Read Almost Missed You by Jessica Strawser Online


Violet and Finn were “meant to be,” said everyone, always. They ended up together by the hands of fate aligning things just so. Three years into their marriage, they have a wonderful little boy, and as the three of them embark on their first vacation as a family, Violet can’t help thinking that she can’t believe her luck. Life is good.So no one is more surprised than she wViolet and Finn were “meant to be,” said everyone, always. They ended up together by the hands of fate aligning things just so. Three years into their marriage, they have a wonderful little boy, and as the three of them embark on their first vacation as a family, Violet can’t help thinking that she can’t believe her luck. Life is good.So no one is more surprised than she when Finn leaves her at the beach—just packs up the hotel room and disappears. And takes their son with him. Violet is suddenly in her own worst nightmare, and faced with the knowledge that the man she’s shared her life with, she never really knew at all.Caitlin and Finn have been best friends since way back when, but when Finn shows up on Caitlin’s doorstep with the son he’s wanted for kidnapping, demands that she hide them from the authorities, and threatens to reveal a secret that could destroy her own family if she doesn’t, Caitlin faces an impossible choice.Told through alternating viewpoints of Violet, Finn and Caitlin, Almost Missed You is a powerful story of a mother’s love, a husband’s betrayal, connections that maybe should have been missed, secrets that perhaps shouldn’t have been kept, and spaces between what’s meant to be and what might have been....

Title : Almost Missed You
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781250107602
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 304 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Almost Missed You Reviews

  • Deanna
    2019-04-20 02:24

    4.5 Stars !! My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...Many of us know of at least one couple that seems as though they were just meant to be together, that fate stepped in and put them in each other's path. So after reading the description for Jessica Strawser's debut novel, ALMOST MISSED YOU, I was intrigued.I used to read the "missed connections" section of Craigslist quite often. I always wondered if people ever came across messages that were left for them and if it led to anything more.The book opens in the present, August 2016. Violet and her husband Finn are on vacation in Florida. Their first vacation with their three-year-old son, Bear. Violet can't remember the last time she felt so relaxed. Since becoming a mother, relaxing is a foreign word. Becoming a mother...becoming Bear's mother has been the most rewarding thing she's ever done. The love she feels for her little boy only grows in its intensity.Life was good.Everyone loves hearing the story of how Violet and Finn got together. People call it fate and said they were just meant to be. She feels so lucky. To be loved the way Finn loves her, the gift of their precious baby boy. "her heart had never felt so full"She quit her job to stay home with Bear. Violet occasionally fantasizes about some time alone. Her husband has taken their son up to their hotel room for a nap, so she's relaxing on the beach with her book and a Piña colada. But all she can think about is Bear. She may have wanted a little time alone but now that she's had it, she wants to be there when her baby boy wakes up from his nap.When Violet gets up to the hotel room she's excited to see if Bear is awake. But she opens the door to a silent room, devoid of their mess from earlier. The wet swimsuits and towels, open suitcases, toys...none of it is there. She thinks she must be in the wrong room, but then she sees her purse, her toiletries, all of HER things are still there.But all traces of Finn and Bear are gone.****Possibly very minor spoilers. I am probably being overly cautious as most of this is in the description or the first part of the book but I decided to add this just in case*****Caitlin and her husband, George are friends with both Violet and Finn, though Caitlin has been friends with Finn much longer. Why would Finn do this? He has left Violet. How horrible it is to be left by your husband. But to have him take your child too? Nothing is worse than that. How unnatural it would feel with her son she's missing a limb.Caitlin gets home and hears noises coming from upstairs. A man's voice and a child's giggle? When the owners of the voices come in to view, a child yells "Auntie Caitlin!" and throws himself at her. It's Bear. And behind him is Finn.Her first feeling is relief....until she looks closer at Finn and sees the look on his face."You might have gathered that this is not a social call"Caitlin tells Finn that she is going to call Violet. He tells her that she won't be calling anyone."Mark my words, if you don't help me, I will tell George the thing we both know you would strongly prefer that George not know"I wanted to know what he was talking about so badly that I almost skipped forward to check...but I didn't and remained gripped by the story. I hated having to put the book down. Racking my brain as to what could possibly be so bad that Caitlin would even consider helping Finn.The story is told from the alternating viewpoints of Violet, Finn and Caitlin. Events in the present, mixed with flashbacks shows us how Violet and Finn's relationship started along with their individual stories in the time they weren't together. As well, we see how Caitlin and her husband George fit into things. The chapters were dated which definitely helped keep things straight.It's apparent very early that everyone involved has secrets, and with each chapter we learn more as these secrets are slowly revealed. The characters are flawed but human with many layers to each of them. We see how their experiences shaped them and their future decisions. I loved how everything was revealed.How often do we just see what we want to see? How many times have you held back questions because you weren't sure you truly wanted to know the answers? We don't always ask the questions that we need to ask.We think we know someone so well....I really enjoyed this book. The plot was interesting and the writing was great. The author did a wonderful job of bringing the characters to life, flaws and all. Just like these characters, our experiences, our losses, connections, and missed connections affect us all in different ways. How our choices, both small and large can cause a chain reaction (almost like dominoes). Our secrets can cripple us and often others as well.Almost Missed You is a novel I won't soon forget.Highly recommended!Thank you NetGalley, St. Martin's Press, and Jessica Strawser for providing an advanced readers copy of this book for me to read in exchange for my honest review.

