Book Review: Almost Missed You by Jessica Strawser
Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this ebook, free of charge,from St Martin's Press, via netgalley, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it, all opinions are my own.
Since it's Valentine's Day, it only makes sense to have a love story!
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.
I have to admit, I hated Finn from the beginning of the book, and my attitude never really changed. Caitlin and Violet are the heart and soul of the book. How Finn touches their lives, and honestly, screws them up, is at the heart of the book. Finn was just too much of an egotistical character for me to like. No matter what happens, he always takes the path best for him. For example, he never truly takes into account the needs of his young child, just HIS wants and emotions. Having seen how parental kidnapping can affect young children, it was hard to rationalize this part of the story away, and find an excuse for Finn. In real life, there wouldn't be one.
While the book is meant to be a different type of love story, I found myself hating the ending, even as I understood why Jessica ended it that way. It is an honest look at human nature, and the need to conceal to protect, and how that ultimately tears apart relationships. It's not a bad read, but just not for everyone.
About the Author:
By day, Jessica Strawser is the Editorial Director of Writer’s Digest magazine, North America’s leading publication for aspiring and working writers since 1920. By night, she is a fiction writer with a debut novel, and, by the minute, she is a proud wife and mom to two super sweet and super young kids in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Her diverse career in the publishing industry spans more than 15 years and includes stints in book editing, marketing and public relations, and freelance writing and editing. A Pittsburgh native and “Outstanding Senior” graduate of Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, she counts her New York Times Modern Love essay and her Writer’s Digest cover interviews with such luminaries as Alice Walker, Anne Tyler and David Sedaris among her career highlights.
She blogs at the WritersDigest.com “There Are No Rules” blog and elsewhere, enjoys connecting on Facebook and speaks at writing conferences and events that are kind enough to invite her.