I very much enjoyed Lifesaving for Beginners by Ciara Geraghty a couple of years ago so I was quick to say yes to the request to review her latest novel, Now That I’ve Found You. I finished the book recently, and I’m so sad that I did! I adored this book and will miss the characters so much. Dare I say I enjoyed it even more than "Lifesaving," but what’s the book about?
‘Forty-two-year-old Vinnie knows lots of things.
He knows new books and school shoes are expensive. He knows his teenage daughter keeps getting into trouble and he knows his seven-year-old has wet the bed every night for over a year.
What Vinnie doesn't know is whether his wife is coming back, or if he will ever get better at single fatherhood.
Ellen knows that what happened in the accident was all her fault. She knows she's too scared to get behind the wheel of a car ever again and she knows that some scars are harder to hide than others.
What Ellen doesn't know is how to move on. And she doesn't know anything about Vinnie, the taxi driver who drives her to physiotherapy every week.
And neither of them knows they're going to change the other's life forever.’ (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon UK.)
Vinnie, he’s simply adorable I could gush about him all day. He’s someone doing his best to raise his children not knowing if his wife is ever going to return. Paula has bi-polar disorder and was struggling with family life, so after a very difficult period for everyone she simply left one day and told Vinnie not to try and find her. Despite being a family man through and through he did as she wished, but he didn’t feel able to move on particularly either, neither did her children Finn and Kerry who each clearly struggle with her departure in their own ways.
Although it’s a dual narrative, switching between Vinnie and Ellen, I felt we get to know Vinnie a lot more than Ellen. Ellen’s narrative is presented to the reader through letters she has written to her husband Neil. With each letter we learn a bit more about this woman who has largely closed herself off to the world, the troubles she faces, the glimmers of hope for the future as they slowly emerge. I thought it was a clever way of presenting this character, I was intrigued by her, kept guessing for quite a while as to what had happened to her in the past, I liked her very much.
This book has not just two lovely characters you will champion but several: Vinnie’s children, his Mum, his work colleagues and good friends Kenny and Janine – I loved them all. The book contains colloquial language (based in Ireland) and I thought this just added to its charm. Vinnie was such a distinctive character who I warmed to straight away, although I found it hard to picture him until we learn someone compares him to John Cusack, that suited him!
Ultimately this is a book about two good people who face difficult circumstances, two people who come into each other’s lives just at the right time for both of them. I felt it was a very ‘grown up’ exploration of difficult situations through these characters, and a gentle reminder of how important our family and friends are.
This book made me laugh, made me cry (more than once) and whilst it left me wanting more I felt a sense of satisfaction at how it ended, I just wasn’t ready to let go of these characters I’ve adored spending this time with.
Thanks to Hodder & Stoughton for the book in exchange for an honest review. See what Ciara's favorite things are.
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