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Search tags: jessica-strawser
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review 2018-04-11 09:43
Not That I Could Tell - Jessica Strawser

One Saturday evening six women sit around a fire, drinking, sharing, oversharing and having fun. The next morning one of the women is missing, her children gone too. What happened to Kristen and her children? And what secrets are the beautuful houses on the street hiding?

 

The writing is engaging, pulling the reader into the story and allowing them to wonder what has happened to Kristin and her children. Although she doesn’t really appear, she is a fully formed character, as things are revealed about her by the police that wasn’t apparent to her friends. This allows the reader to care more about her and to be more invested in her disappearance.

 

This is a slow burn of a novel. There are no action sequences, bloody murder scenes or fast paced sections. It is this slow burn that builds the suspense. The reader is always aware that things are not as they seem. As the reality of the situation is revealed the reader is compelled along with Clara to seek out the conclusion to Kristen’s tale.

All of the characters are well drawn. There is Clara, determined to find out what happened to her friend, to figure out what caused her disappearance. Izzy is a completely different character. Where Clara is happily married, Izzy is desperately sad at her single state. Her state of mind is such that, whilst it did grate slightly, is needed for the progression of the story. Then there is Paul, the estranged husband of Kristen, who impinges on the story in many ways.

 

It is more than just Kristen’s tale. This is a novel about the secrets that any respectable house can hold. It is a story of how rumours can spread rapidly, impinging on lifes in a number of ways. It is a tale that shows that everyone is not always as they seem and people shouldn’t be taken on face value, and that we don’t always know people as well as we think we do.

 

I throughly enjoyed Not That I Could Tell. I’ll be looking out for more from Jessica Strawser in the future.

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review 2018-03-24 22:31
Not That I Could Tell
Not That I Could Tell - Jessica Strawser

There seems to be a surge of "no one really knows their neighbor" tales lately and after reading the blurb, I was seriously hoping to find at the least, a good mystery. The problem is the story is just not particularly mysterious. The answer to Kristin's disappearance is pretty obvious from very early on and the rest of the story is a slow-moving jumble of everyday life with a few tidbits of Kristin's life thrown in. The chapters alternate between Clara, a stay at home mom of two who seems to be friends with everybody, and Izzy, the newest addition to the neighborhood who is trying to get as far away from lost love as possible. Amid the lengthy descriptions of nursing and cranky babies, day care gossip, errands, laundry, housework, meals, etc, we get the odd glimpse of Kristin's estranged husband and various theories about what might have happened to her and the twins. We do get a bit of excitement and a twist at the end, and I will say that the way it all played out was an interesting idea... If the story hadn't been so bogged down in the details of everyday life for this neighborhood, most of which had absolutely nothing to do with Kristin or her disappearance. The only glimpses of the actual investigation that we see are from Clara and Izzy, and those are periphery at best for most of the story, so the bulk of this one boils down to the day to day lives of this neighborhood, which in all honesty, can be heard by having a drink with the neighbors in Any Town, USA on any given evening. 

 
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review 2018-03-13 17:51
Good Story and Characters
Not That I Could Tell - Jessica Strawser

Five females from the neighborhood met in Clare’s back yard no kids or men they woman had baby monitors with them yet still felt free and the drank wine and got a little drunk.  Izzy was the newest to the neighborhood. Izzy got toasted and told her neighbors all about Josh who had been her best friend but she fell in love with him but he fell for and married her younger sister. The next morning the women felt the effects of drinking and what they had said while drinking. Then the women learned one of the women who had been with them last night Kristin and her four year old twins had disappeared. Kristin gave no hint of any problems the night before. The knew she was divorcing her husband Paul who was a doctor. Kristin was the type that was on top of everything and had everything handled. When the police searched Kristins computer it did reveal that there were several visits to domestic violence sites.   No one had seen Kristin leave but all her personal things were gone as well as the twins favorite toys. Then Paul left the apartment he had lived in and moved back in the house. Clara and Kristin were best friends and Clare had no idea what happened to Kristin. The police’s prime suspect was Paul but they couldn’t find anything so the case went cold.

I enjoyed this book it was a quick easy read. I really liked the fast pace and plot. I liked how as the women got drunk they told things about themselves that they normally would say nothing about or not as much. Then the next day regretted what they had revealed about themselves. I loved the five women so enjoyed their night even if they were only in Claire’s yard.  This reminds the readers nobody's perfect no matter how it appeared. I liked the surprise ending. I didn’t want to put this down from the beginning to the end. I really liked how the author had some back story at the beginning of every chapter. The book has: relationships. Neighbors, a drunken night, a missing woman with four year old twins, secrets, betrayal, intrigue, mystery, and suspense, frustration, small town life, drama, and so much way. I really liked the characters and the ins and outs of this book and I recommend it.

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review 2017-03-27 18:14
Almost Missed You
Almost Missed You: A Novel - Jessica Strawser

By: Jessica Strawser

ISBN: 9781250107602

Publisher:  St. Martin's Press

Publication Date: 3/28/2017 

Format: Other

My Rating: 4 Stars

 
Mind-Expanding! Jessica Strawser delivers a thought-provoking, creative, gripping, page-turning mystery and suspenseful debut, ALMOST MISSED YOU.

The what ifs . . . Meant to be. Almost. Destiny. A Chance Meeting. Imagine if . . . ?

Marriage, friendship, motherhood, romance, trust, and betrayal. Pushing life's boundaries. Life is complex yet intriguing. Providence, the stars, chance, luck, serendipity, fortune, kismet, karma.

"What has fate in store for me?" FATE: The development of events beyond a person's control, regarded as determined by a supernatural power.

