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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

When I Found You by Catherine Ryan Hyde

I loved this book, "When I Found You" by Catherine Ryan Hyde. The book's two minute elevator speech immediately grabbed me.

When Nathan McCann discovers a newborn baby boy half buried in the woods, he assumes he's found a tiny dead body. But then the baby moves and in one remarkable moment, Nathan's life is changed forever.
The baby is sent to grow up with his grandmother, but Nathan can't forget him and is compelled to pay her a visit. He asks for one simple promise - that one day she will introduce the boy to Nathan and tell him, 'This is the man who found you in the woods.'
Years pass and Nathan assumes that the old lady has not kept her promise, until one day an angry, troubled boy arrives on his doorstep with a suitcase . . .

WOW! Now THAT is some elevator speech!

I found myself woven into the story immediately, and this lasted until the very end. In fact, I was a bit sad to come to the conclusion because it was so satisfying.

I enjoyed the steadiness of the main character, Nathan. He approached life with logic, honesty, integrity, and truth. His decisions were unemotional and made sense to me, I became aware of how much I preferred these types of people over the ones I seem to spend much of my day with - you know. those we see on the news. The characters in this story made me more consciously aware of how being immersed with a character who is thoughtful, stable, and steady can rub off on you and you also want to become a better person. I started to pay more attention to how I came to conclusions and made my choices.

Here was a fictional character helping me to see a different way of looking at something and making a decision. For example, when Nathan was supposed to make a choice between two people, his response gave me pause. I was enamored with his logical explanations of how his mind worked and how this guided his life.

I then started to compare the characteristics of the protagonist with other characters I see in my everyday life, like Donald Trump, a political candidate. He is chaotic, illogical, self obsessed, not very honest, and without much integrity. So I compared how I FELT when I spent an evening with the Donald (via the news) against spending time with the protagonist, Nathan, in this book. I became an emotional wreck with the Donald but found I was filled with hope and possibility when I spent the evening reading the book. I realized my choices of spending time with the Donald and all that drama was impacting how I felt.

Just like grapes pick up the flavor of the environment they grow in and impact the flavor of the wine, so, too, do people's behavior change based on their environment, too. If you continue in an environment of chaos, lies, and distrust, who you are and how you lead your life are impacted. So I stopped seeing the Donald. I turned off the news.

If you are looking for a book that is a pleasure to read, can tear you up a bit here and there, and fill your heart with hope, give this book a try.