Written by Catherine Ryan Hyde
I don’t give 5 star ratings lightly. Though, so far, you might be tempted to think that I do. Part of the reason for that is that I’m reviewing my favorites when I’m still in the middle of reading a new book. I promise you, it will even out eventually.
So back to When I Found You. I was trying to decide how to rate this book, and I really didn’t want to give another 5 star rating because I felt like I’d given too many already. And then I realized that was the only reason I could come up with to not award this book 5 stars.
This was a Sunday-afternoon, can’t-think-of-a-thing-I’d-rather-do-than-read-this kind of book.
Now, I realize that tag implies a light, fluffy, beach book. And this wasn’t that. It was simply interesting. The challenging characters were believable. They weren’t off-putting. They made bad decisions for the right reasons. They made decisions that make sense for their characters. They were silly and loving and kind and mean and selfish. They were real.
This story is about a man who finds a baby who was abandoned in the woods. And the lives they both lead from that day forward.
I think it helps that this book kicked off in the 70’s. It felt historical enough to be a bit magical, but modern enough to be relatable. You could envision these people as your parents or grandparents or neighbors. It was the kind of story that could almost be a fairy tale, except that it was gritty and rough around the edges. It was difficult at times. It was sweet at times. That’s a part of what made it great.
I think that I loved it because, at its heart, it was a book about how we influence each other and how we love one another. It isn’t always pretty, and it doesn’t always work. But when it comes down to it, the happy ending is in the effort.