  • Melissa
    2019-03-21 19:43

    Taut, gripping and emotional, ALMOST MISSED YOU blurs the lines of women’s fiction and suspense in a compelling way. It’s a story that tests the limits of love, friendship and ultimately forgiveness; all while dangling the reader over the edge. What could possibly lead a seemingly happy husband to leave his wife on the beach and disappear with their 3-year-old son? That’s the burning question. The truth I was frantic to uncover. The nightmare that Violet finds herself living. How could Finn rip her little Bear cub away from her? And how does his best friend, Caitlin, find herself smack in the middle of it all?Being the sentimental, bleeding heart that I am, the idea of fate playing the leading role in the life we live and the person we ultimately end up with, grabbed me and held on for dear life. I was glued to the pages of Violet and Finn’s story, desperate to figure out how a couple destined to be together could end up so broken. The harsh reality is, it's not always sunny days, piña coladas, vintage t-shirts or chance encounters that lead the way. Sometimes it's the ugly, dark and devastating mistakes we make instead.This may be Jessica Strawser's first novel, but it certainly doesn't read like a debut. Equal parts women’s fiction and suspense, this twisted tale of lies, deception and blackmail takes the reader on a unexpected journey. One that explores what can happen when we turn a blind eye. When we refuse to face the truth because we finally have everything we've always wanted. Or so we thought.“Don’t we all look for ports in the storm?”My one minor issue with the story was the ending. I’m not saying I wasn’t happy with how things turned out; I just wish it had played out a little differently. After everything, it felt like one too many coincidences in an already long list. Although, the lover of love in me could argue, fate has a funny way of working things out.*Thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

  • Candace
    2019-03-25 19:44

    Imagine this: You're on vacation with your husband and young son. Everything is seemingly perfect. In fact, your considerate husband has agreed to watch your son while you relax with a drink and a good book on the beach for a couple of hours. Then, you return to your hotel room to find everything missing except for your personal belongings. Your husband and child are nowhere to be found. No note. Nothing. That is exactly what happens to the heroine in this book, Violet. I cannot even begin to imagine the all-consuming sense of betrayal that she must have felt. My heart broke for this mother and her child.As more time passes and it becomes clear that Violet's husband, Finn, is not planning to return, pieces of the puzzle start to fall into place. Finn has secrets that he's been keeping from Violet...and he isn't the only one. It seems that some of her closest friends have been keeping secrets from Violet as well. Truth be told, she has been lying to herself for a long time also.Told from the POVs of Violet, Finn and their best friend, Caitlyn, this story comes together little by little. Jumping between past and present-day, Violet and Finn's fateful first encounters seem to be straight from a storybook. As Finn's past is revealed, the image of a picture-perfect marriage with Violet begins to show cracks. I don't want to say too much about this story, because I don't want to spoil it for anyone. However, I will say that I was completely absorbed in this story and the mystery, until right about 80% or so. Once Finn's motivations were revealed, I have to say that I was a little let-down. All I could think was, "Seriously? That's it?". Then, there was some other craziness toward the end that seemed a little unnecessary and unbelievable as well. Overall, it was a good story. It did start to lose appeal toward the end for me, but it had my rapt attention up to that point. All things considered, I give it 3.5 stars.Check out more of my reviews at

  • Christine
    2019-03-26 01:31

    4 starsAlmost Missed You is an impressive debut novel by Ms. Jessica Strawser. I would classify it as a mix of contemporary fiction and suspense with the emphasis on suspense. I found it more gripping than a lot of books out there advertised as psychological thrillers. I read most books over 5 days. This one I knocked out in 3 days, very quick for me, simply because I found it hard to pull myself away from the pages.I strongly suggest you go in as cold as possible on this one. I hadn’t read the blurb in a couple of months before reading the book and didn’t recall the plot points at all; thus, I was able to read the book not knowing a thing about it. Afterwards, I did reread the blurb, and in my opinion, like most movie trailers these days, it tells too much. I was glad I had the opportunity to see this terrific story totally unfold without any knowledge of where it was headed. The title is wonderful and refers to a major theme of the novel, which is how sharply the course of our lives can change depending on the “near misses” we experience. The tale makes us wonder whether to try to right those near misses or to simply let them pass. We are also led to ponder how much to sacrifice of ourselves to help out a friend desperately in need of help. And what secrets should be kept secrets and which should be revealed. These are difficult questions, and I was asking myself throughout the read how I would respond to these challenging issues.I loved how many little shockers and twists peppered the story and how all of my predictions proved to be wrong. Despite a nonchronological timeline, the pace was lickety-split. I appreciated the final chapter, which functioned as an epilogue and kept the ending from being rushed.The characterization was superb. Great job on personalizing your cast, Ms. Strawser!I do have a couple of criticisms. As I said above, the plot is a winner, but I have to say the very end left me asking, “Say what?” It was not at all realistic in my opinion. I was also not always totally clear what Finn’s reasons were for doing the things he did. Overall, I was thoroughly engaged by Almost Missed You and highly recommend it to everyone looking for a good suspenseful read. I think Jessica Strawser shows enormous potential in this, her debut novel, and I look forward to picking up her next book due out in 2018.I wish to thank St. Martin’s Press, Net Galley and Ms. Jessica Strawser for inviting me to read an advanced copy of this novel. The opinions stated in my review are mine alone and are not biased in any way.

  • Arah-Lynda
    2019-04-06 22:38

    Have you ever been privy to knowledge that you knew would absolutely devastate a friend if you were to share it?   I had a friend one time years ago when I lived in the North.  She (Nancy) called me one morning before work and it was immediately evident that she was distraught.  I came to learn that another friend of hers came across incontrovertible proof that Nancy’s husband was having an affair and had been for some time.  It was a good bit later that Nancy confided in me that sometimes she wished her other friend had never told her about her husband’s secret.  We were happy she said or at least I always felt happy and loved before I knew, but now that I do know, there is no getting back to that happiness.Almost Missed You tells the story of Violet and Finn.  They first met on the beach while Violet was vacationing and experienced an instant connection.  A nearby medical emergency causes them to become separated before they even learn each other’s names.  They will not see each other again for a long time (years) before Finn finally places a missed connection ad that leaves little doubt that it is Violet he is seeking to find again.  When they meet once more, albeit not on a beach, it is like Kismet.  They become inseparable and soon Violet realizes that she is expecting.  Finn proposes and Violet gives birth to a healthy baby boy, their Bear cub.  Now that Bear is older Finn has brought his family back to that beach where he and Violet first met.  Laying in the sun, nursing a tall, cool drink Violet feels like all of her dreams have come true.  Life just doesn’t get any better than this.  It is thoughts like that one that eventually make her miss Bear so much that she simply must go up to their room and see if he is stirring from his nap yet.  Once there though Violet’s whole world turns upside down,  There is no trace of Finn or Bear or any of their things.  A quick check confirms that their car is also missing.   Completely blindsided Violet cannot wrap her head around this.  Why would Finn do this?  How could he possibly have taken Bear away from her?  Soon the local authorities get involved as well as those back home and in time the FBI are called in as well.  Caitlin is Finn’s best friend but since their marriage she has also become Violet’s best friend.  In fact she has been there supporting Violet as best she can through this horrifying nightmare of having lost her son.    On her return home she is shocked to find Finn and Bear holed up there.  Finn is demanding access to her in law's cabin as a place of refuge until he can sort things out.  He threatens to tell her husband a long kept secret that he is privy to if Caitlin does not help him or if she betrays him.   Caitlin is torn between the real possibility of losing her own family and doing the right thing by letting Violet know where Bear is.  Told through the perspectives of Violet, Finn and Caitlin, Almost Missed You is a compelling tale of love, friendship and betrayal that asks some difficult questions.  How well do you know your spouse?  How much of his/her background before you became a couple are you familiar with?  How much do you want to know?   What real truths do you expect your friends to share with you and just how much are you willing to share with them?  What are the limits of forgiveness?Despite some early misgivings this one held me firmly captive, due in no small part to Strawser’s impeccable pacing and richly imagined characters.  I felt as though I really knew Finn and Violet as well as Caitlin and their busy, little, bumbling boys too.  Some could argue that the ending was just too perfect, perhaps too coincidental.  Me, I’m not going to complain.  I was thoroughly entertained by this domestic thrill ride that I lapped right up in a couple of sittings.My thanks to St. Martins, NetGalley and Jessica Strawser for an advance reader’s copy.

