Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Review: When I Found You by Catherine Ryan Hyde

When I Found You by Catherine Ryan Hyde
Black Swan, 2009
Fiction; 512 pgs

I was drawn to the book, When I Found You, because of the subject matter: a newborn discovered abandoned in the woods by a hunter. The novel is about Nathan McCann, the man who found the child, and the child himself, Nathan (Nat) Bates, and how their lives intersect years later when Nat's grandmother leaves him on Nathan's doorstep. The novel takes the reader from that first day when Nat is discovered up into his adulthood.

When I Found You was a touching and thought provoking novel. Nathan is one of those characters I would love to know in person. Nathan is the constant, never wavering in his support of Nat, a child who, twice abandoned, is most in need of such love and support. Nat is not an easy child to raise. He is rebellious and finds trouble easily, sometimes even despite his best intentions. Nat is not a bad person. He is struggling to find himself and understand his place in the world. Nathan believed in consequences and Nat was not immune to them. Nathan's support of him was not to carry Nat, rather to guide and encourage him.

In my profession, I come across a lot of kids like Nat. They are labeled incorrigible and trouble makers. They are the ones who experiment with drugs and alcohol and get in trouble with the law. I couldn't help but wish that Nathan was a real person and that every child like Nat could have a person like Nathan in their life. It's all too easy to give up on kids like these when what they need most is someone constant in their life, someone who will be firm and stand by them even through the difficult times. It won't necessarily solve all their problems or even stop the bad behavior completely, but I do think it would help enough to make a difference, however small.

I do wish I could have gotten to know Nathan more, learn more about his past. As the book progresses, the reader does learn more about him. However, I never quite felt like I knew him quite the way I came to know Nat. Maybe that was intentional. The novel is more about Nat when all is said and done.

Catherine Ryan Hyde's When I Found You is definitely worth reading. I found it inspirational but not in a sappy or too sweet way. There is no sugar coating here. I fell in love with both Nathan and Nat. I only wish I'd had more time with them.

You can learn more about Catherine Ryan Hyde and his books at the author's website.

Source: I received an e-copy of this book from the author for review. Despite my current ban from accepting reviews, I couldn't help myself. I had read the author's Pay It Forward years ago and just knew anything else she wrote had to be worth my time. Fortunately, I was right.

© 2011, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved.If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.


  1. This sounds like a really heart-tugging and emotionally intricate book, and I am really very interested in reading it after having read your very eloquent thoughts about it. It does sound like it would really move as well, and I am going to be adding it to my list. Thanks for the exceptional review today!

  2. I like the sound of this one...will be reading this one!! I also will be recommending it to a friend!

  3. I like the idea of this book. I am going to add it to my wish list!

  4. I hadn't heard of this book before but I'm intrigued. The premise sounds really interesting and I'm thinking that I would like this one. Great review!

  5. Heather, Staci,
    Kelly & Samantha It really was good. I hope you all get a chance to read it!

  6. Sounds like the story is inspirational and could be true even though it is fiction. This one goes to my TBR list under heartwarming reads!


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