When I Found You

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Title: When I Found You
Author: Catherine Ryan Hyde
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Pages: 410 pages

Source: Amazon Book Page, Author Website

Rating: 3 Stars


While duck hunting one morning, childless, middle-aged Nathan McCann finds a newborn abandoned in the woods. To his shock, the child—wrapped in a sweater and wearing a tiny knitted hat—is still alive. To his wife’s shock, Nathan wants to adopt the boy…but the child’s grandmother steps in. Nathan makes her promise, however, that one day she’ll bring the boy to meet him so he can reveal that he was the one who rescued him.

Fifteen years later, the widowed Nathan discovers the child abandoned once again—this time at his doorstep. Named Nat, the teenager has grown into a sullen delinquent whose grandmother can no longer tolerate him. Nathan agrees to care for Nat, and the two engage in a battle of wills that spans years. Still, the older man repeatedly assures the youngster that, unlike the rest of the world, he will never abandon him—not even when Nat suffers a trauma that changes both of their lives forever.

From the bestselling author of Pay It Forward comes When I Found You, an exquisite, emotional tale of the unexpected bonds that nothing in life can break


–      From the Author’s Site:

In my own words: Nathan McCann’s life is safe and comfortable but not much more. His wife has her own bedroom, usually with the door shut. His best friend is his curly-coated retriever, Sadie. But Flora won’t even allow her in the house.

One morning at dawn, on a routine duck hunt, his dog finds an abandoned newborn in a pile of leaves in the woods. It’s a cold October morning, so Nathan assumes he has found the child’s remains. Until the baby moves.

This one moment changes everything. And Nathan knows he is unwilling to see it change back. Childless and middle-aged, knowing it’s wildly uncharacteristic for him, Nathan announces that he wants this child for his own. But he doesn’t get him. The baby boy has a grandmother who receives custody.

Nathan finds her and extracts a promise: sometime in the boy’s life, she will bring him around to meet Nathan and say, “This is the man who found you in the woods.” “That way,” Nathan says, “he will know me. I will exist for him.”

But by the time the Grandmother brings Nat (named after Nathan) around, the boy is a 15-year-old juvenile delinquent with a police record. And she doesn’t just introduce him to Nathan. She washes her hands of him and leaves him there.

So Nathan gets his wish. But it’s not the way he imagined.


I loved this book. Loved both Nathan’s and the humanity and tragedy of this novel. There are only two things I can complain about; it was difficult for me to follow back and forth between dates and I felt that the story dragged on a little bit. Otherwise I was completely in love with the fact that this was not a sappy gooey easily fixed love story between two strangers. There was hardship, delinquency, abandonment, hurt feelings, tears, dying, love, misunderstanding, lies, irrationality and a HUGE dose of patience from Nathan. Nathan as a character made me want to be a better person in a lot of ways. He exuded a sort of the patience in life and its upheavals in ways that I can only dream of and there is  some other world sort of human understanding that he has that lends this fatherly, almost godly, type of aura to him. For me Nathan made the novel. I wish there would have been more of a close between Nat and Carol. I wanted to know more and hoped for more but that’s fine I suppose. I feel like at the end of the book the author re-opened up a couple of already closed stories for a brief moment before closing them shut again. It was kind of a tease. Final verdict: I liked how real life the book was.

If you feel like having an emotionally involved and realistic read this is the novel for you. It is not light nor funny so don’t be disappointed when you don’t get that. There is a happy ending but not in the traditional they lived happily ever after type of way. If you are looking for a change in what you normally read I definitely recommend this for you.






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