  • Carol
    2019-04-10 20:47

    3.5 Stars.A tangled web of secrets and well placed reveals makes for a solid debut novel especially for fans of women's contemporary fiction. That being said, I have conflicting emotions on this one.....A really strong start became a little wordy midway with repetitive thoughts and memories, BUT the storyline of missed connections is an intriguing one that kept me turning the pages to find out more about why a happily married man packs up a toddler and leaves his wife with no indication of family trouble. (no spoiler here)ALMOST MISSED YOU takes the reader on a journey through tragedy, heartbreak, betrayal and blackmail.....with oh so many secrets along the way.While the ending was a bit over the top, I would read more of Jessica Strawser in a heartbeat.Many thanks to NetGalley, St. Martin's Press and a talented new young author for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  • Susanne Strong
    2019-04-04 21:49

    3.75 StarsAlmost Missed You is a story about relationships, family, friends and trust - or lack thereof. About the fact that in some relationships, people are never who you think they are, or rather, perhaps you never know them as well as you think you know them. This is the case for Violet Welsh. She thinks she is living the perfect life. Happily married to Finn, whom she met while vacationing alone in Florida, though they never exchanged more than a few words at the time and didn't even know each other's names. They reconnected years later, through a missed connections ad that Finn placed, which she responded to. She felt it was kismet. Shortly after they got together, she got pregnant and they married and she gave birth to their little "Bear" cub. For her, their life has been perfect. Years later, Finn takes her and Bear on a vacation to the place they met. Violet is over the moon. After years of unfulfilling relationships, she has everything she ever wanted. A perfect marriage to the man of her dreams. And her son, Bear. Whom she loves with all of her heart. He is her world. And then everything goes awry. Finn takes off, leaving Violet alone on vacation. But he does the unthinkable. He takes Bear with him. Kidnapping him. Violet is stunned. She never suspected. Never expected Finn to leave her. And she can't fathom a reason as to why Finn would have done this to her. The police and the FBI get involved. Violet is questioned. Her Grams is questioned. She feels like a criminal. Yet she did nothing. And she knows nothing. What Violet realizes is that Finn is not who she thought he was and their life together was not what it seemed. And Finn? He needs help and a place to hide. So he goes to the one person he has always been able to trust. His long time best friend Caitlin, who has also become Violet's best friend. And he blackmails Caitlin with the one piece of information he knows about her that no one else does. Information that could destroy her own life. And Caitlin is caught between helping Violet and saving herself. Almost Missed You is a quick fast paced read. It goes by in an instant. It was well written and enjoyable and is told in alternating chapters between past and present, narrated by Violet, Caitlin and Finn. This novel is pegged as a suspenseful, emotional novel but I have to say that I immediately guessed why Finn kidnapped his son and therefore, didn't find it suspenseful and found the rest of the novel to be quite predictable as well. While the characters were well written, I didn't connect with any of of them and didn't actually like any of them either. Further, I disliked Finn immensely- though I don't think I'm alone here. He did something despicable in my view. And there is no excuse for that. The fact that I didn't find the novel to be suspenseful, nor did I connect with the characters, took away from my enjoyment of the novel. From the other reviews I've read, most others didn't seem to guess the reasons for Finn abducting his son, thus I can only deduce that I analyzed this story more than most. Perhaps if I had not done that, I would have enjoyed it more. In addition, I also found the ending to be nonsensical, which added to my disappointment. That said, it was a good story and worth the read. Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin's Press and Jessica Strawser for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.Published on NetGalley and Goodreads on 2/26/17.*Will be Published on Amazon on 3/28/17.

