Elaine M. (Beaver Falls, PA)
Where You Can Find Me
This was a very memoriable book about life after a kidnapped child is returned after three years. Sheri Joseph uniquely reveals each character's thoughts and fears about the kidnapping and aftermath. When the family relocates.the reader sees how the characters grow and adjust to their "new life". Through flashbacks. the reader learns what happened during the child's kidnapped years. This book was a fast and unforgettable read.
Barbara G. (Lisle, IL)
A Way to Healing Is Found After Unthinkable Horror
An 11-year old boy is kidnapped by a sexual predator, subjected to drugging and sexual abuse by numerous men. He is later "rescued" by one of these men and kept as the man's "son." Where You Can Find Me is the story of a family's response to the disappearance and the miraculous recovery of the boy four years later.
This story about an ugly horror that is hidden from most of our society is set against the backdrop of the beauty of Nicaragua's lush forests and teeming wildlife. It contemplates what binds a family together and what threatens to tear it apart, showing the disparate reactions of a fierce mother, a confused father, a sister just becoming old enough to understand what her brother has suffered, a wayward uncle who suddenly finds himself in the position of the stable protector, and a grandmother trying to find her own way.
Returned to this family, the boy must make decisions about what love really is and if he can re-enter the family he barely remembers, still emotionally pulled toward the man who "saved" him, and although raising him as his son, still continued the sexual abuse.
Mary P. (Bellingham, WA)
Where you can find me
This novel would usually be something I avoid because it involves child abuse. That said, I found it to be thought-provoking in a way that I had not thought of before. How does a person find themselves after a mind-bending event? Caleb was kidnapped when he was eleven, and returned to his family three years later. He finds himself wondering who he really is, how should he behave--as the family would want him to be, or what? And his family has to figure out how to relate to him. It's about finding one's place, parallel to introducing captive animals to their natural habitat, another part of the novel. The story is multi-layered, with beautiful descriptions of the setting, Costa Rica, and intricate, complicated characters. An analogy might be digging among tree roots and figuring out how they intersect, how one part leads to another, how they are related to each other, how they go back to the trunk.
Beth B. (New Wilmington, PA)
Where You Can Find Me
Don't miss reading this book!! Rich in character development, captivating peephole into family dynamics, adolescent sibling relationships, and so much more. You will ponder what you've read after each exposure and definitely its content will enter and reenter your mind for some time. An excellent choice for book clubs to explore. This book will assuredly be chosen for best reads lists.
Janet P. (Houston, TX)
A mother's anguished love for a son who has returned from the depths of hell to which fate had seemingly committed him, his sister's pure, nonjudgmental love for him, the first and only knight in her young existence, and the victim's remorseful guilt and an subconscious wish to return to the life of his past three years rather than face the difficulties of re-entering the "family" life of his youth are warmly created in Sheri Joseph's beautifully written WHERE YOU CAN FIND ME. The author's empathy for the family caught in this trying situation is effectively transmitted through words spoken and left unspoken. The reader wiill feel the strength of the mother's emotion and comprehend her need for physical passion in her life as an anecdote for dark thoughts her mind will not dismiss. This contradiction, this desire to make everything picture-perfect drives the plot forward even as the young victim of society's worse type of abuse makes his way through the rich jungle setting of the landscape that echoes his interior landscape as well. Joseph's rich, colorful description of Costa Rica with its beautiful flowers, luscious fruit and incredible animal life juxtaposed against the poverty (both literal and figurative) of the characters creates a plot this reader won't soon forget. Satisfied and richer for having read it...that's how I feel. Book clubs would enjoy the food for thought.
William E. (Honolulu, HI)
What a great read! Caleb, recently found after being kidnapped by pederasts, is safely home again. The family dynamics have changed with a vengeance! The book is about how families reconstitute themselves after horrific tragedies. I highly recommend this wise book
Tracy N. (Mill Valley, CA) Tracys2cents@wordpress.
A Haunting, Messy Account of a Horrific Crime and Its Aftermath
Sheri Joseph's "Where You Can Find Me" is a haunting study of the messy dynamics of a family recovering from a kidnapping. Caleb Vincent, 14, returns to his family after being kidnapped when he was eleven years old. The family has suffered during his absence and his return brings confusion, guilt, media focus and a decision to retreat to Costa Rica where they can find privacy from the relentless media attention.
The parents are instructed at the very beginning to not ask any questions of Caleb about the time he was kidnapped, "Give him some space" says the FBI. And so the family waits for Caleb to tell what happened to him during the "Gone". The tension builds as bits of his imprisonment by a pedophile are leaked during the progression of the story. We watch for any signs of damage, trauma and try to make sense of who is Caleb.
There is rawness to the family as they display their vulnerabilities. Marlene, the mother, wants Costa Rica to give her, Caleb, and his sister normalcy when she has been addicted to the search for Caleb along with drugs and alcohol. The father stays behind in the U.S., missing. I did not like all the characters but found them very real.
But Caleb seems ambivalent about his family and remembers "Jolly", the man, who saved him from the pedophile network. Who is Jolly, savior or exploiter? Who was "Nicky", Caleb's alter identity during the period he was "gone". At times meandering, all tangents lead to the story of the reconstruction of a fragmented family in ways that would not be expected and might surprise.
As a psychiatric nurse, I found the messy reconstruction of a broken family very real and think Sheri Joseph did a good study of the Vincent family.