as if I was on a stretcher. Add in the tightness between Kate and her current beau, Rowan, and I was just frustrated with all men. At times I didn’t know who I wanted her to end up with, as I fluctuated between liking and wanting to kick both of the men in her life.
Then there is the whole adoption issue. I don’t want to include spoilers, so I’ll just say this: the emotions of everyone involved were beautifully written. The angst, the unknowing, the excitement, the desperation, the pure love…it was all there, feeling so real I just wanted to reach out and hug some of the characters. It was not at all surprising to learn that this novel was based on a true story. I only hope the real version worked out so well.
 
And Then I Found You isn’t a tearjerker, but it is a sweet story of love, loss, the need to feel wanted, and ultimately asks if we can open our souls to recapture what was once lost.

Read it. {Read an excerpt of And Then I Found You HERE}

Did I mention that Patti Callahan Henry will be featured at one of the author panels at the UCF Book Festival?  (I’ll be getting my copy signed for sure.) If you are anywhere near Orlando on April 13th, you won’t want to miss this event where book lovers and writers unite. If you’re going, drop me a line—I’d love to say ‘hi’!

Aaannnddd…as mentioned before, And Then I Found You is the She Reads April Book Club selection.  Head over there and comment for a chance to win one of ten copies of And Then I Found You! 

And Then I Found You
Patti Callahan Henry
April 9th, 2013, St. Martin’s Press
272 pages

3 thoughts on “Review: And Then I Found You by Patti Callahan Henry

  1. Rhiannon

    I agree with you on the "which one will she end up with" aspect of Rowan vs Jack. I had a bit more sympathy for Jack but Rowan was just an unsupportive ass. I think it will be interesting to hear some insight on how true to life the two were in our She Reads author chat with PCH.
    Your blog looks great!
    My recent post And Then I Found You

    Reply
  2. Pingback: Review: THE STORIES WE TELL by Patti Callahan Henry | KerryAnnMorgan.com

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