  • Taryn
    2019-04-02 20:42

    Violet has a good life. Her husband Finn and three-old-son Bear are her entire world. While on a family vacation in Florida, Finn offers to take Bear back to the hotel room for a nap so that Violet can get some much-needed relaxation on the beach. Even when she's alone, all she can think about how lucky she is to have such a wonderful husband and son. She returns to their room refreshed and happy, but is shocked to find that there's no trace of either Finn or Bear. Only her belongings remain. It's like they were never there! She's completely devastated: "She was acutely aware that mother was both a noun and a verb, and left without the ability to take action, the reality struck her that it was no longer possible to be who she was without Bear." Where are Finn and Bear? How could her beloved husband do this to her?It was never all that hard to rationalize your way through doing something wrong when it was a way to get what you wanted.I really enjoyed reading Almost Missed You! I almost forgot I was reading a book. The writing faded away as I got caught up in these characters' emotional journeys. The surprises are evenly distributed throughout the story, which kept it interesting. Both of the marriages in this book look happy from the outside, but they are on shaky foundations. The characters are deeply flawed, but I understood the fears and anxieties that were driving them. My heart even ached for the character that made me the angriest. I wished that it all could've turned out differently! Tone-wise, it reminded of Caroline Leavitt (Cruel Beautiful World). The story alternates between three characters:• Finn's story starts six years prior, during his chance meeting with Violet. They lost touch after that initial meeting and it was years before they met again. People always love hearing the fortuitous way that they found each other after a series of missed connections. What was the path that led Finn back to Violet?"Nobody talks about the stuff that really haunts them. If you're talking about it, on some level you're dealing with it, or at least acknowledging it. If those walls could talk, the stories they’d tell you might make it seem like a spooky place, or a sad place, or even a possessed place, but I’d be willing to bet it would seem less haunted as soon as the mystery was gone.”• Violet is easygoing and agreeable. She's never been a worrier and she typically takes the path of least resistance. She feels completely blindsided when her loving husband kidnaps her child. But maybe she had only been seeing what she wanted to see this whole time. She's surprised when some "new" feelings actually don't feel so unfamiliar after all. Every odd behavior takes on a new significance in light of new circumstances. Once she's honest with herself, all the weird things that didn't seem like a big deal individually add up to something being majorly wrong. Did she misinterpret all the signs along the way? Was the charming man she met at the beach all those years ago the same man she reconnected with? Did she ever really know Finn? "Before you batten down the hatches and go to sleep at night, what are you writing in your captain’s log? That you saw a port and tied up to it? Or some other story, about the stars navigating you into the path of another ship?....All I’m saying is, whatever you’ve been writing down for yourself in that captain’s log, make sure it’s honest.”• Caitlin is an anxious person. These are her thoughts when her father-in-law suggest she take medication: "Beneath her smooth surface, Caitlin was far too anxious to take an anti-anxiety pill. What if it affected her strangely? What if she didn’t feel like herself? Or what if she liked it too much? What if she did something out of character in front of the boys? No. Not for her." She and Finn have been best friends since their school days, but she also became very close with Violet. They became mothers at the same time and were able to support each other during the sleepless infant days. When Finn and Bear go missing, she knows she should contact Violet about what she knows--but she also needs to ensure that her own family comes out of this situation unscathed. Caitlin has always worried about outside forces destroying her family, but it turns out the biggest threat was the person she trusted the most.“All the wrong people know all the wrong secrets here."In Almost Missed You, secrets fester in the darkness. These characters feel like they have to deal with their troubles alone, but perhaps everything would've turned out better if they trusted their partners rather than suffering in silence. This book explores the natural impulse to romanticize the past and create a compelling story of our lives. Violet tends to find meaning in strings of coincidences and ignore any evidence that doesn't fit. She's always looking for outside signs to confirm her life choices, but maybe the universe more chaotic than that. All the coincidences that make up a life--are they fate or random occurences?* Violet and Finn have two different worldviews that they neve really discussed or reconciled.Fans of domestic fiction who like a little bit of mystery should definitely check this book out. I'm excited to see that Jessica Strawser has another stand-alone coming out in 2018!____________I received this book for free from Netgalley and St. Martin's Press. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. It's available now! *My recent nonfiction reading made all the coincidences feel more realistic for me: Weaponized Lies by Daniel J. Levitin // Logical Fallacies - Illusory Correlation & Framing of Possibilities, especially the part about the chances of running into someone in a place you wouldn't expect.

  • Julie
    2019-03-24 00:35

    I almost Missed you by Jessica Strawer is a 2017 St. Martin’s Press publication. Serendipity- Fate- Kismet-This is the story of Violet and Finn, a couple who seemed destined to be together… They met on a beach by chance, but that one encounter was enough to leave a lasting impression on them both. But, for a long time they were like two ships that passed in the night, until yet another chance meeting finally cements them firmly together. But, for one of them the cement has begun to crack. Out of the clear blue sky, Finn suddenly packs up his and Violet’s three year old son,'Bear', on what looks like a spur of the moment decision, and skips off to parts unknown, leaving everyone who knows the couple flummoxed and bewildered- including Violet and Finn’s best friend, Caitlin. But, Caitlin soon finds herself in between the ultimate rock and a hard place when she must choose between Finn and Violet. Which one will she help? Which side will she take? Why did Finn leave his perfect marriage and why did he kidnap his son? I had this book on hold at the library for a long time. I don’t know why there was only one digital copy of this book, but long story short, the wait time was very long. Truth be told, it had been so long since I had thought about this book, I’d forgotten the premise entirely. As a result, I just dove into this book blindly, believing it to be a psychological thriller. Initially, the novel went right down that path. But, as time moved on, the story seemed to morph into something a bit more than that.I was unprepared for the level of suspense that gripped me. It was so unbearable I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. Every character has a secret and every secret carries an enormous consequence if they are exposed. Some secrets are scandalous, some are more minor, and some are incredibly heart wrenching. This book was not exactly what I was expecting it to be, since, in my opinion, it’s not a traditional psychological thriller, or novel of suspense, which caught me completely off guard- and this is yet another one of those books that is hard to categorize. Having said that, this story blew me away, with its intensity, emotion, characterizations and dialogue. The pacing is so perfectly timed, the mere thought of putting this book down was untenable. At the end of the day, this is a story of loss and tragedy, of ill -advised choices resulting in deeply held cataclysmic secrets that come back to roost in a most spectacular fashion. It’s a story of sacrifice, love, guilt and hope, which put me through an emotional wringer that left me nearly breathless. It’s intense, but also has a beauty to it, with an ending that made feel as though a giant weight was lifted and that all would be well, just given a little more time, and what’s more, left me believing wholeheartedly in destiny, fate, kismet, and all the rest. Some things are just meant to be.

  • Diane S ☔
    2019-04-09 22:27

    Envy of all their friends, a perfect marriage, a young child, a unique way that they managed to find each other, a story told repeatedly to their friends, Vi and Finn seem to be the ideal couple. Why the. would he leave her with a drink in hand and take off with her son, leaving her alone, desperate and searching for answers?I so wanted to love this book but unfortunately will just have to settle for liking it. Maybe it is because I never really took to Finn, or that I found the middle somewhat too long, the back and forth storytelling, or the soap opera quality of the ending, but somewhere along the way this just missed its mark for me. It is written well, is compelling in places, but I think that there is such a glut of these types of books being published that I have just gotten tired of them. The fault is with this reader , not the writer in that case. So many positive reviews, give it a try and see where you fall, this book has worked for many readers and will continue to do so, I believe. ARC from Netgalley.

