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Saturday, April 13, 2013

(28)If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch

If You Find Me

Publication Date: March 26, 2013
Pages: 256

For as long as she can remember Carey and Janessa have lived deep in the Tennessee woods  as their drug addicted mother comes and goes as she wants.  Fourteen year old Carey has vague memories of life before the woods, but six year old Janessa knows nothing else.  Their "normal" includes reading old schoolbooks picked up at garage sales and hunting their food.

Their mama has been gone for months this time when "The Man" and a strange woman shows up in the clearing.  It has been many years, but Carey recognizes "The Man" as being her father.  They say that her Mama sent in a letter saying where they could find Carey & Janessa and that she won't be back.  In just a matter of minutes all hope was sucked from Carey's world.  She reluctantly agrees to go with them because in the long run she knows it will be the best for Janessa.  Her father has remarried a woman named Melissa who has a daughter, Delaney, who is roughly the same age as Carey.  They both try to forget what happened during their years in the woods as they prepare to go to school for the first time, experience Christmas for the first time, sleep in a real bed for the first time and adjust to life with a real family.  Will Carey and Janessa ever become "normal" and will what happened in the woods really stay in the woods?

I found it rather easy to get caught up in the world of Carey and Janessa. Carey is a very likable character and the author wrote Nessa to be one of the sweetest little girls to be found in a book.  My heart ached at the tender way Carey "mothered" Nessa,  the love she has for that little girl is so evident. My heart also ached for Carey as she adjusted to going to high school, especially with her Step-Sister not exactly being welcoming.  Then there is Melisa, Carey's Step-Mother.  I was really worried that it would be a  "Step-Monster" scenario, but the author wrote Melisa to be a warm, caring, and accepting kind of Step-Mother, the kind of Mother that Carey wished her real mother was like.  And don't get me started on Shorty the dog....needed tissues for Shorty the dog.

Bottom line, If You Find Me was a really good book to read.  I found myself getting caught up in Carey and Janessa's world. The love they have for each other is quite evident.  There were many parts of the book where I felt so sad for their situation and what happened in the woods, but their perseverance is very admirable.  If you are a fan of Young Adult literature, I really think you should check out If You Find Me!


Chesapeake Carpet Stretching said...

A compelling, heartbreaking, and beautifully written first novel-- Murdoch is an extremely talented writer, and I will be watching for her future work.

Mariz Denver said...

It's a powerful experience watching this fiercely independent woman-child protect and raise her little sister, survive in the forest and navigate the intimidating civilized life. I highly recommend If You Find Me because the author has written a passionate story with memorable characters the reader will absolutely love. And I also highly recommend you bring your tissues because you will need them.

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