“Don’t make the mistakes I did. Don’t hang on to old hurts. You can spend your years blaming God, blaming other people, but in the end it was your choice.”
In There You’ll Find Me, Finley is a senior and spending the year in Ireland in a foreign exchange program. She is trying to come back from a devastating loss, but pretty much failing. While she stays with her host family, who own a B&B, she meets Beckett Rush, the hottest teen actor in Hollywood and star of a series of popular vampire films. While Finley tours the countryside, determined to walk in the same steps her brother did when he was there years ago, she finds her stay in Ireland not nearly as inspiring. Between an assignment that has her babysitting a cranky old woman with troubles of her own and working as Beckett’s personal assistant against her wishes and her good judgment, Finley is finding little time to do the healing God is calling her to do. And little time to deal with the secrets from her own past that threaten to pull her under.
There You’ll Find Me is a book that caught me by surprised. I have no idea what this book is all about since I haven’t read any review about it. I remember requesting this one because the Ireland setting from the book blurb caught me. Simple as that! It is set in Ireland so I want to read it. But once I started the book, I can’t put it down. As the characters emerge from the first chapter I am hooked immediately. I just made a mistake of starting this book in the middle of night because I certainly didn’t stop till the end which makes me one night sleep lesser.
Basically the story is about searching – searching for answers, searching for the lost faith, searching for forgiveness, understanding, and searching for your place in this world. Finley went to Ireland under a foreign exchange program with an intention to follow the trail that his brother left via a travel journal. Hoping that by doing this she will find closure toward his brother’s death, rebuilt her faith, and finish her audition piece for musical studies that she want to dedicate to her brother.
One of the beauty of this book is the execution of the story. It won’t take a genius to know and predict right away how the story will end, but the way it all executed is simply enticing. Finley’s journey to get back on track after losing her brother is emotional. It didn’t make me cry but I certainly feel the heartache and confusions of Finley. I feel lost like her, trying to find the answers to all her questions. Her journey to discovery is not a smooth one but reading it along with the majestic background of Ireland and a sweet and charming (not to mention hot and famous actor) guy like Beckett makes it lighter and enjoyable. As Finley’s problems grows, the plot also escalates to a more serious tone but the characters provides a perfect amount of comedic relief just at the right moments. The dynamics between Finley and Beckett as well as the banter between Finley and the old woman, Cathleen were perfectly woven to provide a balance mixture of light and heavy moments.
“This is Ireland, Finley. It’s rough. It’s wild. And it is holy.”
Obviously I love the setting, that is the first thing that really pique my interest in reading this book. I can gush so much about Ireland but I’ll try my best to focus just about the things related to this book. I can’t picture Finley’s journey if this one is set to other location. For me it is more magical and more believing that it is set in Ireland. The churches, pub, cliffs, castles, cemetery, inns and other places Finley and Beckett visited were all beautiful and majestic. Reading those parts was a treat to read. The way it is described in the novel I can’t help but lost myself imagining and dreaming those places. I wished I was actually there in Ireland. I want to see the exact places they visited, hear the music as it plays and feast with all the food mentioned. I want to experience part of Finley’s journey. I want to meet the local people of Ireland, experience their life, culture and beliefs. I also enjoy reading the dialogue with their Irish accents. The author didn’t forgot to insert the authenticity of the language spoken by the characters.
“God, you are here. As sure as I breath, I know you are. In a cemetery of all things. Markers of death all around me.”
One of the things that really surprised me is the religious aspect of this book. I have no idea that this is a Christian fiction. When I requested this one I thought I was getting a YA novel so I didn’t expect so much spirituality from here. But I love it, it is not preachy or over the top. Just a right amount to support Finley’s spiritual journey. You wouldn’t even notice it that much as the plot is perfectly face and feels more like a contemporary reads. The bible passages mentioned in some chapters are all significance to the story particularly in Finley’s quest to overcome her doubts and confusion after losing her older brother, Will.
Another thing that I didn’t expect is Finley’s health issue. I didn’t see that one coming. With all the problems that Finley is getting into, it never occur to me that her lack of appetite is another thing that the plot will focus to. Though I find that one unnecessary, it is still convincing for a character like Finley who undergo too much stress in life.
Full of encouragement, hope and faith, There You’ll Find Me is an inspiring, captivating and thought-provoking story about overcoming grief. With strong story-line, witty dialogues, and multi-layered and lovable characters, you will find yourself aching, grinning, laughing and contemplating while reading this one. A surprising piece in the field of Christian fiction novels.