Saturday, November 28, 2020

Finding Myself in Callahan Novel

andthenifoundyouAnd Then I Found You based on real reconnection with daughter

By Emily Gatlin

emilygatlin@bellsouth.net

It’s not every day an author tells you they have named a character for you, so when one tells you that she has, the initial reaction is “You’re bluffing,” followed by “Yowzers, I hope I’m not the villain.”

My name is now forever linked to Luna/Emily in New York Times Bestselling Author Patti Callahan Henry’s And Then I Found You. Now I will explain why that is one of the greatest compliments I have ever received.

Henry’s new novel is based on a true story from her family. Patti’s sister placed her baby for adoption 21 years ago, and two years ago Patti received a Facebook friend request from a young girl with the same birthday as her adopted niece. It was too good to be true; the girl they loved and thought about every day since she was born had found them.

While Patti’s novel is a fictionalized version of what happened, it explores what happens when we live with unknowing and how one important decision changes the entire course of a life. Perhaps for better, maybe for worse. How do we find happiness after suffering a loss? What happens when the past finds its way into the present and turns everything we know upside down? Can what is lost ever be found?

High school sweethearts Kate and Jack place their baby “Luna” for adoption. Their lives go in two different directions; Jack gets married to another woman and has a family; Kate is stuck in the day she placed Luna for adoption. “Luna” (Emily) finds Kate on Facebook after finding Kate’s writer sister through Google. What happens next tugs at your heartstrings, makes you think, and rearranges your heart.

The whole reading experience of And Then I Found You is like watching a Lifetime movie in my jammers on a Sunday afternoon—and I loved it.

There just might be a few authors out there who will name a villain after me one day. For now, I’m perfectly happy being special.

emilygatlinEmily Gatlin spent four years as the manager of an independent bookstore in Mississippi. In 2012, she was nominated to serve on the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Board of Directors. She is a contributor for BookRiot.com, the Food & Drink writer for OfficialJane.com, and also writes for Invitation Oxford and Mud & Magnolias Magazine.