While You Were Gone
Despite Karen Caughee’s intense focus on her music, her life is drifting out of its lane. Her alcoholic mother keeps calling from bars for early-morning rides, her boyfriend doesn’t think she gets him, and that Toronto Symphony Orchestra position she applied for ends up going to her friend, Amy. By chance, she meets American Greg Randolf just before she’s in a car accident. He pulls her from the wreckage, but after major surgery, her recovery is slow. Without her music, her life’s pursuit, Karen is pushed further adrift.
Greg stays by her side while she heals, and he sees her every time he’s in Toronto for work. Without any other support or friendship in her life, Karen craves his enthusiastic attention, and their friendship deepens to love. Though she’s fallen hard for him, he doesn’t share everything with her. In one heartrending moment, Karen’s life comes to a crossroads, and she must face the full truth about who Greg is, and about who she has become.
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Thought I Knew You
One word comes to mind when thinking about Kate Moretti's Thought I Knew You: RIVETING! I was engrossed in the story from the first page and found myself staying up way past my bedtime (telling myself it was worth it to be tired tomorrow) to finish the book because I just HAD to know. That is when a novel deserves the word riveting; when you have to know how it's going to end.
Claire, a mom of two girls that is on leave from work, stands at the back door and calls for the family dog. Much to her dismay, he never comes back. Her girls are distraught, but like all moms, she tells them "he'll turn up," most dogs do. Except this dog. This dog does not turn up. And this moment is what sends the family into a downward spiral from the life they knew. Not only has Cody gone missing, but by nightfall, her husband Greg still hasn't come home from his business trip. Two for two. Gone.
Claire doesn't know what she's going to do, but her instincts tell her something is wrong. She calls 911 and from there, the plot of tracking down a missing person comes to light. Claire listens dutifully to the police and detectives when she's told most adults that go missing, go missing by choice. She wrenches her heart in and out of torrid pains trying to solve the mystery of Greg's disappearance sorting through dates, trips, conversations, and late night phone calls. She starts to question her life, her marriage, her husband and allows herself to delve deeper into Greg's private side than she ever thought she could. And what she finds gives the reader pause. Claire is an emotional roller coaster and the reader takes every climb, drop, and loop with her. There are moments of frustration with Claire, sadness, anger, and pride.
Her longtime best friend from childhood, Drew (Uncle Drew to the girls), becomes her lifeline in dealing with the aftermath of a missing husband. Their relationship becomes precariously difficult under such mitigating circumstances, and even though the reader worries about Greg, we understand Claire's vexed outlook on every situation.
Claire learns how to be a self-sufficient woman and mother, really examining the marital bed from a new vantage point. Not only does she struggle and come terms with how well she knew her husband, but also herself.
Thought I Knew You will be a book that stays in your heart and in your mind. The characters are well-drawn and fleshed out. I loved and hated Claire, and loved her again. Greg made me so mad I could spit, and Drew - well, Drew is the guy that everyone loves and when reading about him, your heart breaks and mends many times for the depth Kate Moretti provided to his persona. I loved the changes I saw in Claire when she had to "fend for herself." As a military wife whose husband travels quite a bit, I've known personally the pains of replacing screens or cleaning gutters. We think of these things as "men's work" but Moretti adeptly shows us how easily they become "women's work," too.
This examination of marriage is also a bit terrifying. How well do we really know our spouses? Is there something out there hidden from our view? This book challenges the concept of really knowing one another, regardless of everything you've been through together.
Thought I Knew You is Kate Moretti's debut novel (and what a way to break in!). It is complete at 276 pages, published by Red Adept Publishing. I read this book in three days flat!
Kate Moretti lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids, and a dog. She's worked in the pharmaceutical industry for ten years as a scientist, and has been an avid fiction reader her entire life.
She enjoys traveling and cooking, although with two kids, a day job, and writing, she doesn't to do those things as much as she'd like.
Her lifelong dream is to buy an old house with a secret passageway.