Where You Can Find Me: Book summary and reviews of Where You Can Find Me by Sheri Joseph

Where You Can Find Me

A Novel

by Sheri Joseph

Where You Can Find Me
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  • Published in USA  Apr 2013
    336 pages
    Genre: Novels

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About this book

Book Summary

A searing exploration of a family's struggle to heal in the wake of unthinkable tragedy

A week after his eleventh birthday, Caleb Vincent vanishes with hardly a trace. After a three-year search, he is found living a seemingly normal life under a new name with a man he calls his father.

While outwardly stunned with joy at his safe recovery, Caleb's parents and sister are privately scrambling to gather together the pieces of a shattered family. To escape the relentless media attention surrounding her son's return, Caleb's mother, Marlene, decides to flee the country and seek refuge in Costa Rica with Caleb and his younger sister, against her estranged husband's wishes. There Marlene forms a makeshift household with her husband's expat mother and his charming, aimless older brother, all residing in a broken-down hotel perched at the blustery apex of the continental divide. In the clouds of their new home, the mystery of Caleb's time gone unfolds while new dangers threaten to pull him back toward his former life.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Joseph (Stray, 2007) turns the sensationalistic story of an abused boy who has seen the darkest parts of life into a transformative and often suspense-filled tale of identity and resilience. A deeply moving novel about a family determined to survive the greatest of tragedies." - Booklist

"Joseph's preoccupations are less with plot than with honestly confronting the internal conflicts that can arise in reaction to unspeakable crimes. A fraught subject, handled with gravitas and, improbably, grace." - Kirkus

"All seems to be well, but one mark of a good writer is the ability to hint at the disquiet beneath what looks like a calm surface. Like Hilda's old hotel, part of it fallen into the valley and the rest teetering on the edge of a cliff, the reader is kept in a state of almost nail-biting uncertainty when it comes to this family's recovery. In Where You Can Find Me, Joseph takes on a difficult subject and makes it work." - Bookpage

"With compassion and profound psychological insight, Sheri Joseph follows one family through the aftermath of every parent's worst nightmare ... Suspenseful, beautifully written and utterly convincing, Where You Can Find Me is hard to put down and impossible to forget." - Jennifer Haigh, New York Times bestselling author of Faith, Mrs. Kimble, Baker Towers and The Condition

In Where You Can Find Me, Sheri Joseph has written an engrossing, deeply moving, and emotionally complex novel that has stayed with me every moment since I first read it, months ago. Joseph writes swift and faultless prose and miraculously real characters. This book spurs you to pay close attention to those around you and to love as fully in this life as you possibly can." - Lauren Groff, author of Arcadia and The Monsters of Templeton

The information about Where You Can Find Me shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Reader Reviews

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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)

Interiors...
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)

Surrogate Families
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

...31 more reader reviews

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Sheri Joseph's novel, Stray, won the Grub Street National Book Prize. An unconventional love triangle leads to murder in this tale set in Atlanta. Two of Stray's central characters also appear in Joseph's first book, Bear Me Safely Over, a cycle of stories about two Georgia families being joined by marriage, which was a Book Sense 76 selection in both hardcover and paperback.

Sheri Joseph has already won a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship for Stray. A resident of Atlanta, Sheri Joseph teaches in the creative writing program at Georgia State University and serves as fiction editor of Five Points. Follow her on Twitter! @Sheri_Joseph

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