Jessica Strawser’s ALMOST MISSED YOU starts with a simple premise: what if you missed — or found again — a connection with a soul mate? What would happen if you had a second chance? And what would happen if taking that second chance meant that one day you walked into a hotel room and discovered that your husband took your child and left you there alone, no reason, no explanation, no trace? In the capable hands of Jessica Strawser, following that line of questions would results in an exceptional novel filled with flawed, perfect characters, twisty plot turns, and tough, essential questions about knowing yourself and your loved ones and the lengths to which you will go to protect your happy version of the way that life is supposed to be.
Ms. Strawser’s novel offers a wide-angle lens portrayal of marriage with its unspoken bargains as well as the dynamic balances of romantic and familial relationship. Major characters are complicated individuals with unique voices, perspectives, and motives while child characters are notably well-crafted, as complex, charming, and confounding as the children in real life. Settings are vivid, palpable. Logical steps and missteps, evasions and confrontations yield a gripping plot. Her story kept me up way, way, way past my bedtime, reading as fast as I could go, breath held and wonder flashing at this wonderful piece of women’s fiction.
This is Ms. Strawser’s first novel. I cannot wait to see what she comes out with next.