Sunday, April 12, 2015

Review: "Finding Me" by Kathryn Cushman

Rating:  3.5 Stars

Review: "Finding Me" by Kathryn Cushman is a story of healing, love, and forgiveness. Kelli Huddleston embarks on a journey to discover her true heritage after she uncovers evidence that her father harbored deep family secrets.  The plot transitions from California to Tennessee, bringing an abundance of small town southern charm.  Everything falls into place perfectly for Kelli to settle into life in Shoal Creek - she finds a job, a place to live, and develops close friendships.  The main conflict in the story is provided by Kelli's emotional struggles as she finds herself and the family that she has never known.  Another source of tension for readers is wondering how Kelli's family will react when they learn her true identity.  "Finding Me" is more of a drama than a romance.  Although there is a potential relationship for Kelli, it doesn't emerge until the later in the novel and remains primarily in the background. 

"Finding Me" is a novel that I enjoyed for its unique plot. There are times that the flow feels interrupted by the changes in perspective from Kelli to a few of the other characters.  Since the novel is entitled "Finding Me," I think Kelli's perspective combined with her journal entries would be just as impactful. Each character plays an important role in Kelli's journey, so their perspectives aren't unwelcome, but the perspective changes are, at times, quick and frequent. The depth that Cushman brings to Kelli's story is undeniable, and she builds a plot that makes the reader question how Kelli's tale will unfold.  The conclusion is sweet and full of promise for the characters' futures, while leaving some details to the reader's imagination.  

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Summary from Bethany House:  What would you do if you learned your life was a lie? 

All her life, Kelli Huddleston has been told the story of a fire--a fire that killed her mother and two siblings when she was an infant. After her father's death though, she uncovers evidence of a different story, including clippings about a boat accident that killed a young father and his infant daughter. And Kelli quietly realizes the story of her life has been a fiction. 

How far would you go to discover the truth?

Armed with only a few pictures of what she thinks might be her family, Kelli crosses the country to Tennessee, determined to uncover the truth about what happened over twenty years ago in a small southern town. When the trip threatens to open doors to the past better left shut, and her plans for the future are jeopardized, Kelli is faced with an agonizing choice that will change her life forever.

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