  • Suzanne Leopold
    2019-04-16 18:26

    Violet and Finn are parents of a three year old boy named Bear. They drive to Florida on their first vacation as a family since Bear was born. One afternoon, Violet enjoys a few hours to herself while her husband volunteers to stay with their son. When she returns to her hotel room, she discovers that her husband and her son are missing. Violet calls the police after discovering that their car and other valuables are also gone. Believing her marriage was secure, she struggles to understand her husband’s disappearance.Finn sets off driving aimlessly without a plan. Needing time to figure out his next steps, he reaches Cincinnati and seeks help from his high school friend Caitlin. He demands that Caitlin hide them at her in-laws vacant cabin for a few days. Finn threatens to go public with embarrassing information that will ruin her family if she doesn’t cooperate. Caitlin is torn between protecting her family and helping reunite Violet with her child.This is a book filled with a combination of twists, suspense, and secrets. It is fast paced and alternates between the past and the present. I enjoyed the journey and the development of each character in the book. This is a debut novel by Jessica Strawser.1 copy to giveaway on my blog until 3/28

  • Erin Clemence
    2019-04-01 01:49

    Special thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free electronic ARC of this novel, in exchange for an honest review.(4.5 stars rounded up to 5)As cliché as this is, I have to say it- I loved this book’s cover! It caught my attention, and after reading the novel, the cover actually was appropriate for the story. Once I read the book, I continued to be impressed. “Almost Missed You” is a story about ‘missed connections’ (in more ways than one). Finn and Violet are, on the surface, a happily married couple, enjoying life with their young son, Bear. When Finn and Violet decide to take a beach vacation with their son, Violet relishes in the fact that her life is close to perfect. Until Violet returns to the hotel room one afternoon and finds her son and husband (and all traces of them), gone. While Violet is left grieving and searching, Finn shows up with Bear at the home of their mutual friend Caitlin- desperate and pleading for help. Finn uses a deep secret of Caitlin’s as blackmail, and Caitlin needs to make a choice- will she destroy her own family to help her best friend’s? This is Ms. Strawser’s debut novel and I can say I was seriously impressed. What a fantastic story! Heartbreaking, emotional, gripping and suspenseful there was no part of this novel I did not like. Violet and Caitlin are powerful, strong mothers, Finn is deeply troubled and heartbroken, and young Bear is a delight. The novel ends satisfyingly (although Violet is a far more patient and understanding person than I would be). Strawser draws in a reader’s attention and keeps it until the very last page, putting a reader through the emotional wringer in the process. Strawser has raw talent and I cannot even begin to imagine what she will write after years in the industry, when her skill has been honed and perfected! This novel was everything a reader could want- easy to read, extremely addictive, immersive and suspense-ridden. I have no critiques about this novel at all, and I sincerely hope Strawser continues to provide the literary world with works like this! I will be first in line to collect her second novel.

  • Esil
    2019-04-09 00:39

    3.5 stars. What a tangled web of secrets! Almost Missed You grabbed me at the beginning. Great first chapter. Violet and Flynn and their three year old son Bear are on a beach vacation. The next thing Violet knows, Flinn and Bear have disappeared. The story then moves back and forth in time, revealing what lay in Violet and Flinn's past and how things unfold after the disappearance. Mixed in with Violet and Flinn are close friends Caitlin and George. And the plot comes down to these four characters' web of secrets, and how they get untangled. I loved the story of how Violet and Finn "met". I liked that some of the secrets were really not what you'd expect. I generally liked the characters -- I especially liked Caitlin. My one complaint is that I wasn't always convinced by the emotional reactions these characters had as secrets were revealed -- especially Violet's reaction to the big reveal. And in the end, who knows whether anyone can get over all these secrets. I'm being purposefully obtuse because this book would be worthless if you knew the secrets from the beginning. It was entertaining. It was clever. It could have been better. But it was a good debut and I would definitely take a chance on Jessica Strawser's next book. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an opportunity to read an advance copy.

  • *TANYA*
    2019-03-31 18:50

    4.25 stars. I could not focus on anything else. This about sums up this book "All the wrong people know the wrong secrets." Oh, and did anyone catch Bear's real name?? Lol

  • Catherine McKenzie
    2019-04-14 18:29

    I got an advanced reader copy of this book while at the Writer's Digest conference this year. My plane home got delayed by 4 hours, which gave me just enough time to finish reading this book in one sitting. I raced through it, wondering what had happened. Why would a father take his child away from him mother when everything seemed great between them? We learn why along the way and I was surprised at the answers. Look for this one in 2017!

  • Jan
    2019-04-14 22:50

    This was a request for review through NetGalley. When I get these emails, I get a bit skeptical on what I'm getting myself into, but the blurb on this one piqued my interest, so I went for it. And I'm happy to say that this was a winner!Solid characters that were perfectly flawed in their own unique way, a plot that held my interest up until the last chapter, and some clever little twists that helped keep the story fresh and moving forward.My one criticism falls with the last few pages...I'm not sure I'm buying that ending, after everyting that transpired with these couples. The ending felt right, up until the last 2 pages. But still a solid read and one that I have no problems recommending-I read it in 2 days, if that's any indication!ARC provided by NetGalley

  • Chris
    2019-03-24 23:42

    "Almost Missed You is a skillful, insightful debut: a deft exploration of the mysteries of marriage, the price we pay for our secrets, and just how easy it is to make the worst choices imaginable."-- Chris Bohjalian

