Patti Callahan Henry has written many successful and enjoyable novels in the past but never has she written one as personal as her latest, And Then I Found You. This story is based on a true occurrence in her family and is all the more jolting because it is based on an actual event. Writing about it gives Henry a chance to compose her story in a more painful and direct way than she has done in the past.
Kate Vaughn is a young woman living in South Carolina. She has a thriving business, an attentive boyfriend, and the love of her friends and family. But something is missing. Kate has a hole in her heart and nothing she does can completely fill it. This emptiness occurred when she was younger and became pregnant. She placed the child for adoption and has never had any contact with her in all the time since. That is about to change.
Kate's 13-year-old daughter decides to reach out to her "birth" mother through the Internet and in doing so she breaks open all of Kate's hidden fears and doubts. Perhaps her boyfriend Rowan is not the right one for her. Perhaps she should attempt to see Jack Adams, the father of her child, one more time. Perhaps there is hope for a relationship with her daughter after all. These complex questions come to a head, and a path not chosen opens up.
Henry writes this story with eloquence and beauty. This is her most personal and her most powerful story to date. It is also the one in which she seems most secure with her characters. Kate Vaughn is not your most likeable of heroines. She doesn't take what is the most logical action in dealing with her pregnancy. She listens to her head and not her heart and that is what causes her regrets.
She is also a young woman who wants it all. She wants a career, marriage, children, and she wants them on her terms. The fact people are hurt by the decisions she makes is only an emotional by-product. She knows what path she wants to take and she forges on. It is only later that doubts arise and make her question the way she chose.
Readers will find themselves emotionally involved with Kate and her story from the moment she is met as a thirteen year old child. For the next twenty-two years of her life she is a fascinating but flawed human being, but then we all have flaws of one kind or another. These flaws make her more identifiable to those who read her story.
Fans of Patti Callahan Henry haven long been waiting for a story this touching and gripping. With And Then I Found You that wait is over.
And Then I Found You is published by St. Martin's Press. It contains 272 pages and sells for $24.99.