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Readers' Comments for And Then I Found You


In March, a select group of readers who participated in one of our special Mother's Day contests won copies of AND THEN I FOUND YOU by Patti Callahan Henry. It's the story of Katie Vaughan, who has a secret, something tucked away deep in her past. She has a strong relationship with her family, and a devoted boyfriend, Rowan, whom she wants to love with all her heart. But when she discovers a small velvet box hidden in Rowan's drawer, she panics. For the first time in her life, Katie knows that she won't fully love Rowan until she confronts the demons from her past, and it's time for her to act. Take a look at some of the readers' comments to give you more insight into this heartwrenching and -warming story --- and be sure to watch out for spoilers!

I loved this book! It was about a girl's past love and the child she gave up. It was a page turner, and I will pass it on. I read it in one day.

Lynn --- This comment contains SPOILERS!
I really enjoyed this story and the way that it unfolded. I loved that I was unsure until the very end that Jack and Katie would finally end up together! I would recommend this book to just about anyone. I would describe it as a non-traditional love story that encompasses the love between man and woman, between parent and child and the many ways and choices that they make to show that love.

I found it to be a very inspiring love story from start to finish. I loved the characters and the closeness of the families. The love portrayed by Kate as she gave her baby up for adoption was very moving. My sister has two adopted children --- now ages 24 and 29 --- who have never made any attempt to seek out their biological parents. I'm not sure how my sister would handle that "search," even at their ages now --- both were adopted at birth. She was always concerned about the fact they might want to know who their biological parents were and it scared her. I plan to pass the book on to her.  

AND THEN I FOUND YOU was a great read --- I give it four stars. I really enjoyed the read and I would recommend this book to all women. Patti did such a great job with the characters and made me care so much about them. I will remember them and their story for a long time. There were so many little touching things --- like the feathers --- that are so much like my own feelings. Also a terrified 13-year-old girl on a bus trip reminded me of a bus trip I had taken at 13 coming back from staying with my sister. When I found out the book was based on a true story, I was just in awe. No wonder she could write all the family’s feelings so well. I would like to read some more books by this author.

I didn't realize that I could read a book so quickly, and this is one I just couldn't put down. There were so many twists and turns, heartbreaks, joy and surprises in every chapter! Patti Callahan Henry certainly created her characters to touch my heart --- there were many times in the book when her story made me shed tears. It was extremely well written. In fact, I think it has enough "meat" in it to be made into a movie someday.I would recommend this book to women of all ages, especially those who have experienced adoptions in their families.

WONDERFUL READ!! This is the first of Patti Callahan Henry's books I have read. I cannot wait to read more! The story was based on events from the author's family. I loved the storyline about adoption and how it can affect everyone involved, including the child, and how it is NOT a simple choice. The characters and the events are very believable. It is very fast-paced and emotional and quickly caught my interest, wondering what it was all about, and I became so engrossed I couldn't put it down. Jodi Picoult fans would love this book and I would recommend this to anyone to read.

I loved the humanity of this book. Before I started reading I knew that the author had experienced a similar situation in her own family, but I never expected the emotional depth which she was able to convey. Not just for Kate and Jack, but for many of her characters. This is the first book by Patti Callahan Henry that I've read, but I will definitely read more. I facilitate a readers group at a Senior Center. They're a diverse group of women. I will definitely recommend this book to them. I think this book speaks to women of many ages.

I rate AND THEN I FOUND YOU by Patti Callahan Henry four out of five stars. I found this book to be a great read. It takes you into the lives of Katie and Jack and tells their love story, the devastating adoption of their daughter, Luna, and how they started over after their lives were changed forever. It is a great read for anyone who is a mother or anyone who has ever been adopted. I felt an extra closeness to this story as my oldest brother is adopted and recently found his birth mom and experienced something similar to this story. It made me have a personal connection to this story, and I could imagine the same for many others. This book has many elements of emotions including sadness, frustration, confusion, anger and, most importantly, love.

I like that the plot is actually from the author's personal family experience because her own sister gave up her baby for adoption and then the child found her mother through Facebook. I just couldn't figure out why Kate gave up her baby. It wasn't like she was very young, destitute. She had parents and family who were very supportive. The father of the child had moved on from their relationship, but no one can blame him --- Kate just wouldn't commit. I am not a huge fan of love/romance type of stories, especially the idea of the “first love.” I don't want to give away the story, but I will say that once I started I had to finish it right away because I wanted to know what happened.

