Confession: I'm one of those paranoid wives who gets freaked out if she doesn't hear from her husband when she's supposed to. I've been known to call him multiple times at his different numbers, as well as e-mail him until I got a response. I get relentless when I'm nervous enough!
There, I feel much better. However, that paranoia did assist me in feeling every emotion that Claire Barnes was feeling when her husband went missing in Kate Moretti's debut novel, "Thought I Knew You."
Claire's dog runs away on the same day that her husband, Greg, doesn't show up or call at the end of his business trip. Soon she's filing a missing person's report and sending out detectives on the hunt. In the meantime, she's falling apart while trying to keep it all together for her kids' sake. As time goes by with no sign of her husband, she has to decide how long she'll wait for him to return before picking up and moving on. Then a game changer makes her assess what is most important to Claire and her family.
The first thing that struck my interest about this novel was the cover with the vivid autumn colors, as autumn is my favorite season. Not only is the feel of the season captured on the cover, but also throughout the story, whenever they reach that time of year, marking the anniversary of Greg's disappearance. In the meantime, the other seasons are also given the right amount of description to capture the feel each time around. There's a lot of emphasis on the winter holidays, as well. In general, the descriptions and details help move the story along and make everything easy to visualize.
"Thought I Knew You" is an incredibly strong and poignant debut novel. Not only is it addictive, making me wish I had all the time in the world to sit with it in one day, but it also has a realistic feel. It speaks to the fears of married women everywhere. Kate Moretti tackles the concept of gray area in a way that would make Jodi Picoult stand up and cheer. And there is a lot of gray area in this novel. I won't give spoilers, but the one that runs throughout the story is how to handle the social implications of not knowing whether your husband is alive or not. Do you move on? Do you sit around waiting forever? It's not as cut and dry as a situation that has a tight closure to it.
The emotional quality of this story was realistic and never exaggerated. When Claire is first slamming around pots and pans, just to make noise because she's upset that Greg hasn't called yet....that's totally something I could see myself doing when I get frustrated over my husband getting home just a little later than normal. The story has a mystery feel that keeps readers guessing to the very end. And the fact that things aren't placed into a neat little package, but that each surprise packs a punch, is enough to make this a stellar novel. The dialogue is also genuine and flows as nicely as the inner monologues, which are direct and to the point instead of flowery and metaphorical.
I enjoyed "Thought I Knew You" from beginning to end and have been recommending it to anyone who wants a new and interesting story.
Thanks to Red Adept Publishing for the e-book in exchange for an honest review and including us on their blog tour, where you can win prizes if you enter by 11 pm EST TONIGHT.
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