Friday, August 14, 2020

Book Review: Until I Find You

By Jami Deise

Even though my son is 26, I can still clearly remember his early days of babyhood and how terrified I was that something would happen to him. In my mind’s eye, I could see myself falling down the stairs while holding him, accidentally dropping him during bath or changing time, or accidentally choking him during a feeding. If I woke up without him in my arms or my sight, I was terrified: Where was he?

As hard as those early days were, at least I had a husband to help and all five senses to rely on. In Rea Frey’s latest domestic suspense thriller, Until I Find You, new mom Rebecca Gray is a widow who has lost most of her sight to a degenerative eye disease. She moved into her childhood home so her mother could help her care for Jackson, but her mother has just died as well. Now with few close friends and determined not to ask for help, Bec suddenly feels like she’s being followed. Things in her house are not where she left them. Then, after a fainting spell, she goes to pick up Jackson from his crib… and she knows this isn’t her baby. The problem is, no one else believes her. How can she find her baby when nobody thinks he’s really missing?

Frey offers a compelling plot that makes the book hard to put down. With all her losses, Bec is an easy heroine to root for, and she rarely feels sorry for herself. Still, Frey leaves just enough room in her first-person narration to allow readers to wonder if Bec really has had the mental break that her friends suspect.

With a small cast of characters, Frey provides an easy list of possible suspects in the baby switch—as well as compelling back stories that offer further clues into what might have happened to Jackson. My only quibble was that Frey alternated Bec’s point-of-view with the third-person narration of her friend Crystal, whom Bec met at a grief group (both women are widows). Crystal’s issues with her ten-year-old daughter and her daughter’s nanny pale in comparison to the high stakes in Bec’s story, and chapters from her point of view feel like unnecessary diversions.

The emotional journey of the domestic thriller lets readers experience their worst nightmares about what could happen to their families. Frey ups the ante with her blind heroine. Always authentic and never exploitative, Frey makes it clear that no one knows her child like a mother does… and that mothers will overcome every obstacle when their child’s safety is at stake.

Thanks to St. Martin's Press for the book in exchange for an honest review.

More by Rea Frey:


Jan said...

Sounds like a book I'd like to read, but I'm afraid to. My then 1 1/2 yr old son (who walked since he was 9 mos) slipped away in a sea of standing people for what was probably 20 seconds and just thinking about it right now ... I'm breathless and feeling faint as then.

Jami, you wrote such an engaging review about an obviously excellent tome that I can't read the book!

Unknown said...

Jan! What a scary experience! My son got lost at a baseball game when he was four... I'll never forget that terror either! I still read and love books like this anyway... would rather experience the worst happening for fictional characters than dwell on it happening to me!