Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Finding Me by Kathryn Cushman

After her father and stepmother's accidental death, Kelli Huddleston sorts through their belongings and learns a shocking secret. Years before, her father faked his death during a boat wreck at sea--and faked Kelli's as well. He'd run from a wife, a son, and a daughter back in Tennessee, meaning Kelli has a family she's never known.
She's already cashed the payout on her dad's life insurance check and looks at it as her ticket to a new life. The lure and puzzle of digging into this hidden past is too much to resist, and she soon finds herself in Tennessee. When the trip threatens to open doors to the past better left shut, and her plans for the future are threatened, Kelli must make an agonizing choice that will change her life forever.

So what do you do when you’re not feeling very well and you can’t sleep?  Me?  I pick up a copy of whatever is lying around and open it up.  Boy, this is one time that I can say that I’m glad I wasn’t able to sleep!

The tragedy of having a parent and siblings dying in a house fire when you’re just a baby and then your only surviving parent and your step-mother perish in an auto accident later in life would put anybody’s life in a tailspin  This is what has happened to Kelli Huddleston.  As she attempts to recover from all of the despair in her life, she begins the process of cleaning out her parents’ house.  With all rooms emptied except for her dad’s office, she finally tackles the once forbidden area.  Gaining entrance to the safe, she finds old photographs of a family.  Knowing that the fire that had killed her mother and siblings had destroyed everything including photographs, she’s not sure who these photos must be of.  There are also newspaper clippings of a father and his daughter disappearing in the ocean and their bodies never being found.  What connection would these photos and clippings have to her father?  With just a little information, Kelli pieces together that all of what it seems her father has told her has been a lie.  In order to find the truth, Kelli heads out to find these people and find out why her father would have abandoned them all by faking his and his daughter’s death.  What secrets will she find out when she connects with the people in the photo?  Will they believe her story of who she is?  Will she be able to add anything to their lives now?  Don’t worry about uncovering the truth now, just go BUY THIS BOOK!

This isn’t the first book that I’ve read from Katie Cushman, but I must say that it’s probably the one that I enjoyed the most.  The pace of the story was steady, there wasn’t much lag, but there always wasn’t much speed either.  I stayed in focus of what the character was trying to accomplish, nothing was too unbelievable.  I felt that a couple of the characters (Shane and Kenmore) could have been fleshed out a little more, as their acceptance of Kelli seemed a little rushed.  I loved the additional back story of Kelli and her view on salvation, what a great discussion this can open up to so many different people.  I do feel like the ending was a bit rushed, but I understand why it had to be presented in the way that it was.

Is this a "Man’s Book"?   I would say that this is a great book for a man to read, even without the obligatory smashups and explosions.  This book, though, is one that men need to read so that they can see consequences of actions when they think that the grass is greener in the other pasture.  I will point out, though, that the tagline to the author is “Women’s Fiction Author”, so just make sure that you cover that up before you sit down to read this great book.


Kathryn Cushman is a graduate of Samford University with a degree in pharmacy. She is the author of five previous novels including Leaving Yesterday and A Promise to Remember, which were both finalists for the Carol Award in Women's Fiction. Kathryn and her family make their home in Santa Barbara, California.

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