And Then I Found You by Patti Callahan Henry releasing on April 9 is the She Reads book selection for April and all I can say is wow! This novel tugged at my heart right from the beginning and never let go. The inspiration for this novel comes from true experiences within the author’s family and because of this you find yourself being pulled even more into the emotional struggles of her characters and really feeling what they’re going through. I smiled at times and cried at others while reading And Then I Found You – it is an emotional novel of love, family, and the miracle of second chances.
Kate and Jack were childhood friends which took them straight into a relationship as they got older. It seemed they had always loved each other. Jack was busy with his studies and Kate just couldn’t see herself waiting around for him and doing absolutely nothing so she gets a job at a wilderness camp that helps young people with issues. She loves it! So much so that she promises Jack any number of times that she’ll come home and they’ll start their lives together but it never happens. Finally Jack wanting to move forward in life marries someone else but not before he has one last night with Kate which results in a pregnancy. Ultimately Kate decides that hand picking an adoptive family is what is best and Jack doesn’t offer any resistance. This decision affects the rest of Kate’s life in terms of being able to trust in love anymore as well as the overwhelming yearning to know that her daughter – she names her Luna – is safe and okay. However the adoption records are sealed until Luna is twenty-one at which time she can contact her birth mother if she wants. Never in a million years does Kate expect to get a friend request on Facebook from a young thirteen year old girl named Emily… who just happens to be her daughter Luna.
This novel brings up so many issues and emotions that come with giving up a child for adoption. In your mind you can understand that you’re doing what’s best for your child, but your heart will always tell you different. I can’t even imagine the pain of giving up a child and the multitude of emotions and indecision. It would be one of the hardest things you would ever do but I can understand the desire to give your child the best that they can have in this life because, depending on your circumstances, love isn’t always enough although it would be nice if it could be. Then there is the other side of the coin with the child that’s been adopted. Even being adopted by loving and good parents doesn’t take away that feeling of ‘why didn’t my birth mother want me’ or where did I come from, did my parents love each other – so many questions and no answers. I think it’s fantastic when an adoptive family can feel secure enough to allow their child to meet their birth mother or parents. I believe it must tear them up but their love for their child allows them to see past that. And then there is the aspect of social media today. These things didn’t exit years ago but now they seem to be opening up so many new avenues in terms of being able to find people.
And Then I Found You is a novel I won’t soon forget. Even as I type up this review my emotions are still all over the place. I felt this novel if that makes sense. It touched my heart – these people all touched my heart and I hope that, now a few years later, they are all doing well and have been able to build healthy and loving relationships with this young girl who was at the center of it all. I love that these two families were united because a child can never have too much love. I think this novel will make an excellent book club choice. The range of topics to discuss are great and I can see the discussions being quite lively and emotional and to help you along there is a Discussion Guide that you can download.
I loved And Then I Found You and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it! This is the first of Patti Callahan Henry’s books that I’ve read but it most certainly won’t be the last. I love her writing style and her beautiful way with words! You can check out more of her work on her website as well as find her on Facebook and Twitter. You can preorder And Then I Found You on Amazon, Amazon Canada, B&N, and IndieBound.