- Written by: Bryan Reardon
- Published by: William Morrow & Company, February 24, 2015
- Length: 272 pages
- Source: Received an advanced copy for consideration of an honest review
Summary: While his successful wife goes off to her law office each day, Simon Connolly takes care of their kids, Jake and Laney. Now that they are in high school, the angst-ridden father should feel more relaxed, but he doesn’t. He’s seen the statistics, read the headlines. And now, his darkest fear is coming true. There has been a shooting at school.
Simon races to the rendezvous point, where he’s forced to wait. Do they know who did it? How many victims were there? Why did this happen? One by one, parents are led out of the room to reunite with their children. Their numbers dwindle, until Simon is alone.
As his worst nightmare unfolds, and Jake is the only child missing, Simon begins to obsess over the past, searching for answers, for hope, for the memory of the boy he raised, for mistakes he must have made, for the reason everything came to this. Where is Jake? What happened in those final moments? Is it possible he doesn’t really know his son? Or he knows him better than he thought?
Brilliantly paced, Finding Jake explores these questions in a tense and emotionally wrenching narrative. Harrowing and heartbreaking, surprisingly healing and redemptive, Finding Jake is a story of faith and conviction, strength, courage, and love that will leave readers questioning their own lives, and those they think they know.
My Thoughts: This book is a sensitive look into the life of a parent as his son is thought guilty by association. Simon’s character is the most fleshed out and open to the reader. In his role as stay at home dad he’s been on a major roller coaster for years. He worries about his kids, their social lives and their school performance. He has often doubted his part in helping both Jake and Laney to spread their wings. The book goes back and forth between Jake growing up and the present, what is happening now since a school shooting.
High school and the friends kids have is a completely different world. As parents we all take a step back, allowing our children to set up their own plans and meet friends we don’t know. Naturally Simon is still hoping his son is making good choices, good friends who aren’t in trouble. How much can we know about our teens every movement?
Bryan Reardon also writes about the marital strife that comes along with raising children. Disagreements and varies opinions come through at times and make things more stressful for Simon. Does he resent his wife’s career and the life she has outside their home?
Finding Jake was an emotional ride for me, because I have a teen son, and because many of the key elements in this book are any parent’s worst nightmare. I enjoyed the introspective look into his role Simon shares. In the most stressful moments in this book, Simon has his son’s best interest at heart and he knows best how to find Jake and how to prove his innocence.
I highly recommend this book, it’s easy to compare it to other books with teen angst and drama, but this one is different and has a unique feel to it. It is a book for adults, for the feelings on the parent side of tragedy. It will make you think.