  • Petra
    2019-03-23 19:22

    What should have been a relaxing, enjoyable vacation in Florida, turns into a terrible nightmare for Violet, when her husband, Finn, disappears from their hotel room taking their three-year-old son, Bear, with him. Violet is distraught but also baffled. She thought her marriage to Finn was solid and they both loved being parents to Bear. Meanwhile, Finn manages to solicit the help of his high school friend, Caitlin, to stay under the radar of the FBI. Caitlin had also become close friends with Violet as her husband, George, was away a lot and their twins were of a similar age to Violet's and Finn's son, Bear. Caitlin understands how devastated Violet must be and feels torn about aiding Finn but is forced to remain quiet in order to protect her own secret and her family.The story switches between August 2016 when Finn disappears and various times in the past when the reader learns about all the events that finally led to Finn and Violet getting married. Told through the three alternating perspectives of Finn, Violet, and Caitlin, it slowly becomes clear that all the characters have been keeping secrets. I really liked that every character managed to surprise me and the way the revelations were made was well done. All the little twists kept me glued to the pages. The story contained a compelling mix of suspense, mystery, and emotion. It's been a while since I've been this absorbed in a domestic suspense novel. From the convincing writing style, the unanticipated plotting, and the solid characterization I would have never guessed this was the author's first novel. I thought it was really impressive. My only minor issue was with the epilogue. It's not that I didn't like it as such, but it was just a bit too high on the serendipity scale for me. I will, however, definitely be looking out for Jessica Strawser's next novel due out in 2018. I received an ARC via NetGalley. Thank you!

  • Debra
    2019-04-04 23:28

    Received from the Publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.While on vacation, Violet is enjoying a quiet moment on the beach while her husband takes their son up to the room for a nap. When Violet goes to meet them in the room, she sees that her husband, Finn, is gone along with their young son, Bear. Where could they be? Why did Finn take off with Bear? Weren't they happy? Their life was perfect, wasn't it? Finn shows up on his friend Caitlin's doorstep with Bear. He demands that she help him. The FBI is searching for him so he blackmails her into helping him hide. Does Caitlin help him? Does she risk a secret coming out in order to do the right thing?The premise of this book was very interesting. A man kidnaps his son and leaves his wife with questions. Hunted by the FBI, he hides out. What really did not work for me where his reasons for leaving. I didn't buy the whole story. So this guy can run and commits a federal offense by kidnapping his son because he couldn't be honest with his wife. Why couldn't this guy grow some balls already. I thought his reason for running was lame.I did not find this book to be suspenseful. The secrets came out but by the end of the book, I just thought meh. I wanted to take Finn and shake him. I wanted to ask Violet how the hell do you speak to someone who took your child and put your through hell for a "secret" Good GAWD. This was barely a 3 for me. I see a lot of people loved this book...not me.see more of my reviews at

  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    2019-04-19 00:32

    Emotionally riveting, moving characters, and a twisty, turny plot full of secrets. This book is well-written and overall well-done. It's definitely something fresh for the domestic suspense fans. Thanks to Goodreads and the publisher, I was able to read and review an advance copy of this book due to release in late March 2017.

  • Jennifer Blankfein
    2019-03-23 21:24

    While on a vacation solo, Violet meets a stranger she falls for and cannot forget. All she knows is that they both live in the same city but they have no way to reach each other. For several years Violet pines for this mystery stranger, wondering what could have been, and one day an ad appeared in the local paper describing her and their brief encounter on vacation and asking her to meet him. The connection survived the set of time and their love grows: this second chance meeting was a sign for Violet that she and Finn, her mystery man, were meant to be. Violet and Finn, now happily married, take their 3 year old adored son, Bear, to the beach where they first met for a special vacation, and while Violet is relaxing at the ocean, Finn and Bear mysteriously disappear without a trace.Caitlin, Finn's old friend from high school, and her husband George and their twins live next door to Violet and Finn back home. Finn and Bear shockingly appear in Caitlin's house asking her to hide them, and threatening to blackmail her with secrets that will ruin her family. Violet is alone and distraught waiting for her son to be located, Finn is desperate and looking for a safe place where he can think things through, and Caitlin is faced with harboring a kidnapper and his son or divulging secrets that will surely ruin her marriage.This gut wrenching debut is fast paced and well written as the details of the past trickle in and the truth is revealed. The tangled web of lies by omission has the lives of Violet and Finn along with friends Caitlin and George hanging in the balance. "All the wrong people know all the wrong secrets" and in Almost Missed You, author Jessica Strawser skillfully shows us the price one pays for keeping it under wraps in this suspenseful story of love, loss and the quest for a happy life.

  • Kathryn
    2019-04-07 23:51

    Almost Missed You by Jessica Strawser is a debut novel that packs a punch mainly because of the secrets the characters keep from each other.The story is told from three viewpoints - Violet, Finn and Caitlin. There is also a dual time line. At first I always resent that hop back or forwards, however in this case the transition back in time comes just at the right moment and some of the back story is revealed at the right point. Secrets abound in this story, all of them keep back secrets or have shared the truth with the wrong person. There is a lack of being up front with the person who most deserves and needs it. So while a person might feel they are with the love of their life, just how much do they really know that person. How good is their marriage really? Finn is a tormented character, full of guilt and regret. While he should be someone I really disliked I felt a sympathy for him, although not for his actions. He was definitely in need of deep therapy. Violet was an unsuspecting partner in her marriage, with a blindspot that prevented her from realising some home truths. Her grandmother though was wiser.Caitlyn and George's marriage was interesting and I felt based on love, yet with each harboring secrets that were regrettable and sad. Oh for the truth to have been revealed by each at an earlier date. George was a sort of distant figure in the story, but Caitlyn was very much part of it. I felt sympathy too for her - her panic over what might be revealed, her desire to help Violet. In a way I liked her more than Violet. Once all secrets have been revealed each one makes their necessary choice to move on in life. Marked with suffering, and yet hopefully wiser and ready to embrace the life they now have.

  • Carolyn
    2019-03-29 18:33

    Finn and Violet have a romantic story to tell of how they first met and then almost missed meeting again. But they do meet again, fall in love, marry and have a wonderful little boy called Bear who is very much loved by both of them. So why would Finn disappear in the middle of a vacation, taking Bear with him?That is the question Jesssica Strawser poses in her novel and one that takes some time to answer. There are deeply buried secrets being kept by Finn and their good friends Caitlin and George which are slowly revealed to make sense of the mystery. I thought the novel started of with a very strong beginning and was very gripping second half but was a little slow in the middle before the reveals started to spice things up. The ending was just a bit too contrived for my taste but overall this was a strong debut novel. 3.5★

  • Jeannie
    2019-03-31 19:39

    This was a quick read that had me turning pages. Perfect book to take to the beach!

