by: Emily Murdoch
There are some things you can’t leave behind…
A broken-down camper hidden deep in a national forest is the only home fifteen year-old Carey can remember. The trees keep guard over her threadbare existence, with the one bright spot being Carey’s younger sister, Jenessa, who depends on Carey for her very survival. All they have is each other, as their mentally ill mother comes and goes with greater frequency. Until that one fateful day their mother disappears for good, and two strangers arrive. Suddenly, the girls are taken from the woods and thrust into a bright and perplexing new world of high school, clothes and boys.
Now, Carey must face the truth of why her mother abducted her ten years ago, while haunted by a past that won’t let her go… a dark past that hides many a secret, including the reason Jenessa hasn’t spoken a word in over a year. Carey knows she must keep her sister close, and her secrets even closer, or risk watching her new life come crashing down.
The Woods Can Be a Dark Place.
Carey and her sister, Jenessa live in the woods. Their mother has put them there, for safety reasons, and they have learned how to deal. How to live, how to hunt, basically how to survive. But survival doesn’t come without a price. In fact, everything in the woods has a price. Joelle, the girls’ mother is a meth addict, and due to this, we see Carey step up. She has a younger sister to raise, and she does what she has to do to protect her.
And then, it happens. Out of nowhere [this is in the synopsis, I wouldn’t say it otherwise] the girls are taken from the woods with next to no explanation, and they are left to figure out a whole world of whats, hows, and whys. The journey we are taken on is heartbreaking. To watch Carey remember is terrifying, and haunting. But, the story is beautiful, and all our questions do get answered.
An Issue Book At Its Very Best.
I read this because two of my best blogging friends [whom I trust!] were taunting me and telling me I must. Thanks to Judith and Lauren I got to experience all that is If You Find Me. The story is so beautiful, and so powerful, I couldn’t imagine ANYTHING being done differently to improve upon it. Emily Murdoch is talented, and definitely going to be on my auto-buy list.
But furthermore, this book.. oh THIS BOOK. It was gorgeous and it was compelling, from the moment it began. The plot is sad, don’t mistake that. And you will PROBABLY cry. But at the end of the day, you realize the message the book sends is so much more than we could ever imagine. Children like Carey and Jenessa are mistreated, every day in this country. But this girl overcame all of that. She did what she had to and powered through, for her and her sister.
Throughout the novel, we hear of the “white star night”, we don’t know what this is, or what happened that fateful night, but we know it is what likely made a six year old girl. STOP TALKING. Once that message is revealed, it all makes sense, and your heart breaks a thousand times over. The issue at hand in this novel, other that drug use, is abuse, of course. And it comes in many varieties, each as sad and as hurtful to think about. But the MOST beautiful aspect of this book is the sister relationship. I’m not sure I can remember a better sister relationship in any book I have ever read. It is powerful, moving, and heartfelt. Emily Murdoch knows how to write, and I hope she continues to do so for a long time.
To sum up, Emily Murdoch – I will be bothering the crap out of you until you tell me what you have planned next ;). I simply can not wait, and this is the best debut I have read this year. Amazing. Simply, amazing.
And this is from If You Find Me.