Book Review / Jessica Strawser / Reviews with Spoilers

Jessica Strawser | Almost Missed You

The Book: 

Almost Missed You by Jessica Strawser
Published: March 2017 by St. Martin’s Press

Almost Missed You is actually how I found “How Did That Book End” and why I first reached out to Caroline. I read Almost Missed You back in 2017, shortly after its release. About a month ago, I was combing my goodreads account for a book to recommend to a friend, when I got stuck on this book. I remembered enjoying it, I remembered the premise, but for the life of me, I could not remember how it ended. Now, as someone with 243 books on my Goodreads To-Read list, I clearly don’t have time to reread books just to remember the ending (I do reread certain books though). In a frantic search of the internet, I still couldn’t find any summaries of this book that included the ending. I did however find “How Did That Book End” and immediately bookmarked it for future use. I reached out to Caroline to see if she had any recommendations on how to find the ending, and while she wasn’t able to help me with that problem, she has graciously allowed me to write a few reviews & endings for the site.

Last week, I decided I needed to reread/skim Almost Missed You in order to have some closure.

Torrie’s Rating:


(this is my original Goodreads rating upon finishing the book, and my reread rating as well)

The Plot (Goodreads):

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, 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.

Click here for book spoilers for Almost Missed You
Book spoilers ahead–if you haven’t yet read Almost Missed You, I suggest you turn back now.

Finn’s blackmail that he uses to get Caitlin’s help is that the father of her twin sons is not George, her husband. Caitlin and George were unable to conceive, and when Caitlin was frustrated by George’s refusal to get his sperm count tested, she drunkenly has sex with one of Finn’s friends.

George shares (first with Violet) that he has known he couldn’t father children since he was a teenager, so he knew the twins weren’t his. Unfortunately, George incorrectly assumed that the twins were Finn’s, which is not true.

Finn chooses to leave Violet because he cannot get away from thinking about what could have been with Maribel. Maribel is the woman he accidentally met when looking for Violet through Craigslist’s Missed Connections and to whom he was engaged. Finn blames himself for Maribel’s death as he had convinced her to take a long roadtrip to the beach after their engagement party, when both had had little sleep. Finn fell asleep at the wheel and caused the accident, killing Maribel. Finn feels additionally guilty because he had pushed the trip onto Maribel in the hopes that going to the beach with Maribel would make him forget Violet. Finn never tells Violet anything about Maribel.

At the cabin (owned be George’s family), Caitlin cannot convince Finn to do the right thing, so she decides to drug him with ambien leave with Bear. The ambien works on Finn, but one of Caitlin’s twins gets into it as well and must go to the hospital. All of this leads to George and Finn nearly alone at the cabin and discussing what has happened. Finn tries to leave, but George shoots him in the leg – both to keep him from leaving and in revenge because he still believes that Finn is the father of the twins (Finn is not the father).

Ultimately, Finn is arrested and sent to an inpatient facility for a year to get counseling, he gets out on probation. During that year, him and Violet get a divorce, and Violet is a single mom, though Finn has supervised visitation.

The books ends with Violet and Bear at the beach on a vacation when Finn happens to show up at the same beach. They flirt and the ending is left with the possibility that they may rekindle their relationship.

Torrie’s Review:

I loved this book the first time, and this speedy reread was no exception! The writing is fantastic, it flows smoothly, and even though I was rushing to just get an understanding of the ending this time, I still ended up reading entire chapters in full. As someone who often finds herself skimming to get all the questions answered, this was rare for me and a sign of really good writing.

The secrets and twists aren’t shocking, but they are turned on their heads a bit. If you’re looking for a book that shocks you, this isn’t in. If you’re looking for a book that lightly surprises you, this is it! I enjoyed that while I guessed some of the secrets, there were still layers to them, and the author didn’t seem to be trying to hide the secrets anyway.

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