Tuesday, 14 January 2014

When I Found You


Author: Catherine Ryan Hyde
Genre: Modern Fiction
Type: Kindle e-book
Print Length in Pages: 410
Publisher: Amazon Publishing
First Published: April 2013
First Line: "Nathan McCann stood in his dark kitchen, a good two hours before dawn."

Book Description from GoodReadsWhen Nathan McCann discovers a newborn baby boy half buried in the woods, he assumes he's found a tiny dead body. But then the baby moves and in one remarkable moment, Nathan's life is changed forever.

The baby is sent to grow up with his grandmother, but Nathan can't forget him and is compelled to pay her a visit. He asks for one simple promise - that one day she will introduce the boy to Nathan and tell him, 'This is the man who found you in the woods.'

Years pass and Nathan assumes that the old lady has not kept her promise, until one day an angry, troubled boy arrives on his doorstep with a suitcase

My Review: This is an e-book that I bought for my Kindle awhile ago and it has been sitting there waiting for me to 'crack click open' ever since.  I had bought it due to the high ratings from other readers and, let's face it, the lower price.  Unfortunately, you sometimes get what you pay for and sometimes you get a different feel for a book than the majority. 

This book had a great premise but that's about it.  The story plodded along and never, not once, gripped me.  The writing was emotionless and I guess I just expected a whole lot more from this book.

I think that the lack of 'oomph' I experienced with this book had a lot to do with the lack of character development.  Nat and Nathan seemed to be clich├ęs -- the 'bad boy who just wants to be loved' and 'the heart of gold older man' -- and they never changed enough throughout the book.  Restricting the characters' development, I feel, negatively influences the plot, pace and interest in the book.

At first I really liked Nathan.  Here's this man in his late fifties who wants to do the right thing and help this innocent baby (and add some love to his own life too).  He's extremely patient, insightful, wise and has wonderful parenting skills even though it seems he's never really spent time with any kids.  He's the perfect father figure.  Don't get me wrong, I liked witnessing Nathan's commitment to Nat no matter how verbally abusive, aggressive or just plain unthankful Nat behaved.  It was admirable.  Even Mother Teresa and Ghandi would have been impressed with this man's attitude and perseverance.  That said, Nathan's lack of frustration, lack of emotion of any kind made him seem inhuman, utterly unbelievable and, quite frankly, oh so very bland.  Does Nathan ever lose his cool?  I would have loved to see some emotion from him.   I also would have really liked to have known why Nathan was so motivated to stick by Nat.  We're given a weak reason at the beginning but I guess I was hoping for something deeper.

That said, the secondary characters were decent and added some interest.  Clare was a nice addition but it was Nat's Gamma and her reaction and frustration to Nat's antics that felt the most true and realistic.   I could imagine this elderly woman trying to deal with and raise her grandson in the only way she knew how.  She felt frustrated, embarrassed and scared of what he'd become.  Did I agree with her actions?  Definitely not but they were believable and felt authentic.

The book was mainly set in a small town but the vast majority of the time was spent in the boxing ring than on character development and it shows.  The pace of the book was very slow, the plot predictable and the characters were wooden and hard to sympathize with.  There was no warmth within any of the characters and I felt very emotionally detached from any of them.  Unfortunately, I spent the majority of the book waiting for something big to happen but it never did.  It just trudged along and ended predictably.

I do not recommend this book.

My Rating: 1.5/5


shelleyrae @ book'd out said...

A shame, the premise seems so promising!

Shelleyrae Book'd Out

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

I agree. I was so excited about it too. I held out hope that it would get better but sometimes that just doesn't happen. :(

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