“Alice Lake lives in a house by the sea.” Thus begins Alice’s adventure in “I found You” by Lisa Jewell. Alice has three kids and three dogs and lives in a three-hundred year-old house. Things are physically and grammatically synergetic in the tiny room in the tiny house. She makes silly money for a single mother. She sells, not seashells, but maps. Readers immediately get a feel for the people and the place through Jewell’s words. The change happens when she looks through her window to the beach and sees him – the man. He does not move, but sits and stares. “He looks lost.”
The plot progresses from three different points of view. Jewell adds to the intrigue with grammar and construction. Two stories, the first with Alice, her family, and the man with no name, called Frank by Alice, and a second with Lily and her missing husband Carl, proceed in the present tense, which pulls readers into the action, uncertainty, and suspicion. The third, written in the past tense, takes readers to the same Ridinghouse Bay in 1993 with a family renting a vacation house. The past tense emotes ominous feels of past disturbing events.
The three storylines appear in alternating chapters. Those in the present tense with Alice and Lily pull readers to search for answers, identity, and resolution for Frank and for Carl. The chapters in the past tense hint an impending catastrophe and instill questions about the future of the participants. The storylines skillfully twist, turn, intertwine, disengage, and reconnect before things are over.
“I found You” by Lisa Jewell is a book that will keep readers engaged and guessing. This is a thriller with little blood and gore but lots of uncertainty and suspense. Are people who they seem to be, or are they not? The questions are numerous, the possibilities multiple, the answers startling, and I will not give anything away. Readers will be glued to the pages right until the final startling finish.