The April She Reads Book Club Selection
And Then I Found You
by Patti Callahan Henry
published by St. Martin Press
Summary: Kate Vaughan is no stranger to tough choices.
She’s made them before. Now it’s time to do it again.
Kate has a secret, something tucked away in her past. And she’s getting on with her life. Her business is thriving. She has a strong relationship with her family, and a devoted boyfriend whom she wants to love with all her heart. If Kate had ever made a list, Rowan would fill the imagined boxes of a perfect mate. But she wants more than the perfect on paper relationship; she wants a real and imperfect love. That’s why, when Kate discovers the small velvet box hidden in Rowan’s drawer, she panics.
It always happens this way. Just when Kate thinks she can love, just when she believes she can conquer the fear, she’s filled with dread. And she wants more than anything to make this feeling go away. But how?
When the mistakes have been made and the running is over, it’s time to face the truth. Kate knows this. She understands that a woman can never undo what can never be undone. Yet, for the first time in her life she also knows that she won’t fully love until she confronts those from her past. It’s time to act.
Can she do it? Can she travel to the place where it all began, to the one who shares her secret? Can the lost ever become found?
And Then I Found You gives new life to the phrase “inspired by a true story.” By traveling back to a painful time in her own family’s history, the author explores the limits of courage, and the price of a selfless act. — St. Martin’s Press
For Kate, the first day of spring held more than blooming daffodils. It was still a day of firsts. Kate had a ritual, a sacred ritual. She made sure that she did something she’d never done before, something that would count as new on the first day of spring. Six years ago she’d opened her boutique. The year before that she ran a marathon with her sister. Of course there was that trip to California with Norah. Then four years ago the midnight swim in the darkest water with Rowan, the first time he’d visited her in South Carolina. It didn’t matter what she did or said or saw as long as it hadn’t been done, or said, or seen before.
I thought And Then I Found You was very enjoyable read. Katie and Jack are childhood friends and high school sweethearts. After college, they grow apart when Jack goes to law school and then into practice in Alabama and Katie becomes a councilor for troubled girls in the southwest. When Jack informs Katie he is getting married, she goes to see him one last time. A few months later, she realizes she is pregnant-and Jack is already married. Katie chooses to give the baby up for adoption, even though her family, especially her parents, urge her to keep the baby. She believes this is the best solution, even though she knows it is the hardest fro her to live with. Thirteen years later, Katie is living a good life, running a successful boutique and in a serious relationship with her boys friend Rowan. Every year on the first day of spring, their baby’s birthday, she exchanges letters with Jack. This year, she also finds an engagement ring in Rowans nigh stand. She realizes she can not move forward with Rowan until she settles her past and she travels to Birmingham to see Jack. This begins a whole new chapter, that will eventually reunite her with the daughter she gave up thirteen years earlier.
Henry explains in a letter to her readers that this book is loosely based on a true story that happened to her family. Over twenty years ago, her middle sister placed her baby for adoption. She states that this was the “most heartrending, courageous, and difficult decision she had ever made…”. Over two years ago, Henry was received a friend request on Facebook from a young girl with the same birthday as the baby that was adopted. Reading this book, one can feel the pain and conflict that goes into this amazingly difficult decision on each side of the equation. Katie struggles with giving up her daughter, always wondering if it was the right decision, if her daughter is happy. We also see how hard it is for the adoptive family to allow their daughter to reconnect with her birth parents.
While I enjoyed reading this book very much, there were a few issues I had. Jack seems very excited and happy to see Katie after thirteen years, but when she tries to see him after that, he continually pushes her away. On the other hand, her boyfriend Rowan, who says he wants to be supportive of Katie (and has a ring in his drawer), acts like he can’ stand to be near her much. The two men need to realize how awesome Katie is.
I read this book as a part of the She Reads book club.-http://www.shereads.org/2013/04/april-book-club-selection-4/
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Author Patti Callahan Henry