May 4, 2013

Where You Can Find Me by Sherri Joseph

Where You Can Find Me by Sherri Joseph
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Source: Netgalley
ISBN: 9781250029188
Release Date: April 2013

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A searing exploration of a family’s struggle to heal in the wake of unthinkable tragedy.

A week after his eleventh birthday, Caleb Vincent vanishes with hardly a trace. After a three-year search, he is found living a seemingly normal life under a new name with a man he calls his father.

While outwardly stunned with joy at his safe recovery, Caleb's parents and sister are privately scrambling to gather together the pieces of a shattered family. To escape the relentless media attention surrounding her son’s return, Caleb’s mother, Marlene, decides to flee the country and seek refuge in Costa Rica with Caleb and his younger sister, against her estranged husband's wishes. There Marlene forms a makeshift household with her husband’s expat mother and his charming, aimless older brother, all residing in a broken-down hotel perched at the blustery apex of the continental divide. In the clouds of their new home, the mystery of Caleb’s time gone unfolds while new dangers threaten to pull him back toward his former life.

Where You Can Find Me, a darkly incandescent novel that progresses with page-turning suspense, is sure to establish award-winning author Sheri Joseph as a household name.

Where you can find me involves a disturbing plot. A young boy is kidnapped and abused for years, by his abductor. This novel involves the after of that and how hard it is for a family to reunited and adjust after going through such an ordeal. Usually I shy away from books that involve this type of child abuse, but the plot seemed interesting to me.

I didn't really feel like I was invested in the story. I don't know if it was the style of writing, which I made it seem like I was hearing this story at a distance, or what the problem was. Overall, I was bored throughout the entire novel. I wasn't satisfied with the ending of the novel. It just seemed to drop off and not really complete the story.

The only character I enjoyed was the youngest child, Lark. She was smart and caring. Lark didn't have an opportunity for a normal childhood once Caleb disappeared. Her parents were obviously involved into putting every effort to find Caleb, and seemed to isolate her from society to protect her. When Caleb does return all she wants is to help her brother adjust to returning to his life and family. When he was silent, but the social situation required him to do something she was his cue to speak up or react. Without her he would have been lost.

I found the mother, Marlene, to be selfish and immature. I don't know if moving her family to a new country right after Caleb was returned was the best idea. Yes, it may have protected him from the media frenzy, but I would think he should have been in some intensive therapy to deal with what he went through while he was kidnapped and abused. I don't think therapy via phone with his therapist was helping him. Marlene seemed like she was missing her youth and wanted to relive it or at least be buddies with her kids instead of a grown-up. She was struggling with returning to a normal life after Caleb was returned. The past three years she had a goal. Find Caleb. Now that he is back she struggles with finding purpose with her life and that could have been why she was just trying to be friends with Caleb instead of his mother.

The book doesn't go into detail with what happened to Caleb while he was gone. You only see pieces of his time with Jolly. After Caleb is returned he is still operating on a survivor's instinct and just tells everyone what they want to hear and not what he is really feeling, which was frustrating as the novel went on. I just really wanted him to get the help he needed and be able to communicate his feelings to his family.

I do wish that you got a better sense of what Costa Rica was like, which I didn't with this book.

My Rating: