Wednesday, May 8, 2013

(39) Where You Can Find Me by Sheri Joseph

Where You Can Find Me 

Pages: 336
Publication Date:  April 16, 2013


We, the American people, have short memories.  We often are captivated by the "Story of the week" - a girl loses an arm in a shark attack,an innocent woman is set free from a foreign prison and a boy recovered years after mysteriously disappearing.  We are enamored with their stories for a week or so and unless they write a book or are interviewed by People magazine we here very little about them and their "Life After" .   Author Sheri Joseph attempts to give us a glimpse at the "after" in her new novel, Where You Can Find Me.

Caleb Vincent was eleven years old when he was kidnapped and fourteen years old when he was returned to his family that fractured with his disappearance.  His parents separated while he was gone, but have gotten back together for his sake. But his mother's fear and even grief has everyone on edge.  Her idea to deal with it is to take Caleb, his sister, Lark and move to Costa Rica where their grandmother lives.  Even though his father disagrees with that course of action, he lets them go.   In Costa Rica, Marlene struggles to create a new "normal" for her kids.  Lark adjusts pretty quickly, but Caleb struggles with readjusting to life.  The life he lived those three years he was away was truly a nightmare, but it was his nightmare, and that nightmare WAS his normal. Caleb is torn between longing for Jolly, the man who "rescued" him and trying to readjust to his family.  Will Caleb ever settle in with his family or is he forever damaged by what happened those three years he was gone?

It took me a few chapters to feel connected to Caleb and his story, but when I did, I was swept away to Costa Rica with Caleb and his family.  The chapters are told from different viewpoints, so you get all sides of the story, but there is no indication as to whose telling the chapter until you just start reading.  It does make things a bit disjointed, but not so much that you can't keep up. I found myself most interested in Caleb's chapters.  Trying to get into his head and understand why he did the things he did really kept me engrossed in the story. I even felt the concern for Caleb growing in ME as I was reading the story, it was a unique feeling. And oh, the breathtaking scenery the author describes through out the whole book is stunning, not to mention the wildlife that is found through out the story, well the scenery made it very easy to get swept away to Costa Rica with Caleb and his family.

Bottom line, Where You Can Find Me is not one of those happy, feel-good kind of stories.  Caleb, and his family, went through hell.  You can't recover from hell in just a few short months, no matter how long the book.  Please, don't let that scare you though, Where You Can Find Me is a well written novel with characters that will draw you into their world and force you to care about those actions.  Definitely worth the read!

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Why I Read...

I remember the carefree summer days when I used to ride my bike to the public library to pick out new books. I would go almost daily to find books to read. I read to learn. I read to explore the world. I read to escape. I read because not reading is not an option.

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