2015 Reading Challenge: Based on a True Story
When Kelli Huddleston’s father and stepmother die in an accident, she is left with nothing and no one—or so she thinks. When cleaning out the house before it sell, she finds an old envelope containing newspaper clippings about the presumed drowning of David Waters and his infant daughter, Darcy, from the small town of Shoal Creek, Tennessee. But the photo is of her…
Kelli travels from California to Tennessee to see if she can meet the surviving members of the Waters family, Alison and her two children, Max and Beth. She wants to know if there’s a reason her father left—and decide whether she introduces herself as their long-lost sister/daughter, or whether she leaves them to go on with their lives. She also meets her father’s ex business partner, Ken Moore, and his son, but finds the trip raises more questions than answers, and forces her to re-evaluate her life in more ways than one.
Finding Me is the first novel I’ve read by Kathryn Cushman, but it won’t be the last. I liked her writing, especially the subtle way she wove Christianity into the plot in a way that made it central and realistic without being intruding. I thought the plot was an excellent combination of mystery and romance, and the subplots did an excellent job of supporting the main story, Kelli’s dilemma.
Kelli was faced with a difficult decision where there was no right choice, which made her a fascinating character. I thought it was a convincing portrayal of how someone would act in such a situation, where everything they’ve been told while growing up turns out to be a lie, creating huge cracks in the memory of a perfect childhood. Going deeper, it also shows us how difficult it is to break those beliefs we are raised with—and the need for forgiveness. Recommended.
Thanks to Bethany House and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
Finding Me counts towards my 2015 Reading Challenge as a book based on a true story: Kathryn Cushman says at the end it is actually inspired by two separate true stories. I don't know what's inspired by truth and what is purely fiction, but the result is an excellent novel. Recommended.