  • Sophie
    2019-04-05 21:47

    4 to 4,5 starsAn ARC has been kindly provided by St Martin's Press, via, in exchange for an honest review.It’s been a tense and intense reading. Intense because I deeply despised Finn until the last 3% of the book. By then I was able to feel some compassion. It’s a very unsettling feeling when all you can think about one of the main characters is what a coward he is. What a selfish human I thought. He had absolutely no right to do what he did to Violet! I could not think of a single reason good enough to justify it.It was a tense reading as I wanted to rush through the book desperate to know what would happen next. Violet was an incredible mom and I could not fathom anything she could have done that would have make her deserve what she went through. It was so unfair. Unexplainable.My head was constantly filled with the same questions going round and round: “Why? “ and “What if?”WHY? Violet and Finn have been happily married for more than three years now. They met for a very short time six years ago on a beach. If their encounter was short it made a lasting impressions and Finn tried to find Violet. Several years later they reunited and have become the proud parents of a now three year old Bear.They were on holiday when Finn and Bear suddenly disappeared leaving Violet devastated. Violet’s worst fear had come true. ” No-not her worst fears. That wasn’t right. The thing she had never had a reason to fear, something far worse. Her husband gone. Her child gone.”Why? Why does a father choose to leave abruptly kidnapping his son without any warning whatsoever? Was Bear in danger because Violet was abusive? I was baffled. Could you imagine just for one moment the anguish of not knowing where your child had been taken? If you would see him one day? Why your doting husband chose to flee? What could justify a mother so intense suffering it was bleeding through my Kindle? I’m a mother and this was deeply unnerving.Violet was torturing herself looking for a reason why. ”The not knowing why he had done this or where he had gone was enough to make her feel as if she might be on the verge of something essential coming loose in her mind.”And then you can’t help but think: WHAT IF?The FBI was digging in Finn’s past. They were asking questions relentlessly. Surely Violet and Finn’s friend Caitlin must be naïve, stupid women. Or they had something to hide…As the investigation progressed and I read about Finn and Caitlin’s past I was wondering: what if it was my husband? All these secrets made me wonder if we really do know our loved ones. What if they were hiding their emotions and some dark past like Finn did for so long?Could it happen to me?We are always convinced missing persons, child kidnapping only happen to others. Until the day we’re proven wrong.So, what if?Has it all been a lie? Did Finn ever truly loved Violet? Were they meant to be?This story is riveting and sometimes agonizing when I witnessed Violet’s utter despair. The switch between present drama and past secrets surrounding Finn and Caitlin kept me on my toe all along. The writing is real, precise, solid and fits the dramatic structure of the story. It got my attention right from the start and I did not want to stop reading even if I had to.Terrifying in its possibilities.You want to follow all my reviews and rants? Sign up for my newsletter at: Or follow me on Facebook: Twitter:

  • Kristy
    2019-03-23 22:42

    Violet and Finn are one of those couples that everyone believes is meant to be. Their story is one entwined with fate. They met once by chance and were reunited years later. Now married, with a young son, everything seems great for the couple. While vacationing in Florida, Violet cannot believe her good fortune. So imagine her shock when she returns from a relaxing nap on the beach to find their hotel room empty: Finn has vanished, and he has taken Bear, their son, with him. Violet has no explanation for this, and the FBI is quickly involved. Meanwhile, Finn's closest friend, Caitlin--who has become Violet's dear friend too--becomes entwined in the disappearance when Finn enlists her help. Will Violet ever see her son again? And why exactly did Finn vanish from that beach? This novel definitely sucks you in right away. It's confusing and intriguing, as you're completely puzzled as to why Finn would run off and leave his beloved wife (and why would he take their son, too). In the beginning, I did not want to stop reading: the novel was completely addictive. Strawser slowly adds in additional details that thicken the plot, making Caitlin and her husband, George, as much as a part of the story as Finn and Violet. It's told in alternating points of view (Violet, Caitlin, Finn) and time periods, including after the kidnapping incident and before, leading up to Violet and Finn's history together. This effectively builds suspense and can drive you a tad insane, as a chapter in the past ends, leaving you dangling and wanting more details. The problem for me was that, over time, the characters almost seemed their own worst enemies. Rather than a mystery/suspense novel, the book turns more psychological (nothing necessarily wrong with that) with each character bemoaning their various choices that have led up to this point. And seriously, they've made some stupid choices. It's one of those things where you want to scream: if you'd all just have talked to each other! Communication! Some of the ways of handling things seem awfully impractical for such serious issues (case in point: just about anything Caitlin does with her life, including her way of addressing the kidnapping). Still, the novel continues to churn out some crazy twists, making it very interesting. The unveiling of Finn's past really carries the book about 3/4 through. You're continually wondering what happened, what he owes various characters, and why on earth he'd want to leave Violet (and take Bear). As much as I enjoyed this novel and how suspenseful it was, I was frustrated by the characters - none of whom I cared for much at all beyond Violet. (I would have just strangled Finn if possible and potentially even Caitlin.) Again, some communication could have really saved some preposterous plot movements. There are a few times where characters seem to act way out of line for their development, etc. As the book nears a close, it drags on with their in-fighting and psychological messes, versus actual excitement, which was a little disappointing. I felt like we'd been through a lot of excitement for nothing and come out at the end with little but an emotional saga. The ending is awfully pat, too, and makes you think, really? However, I truly did enjoy most of this book and found it incredibly suspenseful. It's easy to read and draws you in immediately. Even if you don't like all the characters, you'll be intrigued by their predicaments and the entire scenario. I'd certainly be interested in what Strawser comes up with next. 3.5 stars. I received a copy of this novel from the publisher and Netgalley (thank you!) in return for an unbiased review; it is available everywhere as of 03/28/2017. Blog ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Google+

