Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Almost Missed You

Almost Missed You

A Novel

Jessica Strawser

St. Martin's Press

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"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, New York Times bestselling author of The Sandcastle Girls and Midwives

"Almost Missed You is an emotional powerhouse of a novel." —Garth Stein, New York Times bestselling author of A Sudden Light and The Art of Racing in the Rain

"In Almost Missed You, debut author Jessica Strawser meticulously weaves together a kidnapped child, friends in turmoil, and a Craigslist ad into a tangled web of secrets, lies, and unexpected alliances. This heart-breaking page-turner will make you question how well you really know everyone you hold dear." — Amy Sue Nathan, author of The Glass Wives

"Jessica Strawser has expertly woven a tale of a marriage in crisis with elements of daring, danger, mystery, and secrets that will surprise and delight you...Glorious!" — Adriana Trigiani, New York Times bestselling author of All the Stars in the Heavens

"Jessica Strawser writes from the heart." —New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline

"Almost Missed You is compelling fiction from a brave new voice." —Bestselling author Sophie Littlefield

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.

As the suspenseful events unfold through alternating viewpoints of Violet, Finn and Caitlin, Jessica Strawser's Almost Missed You is a page turning 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.

EXCERPT

1

AUGUST 2016


Violet couldn’t remember the last time she’d felt so at peace. She almost felt guilty admitting this to herself as there had been so many moments to treasure in the three years since Bear was born....

Reviews

Praise for Almost Missed You

"A taut psychological thriller... Strawser’s imaginative story is a three-pronged domestic drama that rivets the reader, explores the vagaries of fate, touches on politics, PTSD and pregnancy, and leaves the reader breathless." -- Richmond Times-Dispatch

"Fans of smart women's fiction mixed with a fast-paced plot should not miss this startling first novel." —Library Journal

"Strawser's exploration of marriage, it's expectations, and motherhood are spot-on, making for an absorbing read." —Publishers Weekly

"A book worth losing sleep over, this novel takes readers on a winding emotional journey that delves into the complexity of human relationships, guilt and forgiveness. Told from alternating voices, the layers of the story are woven together chapter by chapter, slowly coming together like the pieces of a puzzle to reveal the bigger picture." —RT Book Reviews

"Once in a great while, along comes a novel that defies the odds, a true mystery that bars no holds and plays no tricks, leaving the reader both deeply moved and thoroughly astonished. Almost Missed You is just such a book, a debut that asks if we can ever really know another human being, by a writer’s writer with talent to spare. You may not have heard of Jessica Strawser today, but by tomorrow, everyone’s going to be talking about her and about this story." — Jacquelyn Mitchard, New York Times bestselling author of The Deep End of the Ocean

"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, New York Times bestselling author of The Sandcastle Girls and Midwives

Almost Missed You is an emotional powerhouse of a novel, filled with complex relationships and difficult choices, the secrets we keep, and the lies we tell to those we love while hoping to shield them from harm. Strawser’s tale of guilt, blame, redemption, and forgiveness is a must read for anyone who enjoys a well-told, compelling exploration of the human heart.” —Garth Stein New York Times best selling author of A Sudden Light and The Art of Racing in the Rain

"Almost Missed You is the sensational debut novel by the gifted Jessica Strawser who has expertly woven a tale of a marriage in crisis with elements of daring, danger, mystery and secrets that will surprise and delight you. You will revel in the triangle of Violet and Finn, the perfect couple until they weren't, and Caitlin, Finn's best friend, who is pulled into the drama while hiding a secret of her own. This is a rich read which will keep you turning pages long into the night. Glorious!" — Adriana Trigiani, New York Times bestselling author of All the Stars in the Heavens

"Taut, emotional, satisfies with its gripping blend of painful secrets and fateful connections." — National Book Award and PEN USA finalist Deb Caletti

"Jessica Strawser writes from the heart." — New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline

"Jessica Strawser’s richly textured debut novel never lets the reader forget that love is a complex equation, in which attraction and affection are balanced by the cost of forgiveness, the obligation of friendship, and the pain of loss. Compelling fiction from a brave new voice." — Bestselling author Sophie Littlefield

"A thought-provoking debut about the true cost of emotional stress fractures and the jolts that finally crack them open. Strawser’s novel is layered with secrets, and will stay with you long after you finish reading." — Therese Walsh, author of The Moon Sisters

"Jessica Strawser hits all the right notes in her memorable debut. With twists big and small, the story is at turns heart-rending, unexpected, and delightfully devious. ALMOST MISSED YOU will give book clubs plenty to argue about, and the reader much to contemplate." — Michelle Gable, New York Times bestselling author of A Paris Apartment and I'll See You in Paris

"In ALMOST MISSED YOU, debut author Jessica Strawser meticulously weaves together a kidnapped child, friends in turmoil, and a Craigslist ad into a tangled web of secrets, lies, and unexpected alliances. This heart-breaking page-turner will make you question how well you really know everyone you hold dear." — Amy Sue Nathan, author of The Glass Wives

"Almost Missed You is a rare sort of a book, one part page-turner, one part love song to motherhood, and one part examination of the things we owe each other in friendship. It is by turns tender, sharp, and thoughtful, and always impossible to put down. Book clubs will love this tale of friendship, marriage, and the things we do for love." — Barbara O'Neal, author of How to Bake a Perfect Life

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Jessica Strawser

By day, Jessica Strawser is the Editorial Director of Writer’s Digest magazine, North America’s leading publication for aspiring and working writers since 1920. By night, she is a fiction writer with a debut novel, and, by the minute, she is a proud wife and mom to two super sweet and super young kids in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Her diverse career in the publishing industry spans more than 15 years and includes stints in book editing, marketing and public relations, and freelance writing and editing. A Pittsburgh native and “Outstanding Senior” graduate of Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, she counts her New York Times Modern Love essay and her Writer’s Digest cover interviews with such luminaries as Alice Walker, Anne Tyler and David Sedaris among her career highlights.

She blogs at the WritersDigest.com “There Are No Rules” blog and elsewhere, enjoys connecting on Facebook and speaks at writing conferences and events that are kind enough to invite her.

Jessica Strawser

Corrie Schaffeld

Read Jessica Strawser at Writer's Digest

From the Publisher

St. Martin's Press

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