2016: Violet and Finn are married with a son named Bear. They are on vacation in Sunny Isles Beach, Florida (North Miami). Life was good. Violet was a great mother. They had met six years ago, on this very beach on the other side of the pier. It was an instant electric connection. However, they were interrupted before they had the chance of exchanging information.

Dominoes. How did they end up together? Were they positioned perfectly? Why were they interrupted?

However, now, years later their well-planned getaway, turns tragic. Had her husband planned this all along?

Violet comes in from the beach to her ninth-floor hotel room to check on her son. Horrified, her son is gone. Her husband is not there. All their belongings are gone. Nothing left but her things. How could this have happened? Every trace of her husband and son were done. As if they had been figments of her imagination.

The author takes us back to 2010, a T-shirt, a camp from Pennsylvania, where the couple met in Sunny Isles Beach, FL. An odd coincidence? Their interruption. An emergency on the beach separated them. Was it meant to be, after all?

Finn comes back from meeting this woman whom he thinks he will never see again. Someone from Cincinnati area. How was it possible they had managed to have a real connection and yet find out so little about each other?

Enter: Craigslist’s Missed Connections. Finn drafted his post. “Care to pick up where fate left off?”

However, the person who replied was not Violet. It was Maribel. A stranger. What if he had not placed the ad? Maribel would not be dead. He would not be self-destructing. A life imploding.

Flashing back and forth from the past to the present, Violet is frantic. The police are involved. The FBI. An investigation. No one has found her husband and child.

Their best friends: Caitlin and her husband, George. They had twin boys close to the same age as Bear. Caitlin and Finn were friends since college. Why on earth would Finn do such a thing? How could any wife be as truly blindsided as Violet had been?

Finn’s parents were dead. He had a secret past. Perhaps, PTSD? Things Violet did not know. The investigation brings things to light, about her husband and friend. What would make him do such a drastic thing? She must get her son back. Could Missed Connections be the answer once again?

From Finn, Caitlin, to Violet, the suspense and emotions are high. Violet soon learns Finn was not the husband and man she thought he was at all. He was a kidnapper.

Finn soon blackmails Caitlin. George is a powerful man and comes from prestigious political family. Caitlin knows his reputation is at stake. Finn wants to hide out in their Kentucky remote cabin until he gets his head on straight.

Now Caitlin is caught between her best friend, Violet and sympathizes with her being a mother— to being fearful that Finn could ruin her own marriage and family with a secret. Guilt and fear. The consequences were terrifying.

Dark secrets from the past.

Lined up perfectly, yet so many things crossed their path. The first time they met. Years later. The reconnection. What had happened during all those years in between?

Finn knew he needed to give back Bear to Violet; however, could not stand to let him go. He could no longer see a way for them both to have him together. He could not see a way for Violet to remain in his life at all. Not after everything that had happened.

The metaphor. The dominoes.

“There had been 1,001 chances and reason for them not to end up together. And there was really only one chance, and really only one reason, for it to go the other way.”

Finn’s survivor guilt (Maribel), is at the heart of the story. Caitlin and Violet are secondary.

Wow! Strawser delivers an intriguing debut. Complex, well-written, and unputdownable. Readers will be frustrated, nerve-wracked, and engaged all at the same time. The showdown at the cabin will have you on pins and needles. For fans of mystery, domestic suspense, psychological, and contemporary.

So many questions . . . False or real? Trust. Life, marriage, friendships, love? Do you really know the people you are friends with and the person you are married to? Why do people choose to ignore all the signs? Do we settle?

However, as they say, “Life is like an elevator. On your way up, sometimes you have to stop and let some people off.”

We all have looked back at a job offer in California, New York, Arizona, or a life choice? The what ifs? How would my life be different if I had made a different choice? Taken an alternate path. Two roads. Which one? Will the outcome be the same, or dramatically different?

Whether you have or have not had a chance encounter in your lifetime, a special person, time or place, ALMOST MISSED YOU will make you contemplate. The what if? An ideal choice for book clubs and further discussions.

In a recent online interview with the author:
. . . “The idea for ‘Almost Missed You’ comes from my own fascination with the idea of fate and the importance people put on meeting ‘the one,’ and on what’s supposedly meant to be,” Jessica explains. “We place such cultural importance on how couples meet, how paths cross and fates intertwine. I wanted to explore if that’s always for the best.”


She indeed accomplishes her goal.

From Cincinnati, OH, a remote cabin in Kentucky to some of my familiar places I have lived and worked: Asheville, NC, Sunny Isles (North Miami), and St. Augustine, FL . . . the author takes us on a journey. How these places, people, things . . . connect and bring together the story of memories, what happened and what did not.

Cannot wait to see what comes next!

For fans of Kimberly S. Belle, Paula Treick DeBoard, Renee Carlino, Colleen Hoover, Kate Moretti, Laura McNeill, and Emilie Richards. Some of my favorites.

A special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an early reading copy.

JDCMustReadBooks

 
Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/10/03/Almost-Missed-You
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review 2017-02-09 20:38
Almost Missed You: A Novel - Jessica Strawser
I have mixed feelings for this book. I think the author did a great job writing the book. I truly enjoyed it for the most part.

However, I come away with an extreme emotion for one of the characters. It's an emotion that I just can't get over. I have never, ever felt this way over a character in a book. I'm guessing it's the mother in me that is making me feel this way. I'm not going to spoil the reading of the book for anyone, so I will not give the particulars here. For anyone who has read the book, I'm sure you will know what I'm talking about.

Otherwise, I did enjoy the book and was glad that I got the opportunity to read it.

Thanks to St. Martin's Press for approving my request and to Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest review.
 
 

 

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