  • Aɤɩ
    2019-03-21 23:41

    4 all the wrong people starsThis book was amazing. Hear me out-We've all read love stories, where a dozen different coincidences happen for our protagonists to end up where they are, and then the story (usually) ends with the two of them riding off into sunset.But I have always wondered what happens after the sunset?I know I am not the only one. This book starts where another story has already taken place- Finn and Violet are already together. They already have a child they adore and are very much in love.At least that what Violet believes.They are at a vacation. She falls asleep on the beach one afternoon thinking how lucky she is, and how everything is right in the world. And when she wakes up-Everything is gone.Her life as she knew it. Her husband. And her Bear cub, her son.All gone.Here begins the book. It's a chase from there on wards- not exactly a literal one, but a figurative one for knowledge, for facts to know where exactly everything went so horribly wrong in their marriage, that her husband had to run away with their child.Three people.Two secrets.Two families, and three children.All on the line, because someone finally broke from the pressure of their past.You gotta read this book to know how brilliantly the author has portrayed everything. Her writing style was impeccable and beautiful- with just the right kind of vague tone that is a necessity in a mystery book. I have to say, this is one of my first mystery books in years, because the suspense gets so strong that I just read the ending to know the finale. But the Miss. Jessica kept me hooked right up till the very end. And that ending! I love love love that ending![ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review]"This was why he’d failed to walk away from their son, even when he could no longer bring himself to stay, even when there was nowhere else to go."

  • Laurel-Rain
    2019-04-16 02:33

    Violet and Finn were “meant to be,” said everyone, always. They ended up together by the hands of fate aligning things just so. Three years into their marriage, they have a wonderful little boy, and as the three of them embark on their first vacation as a family, Violet can’t help thinking that she can’t believe her luck. Life is good. So no one is more surprised than she when Finn leaves her at the beach—just packs up the hotel room and disappears. And takes their son with him. Violet is suddenly in her own worst nightmare, and faced with the knowledge that the man she’s shared her life with, she never really knew at all. Caitlin and Finn have been best friends since way back when, but when Finn shows up on Caitlin’s doorstep with the son he’s wanted for kidnapping, demands that she hide them from the authorities, and threatens to reveal a secret that could destroy her own family if she doesn’t, Caitlin faces an impossible choice. Told through alternating viewpoints of Violet, Finn and Caitlin, Jessica Strawser's Almost Missed You is a powerful story of a mother’s love, a husband’s betrayal, connections that maybe should have been missed, secrets that perhaps shouldn’t have been kept, and spaces between what’s meant to be and what might have been.My Thoughts: From the very first pages of Almost Missed You, I felt a connection to the character of Violet, and her serendipitous first meeting with Finn. I was reminded of occasions in my own life when events happened in such a way that they seemed “meant to be,” so I could totally relate to Violet’s feelings about her missed connections with Finn, and how happy she was that they finally connected. It did seem fated.But as we soon find out in this back and forth storyline, the fault might have been "in their stars." Or in their overly persistent push to make these connections happen. Finn’s secrets were the huge stumbling block for them, once they did connect. And when events began to unravel, with secrets revealed in a most hurtful way, I was sure that his past would be too much for them to overcome. But could they find a new starting point?Of course, Violet’s share of the responsibility lay in her failure to probe more into Finn’s past. Did she really ever know him?Then there were the two “best friends,” Caitlin and George, and how their own actions and lack of transparency had contributed to it all.I couldn’t stop turning the pages, hoping for some kind of resolution, eagerly waiting to see if Violet would reunite with her child. The fate of the other characters seemed less important to me, as I definitely rooted mostly for her. A book worthy of 5 stars.***My e-ARC came from the publisher, via NetGalley.

  • Carrie
    2019-03-21 21:42

    Violet and Finn were one of those couples that everyone though were meant to be. Crossing paths several times in their lives the two finally came together and had gotten married. Now on vacation with their young son the unthinkable happens to Violet. Finn had taken their son for a nap while Violet stayed on the beach to relax. When Violet returned to the hotel room all trace of her husband and son was completely gone. In the days following Violet is living her worst nightmare when police find no trace of her husband and son. Violet now begins to question did she ever know the man she was married to? Little does Violet know one person in her life knows where Finn is. Caitlin had been friends with Finn long before his marriage to Violet and is now using her secrets against her to help him along. Almost Missed You to me was somewhat of a dramatic thriller type of read. With Finn's disappearance right at the start of the story it certainly pulls a reader into it to find out what exactly could have happened to what was thought to be this perfectly happy couple. As the story unfolds it turns in more of a family drama with secrets galore being held by everyone involved. For the most part of this book I was completely hooked on the drama unfolding and couldn't wait to see how this one would end. However, I'm not too sure I was completely impressed with the overall ending to this one, it just felt a little off when getting there after being engrossed up to that point so that brought my rating down a tad bit but otherwise I'd recommend this to anyone who loves a twisty journey unraveling family secrets and dramatic suspense. I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.wordpress....

  • Marjorie
    2019-03-22 01:43

    Violet and Finn seem to have it all – a loving marriage that was meant to be and their little boy, Bear. But there are secrets in this marriage that Violet only begins to become aware of when Finn shockingly abducts Bear. Finn turns to his best friend, Caitlin, with a threat to reveal her marriage secrets to her husband, George, if Caitlin doesn’t hide him and Bear.I’ve always enjoyed books that involve the mystery of fate or destiny. There’s something so compelling about how some things are “just meant to be”. The title of this book, “Almost Missed You”, is what drew me to it the most. We’ve all wondered at one time of another whether, for instance, our life would be completely different if we had decided to stay home that day instead of taking a walk on the beach. The plot of this book is a fascinating one and the author has done a good job of mapping out all of the coincidences and how they all play into the lives of Violet, Finn, Caitlin and George. She also does a good job of describing the torment Violet goes through dealing with the abduction of her child.However, too much of this book just didn’t ring true to me; most importantly, Finn’s reasons for leaving Violet and for taking Bear. Also, most of the back story read too much like a romance novel and dragged on far too long for me, causing me to disconnect with the story of Bear’s abduction. This book is publicized as a psychological thriller but I didn’t really find much thrilling about it. The plot’s an interesting one, though, so if you can take some of the reasoning given with a grain of salt, this might be more your cup of tea than it was mine.This book was given to me by the publisher in return for an honest review.