Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
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.
Told through alternating viewpoints of Violet, Finn and Caitlin, Almost Missed You is a powerful story of a mother’s love, a husband’s betrayal, connections that maybe should have been missed, secrets that perhaps shouldn’t have been kept, and spaces between what’s meant to be and what might have been.
I love the idea of fate playing a huge role in someone’s life, remember the movie Serendipity? When I read the blurb for this that’s the first thing that popped into my head, but this isn’t as light and cutesy, it’s much darker and way more emotional. I’m also a huge fan of domestic suspense books like Behind Closed Doors, The Marriage Lie and Say Nothing, so when an author can take the concept of not really knowing who you’re married to and put a unique spin on it, I’m all in!
This is told from three perspectives and also in flashbacks from Violet, Finn and Caitlin. Violet and Finn are married and the way they meet and end up together is fascinating. This is where the whole concept of kismet comes into play, but I don’t want to say more because half of the fun of reading this one was watching it unfold myself. Caitlin is Finn’s best friend from college and her and Violet also become close, especially after they’re pregnant at the same time. When Finn and their son, Bear vanish while on vacation, both women are utterly blindsided and struggle to fathom what drove Finn to such extreme measures.
This was a highly addictive, page turning read. It starts off really strong and sucks you right into Violet and Finn’s marriage and their friendship with Caitlin. It’s pretty clear right away that Finn has some huge secrets, but it was twisty in many other surprising ways as well. In the middle of the book the pace slows down quite a bit and there is a lot of soul searching amongst all of the characters. Then in the last quarter of the book things really get cranked up again and the tension mounts as it all comes to a head.
Strawser is an extremely talented writer and she wrote an engaging story that kept me engrossed for the vast majority of the book. This would be a really good pick for a book club, there is plenty to discuss about the choices the characters made and the secrets that were kept and if the reasoning behind said secrets was justified or not. My only slight complaint was that the ending was a bit too neat and tidy for me, but I always do appreciate a good epilogue and I definitely had that here. I can wholeheartedly say that I would pick up another one of the authors books anytime.
Overall rating: 4/5
Thanks to St. Martin’s Press for my review copy.