I've read Patti Callahan Henry before in the past. I really enjoyed this book. I enjoy Patti's voice. When I started reading, I already felt like I was reading this comfortable voice. The story had several twists, and I like realistic characters that have flaws. Everyone had flaws, no one was perfect, and that makes a story believable. I enjoyed the back and forth between Kate and Jack, but also felt bad for the people like Rowan who got caught in the middle.

I read the book in two days, as once I got started, I didn't want to put it down. I found the story very touching, on a subject to which I never really gave much thought before, since there are no adoptions in my family. Knowing the story was based on a true situation made it all the more poignant. There are no villains in this story, but rather a group of people striving to define themselves, family and love. A heartwarming story!

I read this book in a four-hour sitting. I thought the book was a great read and extremely realistic in the way it dealt with the issues for each character. It was not easy to give the baby up for adoption and as I read the story it reminded me of a neighbor girl in 1988 who found herself doing the same thing --- it was so very difficult. I was glad she didn't give into her parents and keep the baby, as I think they would not have been as supportive as they claimed they would be. I give lots of credit to the adoptive parents and agree with their final decision to limit visits for the time being. This might be a good read for anyone looking for their parents because I think it gives a good idea of the issues that can arise and the reality that things might not go as well as this story did.

Just finished reading AND THEN I FOUND YOU by Patti Callahan Henry --- must admit this was the first book I have read by this author, and I can say it won't be my last. It’s a fast and easy read. The story of Katie Vaughn will interest most women and especially mothers.  The story is about choices and how we live with them. It is crafted from a real life event that took place in the life of the author’s sister. This fact makes the book even more compelling. The story revolves around finding what is lost, not only in our real world, but in our subconscious. There is a secret in Katie’s life and it has been weighing on her and her family for years. Find out how the secret becomes a blessing!

Mary H. --- This comment contains SPOILERS!
When I first started this book I didn't think I was going to like it. The ladies in the shop were "dancing" around something but you were in the dark as to what that something was. Once the story started explaining why this was such a special day --- it became more interesting. It finally got to the point that I hated to put the book down to go to bed at night. The story is based on a true experience and is kind of a comedy of errors. Kate's wish to do something meaningful with her life while Jack is finishing college leads to the two of them breaking apart. One last fling brings a complication --- Kate becomes pregnant.

The baby is given up for adoption to a loving family. Jack marries and divorces someone else and Kate is still looking for love. But the baby’s birthday always brings Kate and Jack together --- even though it is through the mail.

When the baby (Emily --- who is almost a teenager) finds Kate and starts corresponding with her, Jack and Kate are still holding each other off while deep-down wanting to get back together. Thank heavens they do finally realize that they should be together and all ends well. I would recommend this book to my friends. I will give it to my daughter and grand-daughter to read next. The story grabs your attention and holds on to it. It deals with real life issues --- how families react to situations beyond their control, love adoption and reuniting with birth parents. It was time well-spent to read this book.

The book had a slow beginning, but picked up. This is a fictional account of the author's sister’s selfless act. Not only that, but it deals with firsts --- first kiss, first love, first marathon and what the first day of spring means to some. I could relate to the family dynamic between the sisters. Not only that, but the setting was in South Carolina and my hometown is Birmingham, AL. South Carolina has become my second home in the last six years. AND THEN I FOUND YOU deals with coming to grips with the past in order to move forward into the present. The author has a grasp of southern culture and represents true southern storytelling. I have read other titles by Patti and can't wait for others. 

Stephanie K.
I found it to be a great example of contemporary women's fiction (i.e.) very emotional, pulls at your heartstrings. A very comforting and satisfying read.

It's a very nice story and a little heart wrenching because she can't see her daughter all the time. I would recommend this book to my friend, because she enjoys books like this.

Shawna --- This comment contains SPOILERS!
AND THEN I FOUND YOU hooked me from the opening acknowledgements. I could not wait to find out what would happen next. Patti Callahan Henry keeps the pacing quick and the suspense taut --- nothing ever felt like a given or a gimmick. I cared about the characters, who were always believable, and became engrossed in their stories --- their hopes and fears were palpable. The character of Rowan could have been further developed, as well as Emily's adoptive mother. These two characters had complex reactions to events that merited further investigation into their sources of angst and unease. My one quibble with the story arc is its rather unbelievable insistence on the power of first love, especially a relationship formed in childhood. People change and grow so much; it is rather a stretch to imagine people in their late 30s still being so obsessed with and in love with their childhood sweethearts. The fairy tale ending felt good but was too good to be true --- more like a pat romance ending than a quality fiction ending.

