Almost Missed You by Jessica Strawser, 4 Stars

Today was one of those amazing summer mornings when the kids didn’t wake me up at some ungodly hour and I slept in until 8:15. I woke up feeling rested and refreshed. And panicked.

Because summer doesn’t start until NEXT WEEK!

But all is well. Even if the last school drop-off left him two minutes to get to class. I guess I’ll be setting my alarm for the rest of the week.

The important thing is that summer is coming. Sleeping in, long, lazy days at the pool, lots of fancy footwork fitting in my freelance work. More fighting than usual. But it’s nice to take a break from all the routine and packing lunches and picking up and dropping off.

Today I’m reviewing Almost Missed You by Jessica Strawser. Which is kind of funny, because the book came out over a year ago and I almost missed it! I recently reviewed her newest book, Not That I Could Tell here and someone asked me what I thought of her first book!

I really liked this one. I’ve been in a bit of slump lately with books, feeling like I’m trudging through and this one renewed my hope in my upcoming summer reading.

From the Publisher:

Violet and Finn were “meant to be,” said everyone, always. They ended up together by the hands of fate aligning things just so. Three years into their marriage, they have a wonderful little boy, and as the three of them embark on their first vacation as a family, Violet can’t help thinking that she can’t believe her luck. Life is good.

So no one is more surprised than she when Finn leaves her at the beach—just packs up the hotel room and disappears. And takes their son with him. Violet is suddenly in her own worst nightmare, and faced with the knowledge that the man she’s shared her life with, she never really knew at all.

Caitlin and Finn have been best friends since way back when, but when Finn shows up on Caitlin’s doorstep with the son he’s wanted for kidnapping, demands that she hide them from the authorities, and threatens to reveal a secret that could destroy her own family if she doesn’t, Caitlin faces an impossible choice.

Told through alternating viewpoints of Violet, Finn and Caitlin, Almost Missed You is a powerful story of a mother’s love, a husband’s betrayal, connections that maybe should have been missed, secrets that perhaps shouldn’t have been kept, and spaces between what’s meant to be and what might have been.

My Review:

The book opens to Violet, Finn and their adorable toddler son, Bear on the beach in North Carolina on a lazy, delicious family vacation. Finn and Bear head back to the room for Bear’s nap while Violet enjoys some rare time alone on the beach with a drink. Ahh, paradise, right? Until she returns to her room to find both Finn and Bear and all their stuff inexplicably gone.

I can’t even imagine! And the more we delve into Violet and Finn’s relationship the less likely such a swift departure becomes. They were smitten at first sight, then took years to reconnect. But when they did, it was like no time had passed. But it had. And things had happened in between to change everything.

This is Strawser’s first book, but her writing digs go way back and it shows. She is the editorial director of Writer’s Digest and blogs at Writer’s Digest.com. Almost Missed You switch deftly from the perspectives of different characters and back and forth through time and never once left me confused about the timeline of the actual story.

You know when you read a book and the twists and turns and revelations feel forced or manufactured? This is not that. This is one of those mysteries that slowly unfolds in the most genuine way where nothing too insane happens, but it makes the reader realize how much mystery and danger lies in just our everyday lives and our pasts.

A perfect beach read! If you missed this one last summer (just like me!), definitely pick up a copy this year! I guess the silver lining is that now it’s available in paperback.

Get your copy:

Indiebound

 

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