Date: March 28th 2017
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
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.
Almost Missed You by Jessica Strawser is a debut novel that packs a punch mainly because of the secrets the characters keep from each other.
The story is told from three viewpoints - Violet, Finn and Caitlin. There is also a dual time line. At first I always resent that hop back or forwards, however in this case the transition back in time comes just at the right moment and some of the back story is revealed at the right point.
Secrets abound in this story, all of them keep back secrets or have shared the truth with the wrong person. There is a lack of being up front with the person who most deserves and needs it. So while a person might feel they are with the love of their life, just how much do they really know that person. How good is their marriage really?
Finn is a tormented character, full of guilt and regret. While he should be someone I really disliked I felt a sympathy for him, although not for his actions. He was definitely in need of deep therapy. Violet was an unsuspecting partner in her marriage, with a blindspot that prevented her from realising some home truths. Her grandmother though was wiser.
Caitlyn and George's marriage was interesting and I felt based on love, yet with each harboring secrets that were regrettable and sad. Oh for the truth to have been revealed by each at an earlier date. George was a sort of distant figure in the story, but Caitlyn was very much part of it. I felt sympathy too for her - her panic over what might be revealed, her desire to help Violet. In a way I liked her more than Violet.
Once all secrets have been revealed each one makes their necessary choice to move on in life. Marked with suffering, and yet hopefully wiser and ready to embrace the life they now have.