I have already recommended AND THEN I FOUND YOU to a public library staffer who runs a book club for their consideration. I described it as a fast-paced story based on true events in the author's life about adoption and its aftermath. She requested the title immediately and will consider it for her club.

I will also recommend the book to my friend who is a co-founder of an adoption support group, which serves birth parents, adoptive parents and adoptees. She is still trying to make sense of placing her daughter for adoption and figure out how to have a relationship with her and her four grandchildren. I will tell her this is a fairy tale with a happy ending, but that the characters really grow through their painful experiences, finding hope, learning to trust and working on forgiveness.

This book took time for me to get into it. I also thought the storyline was somewhat similar to THE NOTEBOOK by Nicholas Sparks. I liked Jack a lot more than Kate's character. I don't think Kate would be someone I could get along with in real life, mainly because she thought about herself too much. The second part was better than the first. I loved the character of Emily/Luna. While the book was just an all right read for me, it did hold my attention toward the second part/ending of the book. The ending was great. I would recommend this book to anyone. I give it a three of five.

Andrea--- This comment contains SPOILERS!
I have read AND THEN I FOUND YOU and am passing it on to a family friend who I think will love it. I found it to be a bit of a lightweight story about what-ifs and why-did-I’s. Most specifically, what if I stayed with my first love and why did I give away my baby girl?
I found the story a little simplistic and the characters (especially the adults) somewhat one-dimensional. I thought the ending especially too pat, too perfectly "happily ever after." I did think she hit it out of the park with the angst of giving away her girl and the wondering, always wondering was very well developed also. 

I did really enjoy the sections of the book with Emily, Chaz and Sailor, I thought they were worthy of their own coming-of-age book. All in all, I thought the story grew wings when the kids were around (Em and the mangers was an especially nice bit) but felt a bit grounded when Kate, Jack and especially Rowan were around.

Julie M.
I gave this book three out of five stars. I thought it was an interesting story, but something about the language of it was off-putting to me, almost like the author was trying too hard. It was a quick read, though, and mostly enjoyable. I would recommend this book to fans of women's fiction. I would describe it as a sweet tale about love, adoption, families and what it means to really be a part of a family. The writing style reminded me somewhat of Sarah Addison Allen. I do plan to share this book with a friend of mine.

I read AND THEN I FOUND YOU in two evenings. It was a totally believable scenario, but certainly gives one pause about privacy and Facebook’s role in our lives today. Age 13 is too young to be seeking birth parents, unless medically necessary with the agreement and assistance of the adoptive parents. I found it hard to believe that Katie's name was so easy to read on the birth certificate. The names are not removed with whiteout, enabling you to read the name. The adoption was a closed one. Katie could never “close" giving up her child for adoption. As a result, she could not be honest and open in any relationships. She was a hard person to sympathize with; she made a decision and could not live with it. It was strange that she never even considered therapy. Do Katie and Jack live happily ever after?  I will pass the book along to a friend. She happens to be adopted; interested to see what she thinks.

After reading the review and the interview with the author, I jumped at the opportunity to read Patti Callahan Henry’s AND THEN I FOUND YOU. 

As I began reading the book, I was struck by the coincidences in my own life: growing up in the South, finding “long lost” family on Facebook. The touching and powerfully personal storyline held my interest. And the latter chapters dealing with the family dynamics found me nodding my head and noting in the margins, “Nice.”

However, and I hate writing this, my overall impression of this book was that it needed better editing or proofreading and some reality checks about 13-year-old girls. Both 13-year-old Kate and 13-year-old Emily/Luna, in two separate instances, act more like 8-year-olds than possible freshmen in high school. Do 13-year-old girls hang upside down on monkey bars and muddy their hair in puddles below them just because they can? Do 13-year-old girls weave fairy rings and make wishes?  I understand these were devices to move the plot forward, but, to me, they felt contrived.

Contrived, too, were the times characters waxed philosophical. Even Henry seems to doubt her characters’ “worldview” as in the encounter between Jack and Emily when she says, “Maybe time moves slow when you feel awful and time moves fast when you feel good.” Jack laughs, responding, “Or something.” [p 118]

It has been about a week and a half since I finished reading AND THEN I FOUND YOU and I must admit that there are parts of the book that I want to discuss with friends and there are sweet memories about characters that linger. I cannot say that I would recommend the book to my book club buddies, but I do feel that, if tightened up a bit more, it would make for meaningful reading for a teen crowd --- especially if any one of them has gone through the adoption experience. Reading it did strike chords in my heart and the storyline and characters will remain there. The book, however, will not remain on my bookshelf.