Good Reads Summary
If You Find Me 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.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
IF YOU FIND ME took my breath away; everything in this one did from her reactions to affection to the revelations of things in the woods then to the sweetness between her and her sister, all that is so clearly laid out, and it opens with a girl who feels torn between being glad to be out of where they were but being more than a little doubtful of the good that’s come their way.
And she breaks your heart too, with her matter of fact manner, accepting the hand she’s dealt, and then living with a secret (a secret that shouldn’t have come as such a shock despite it being a devastating one considering everything else that’s been made clear.) And there’s the word: DEVASTATING. Their past, their life, living as they were… it’s all so absolutely sad.
First, it’s the sisters isolated from the world that strengthens the bond between them; a link made even stronger by the shared nightmare of the things they’re put through. In all that, it’s clear that the elder is strong, does what she has to do, and will do anything for the younger one.
There’s that thing about resilience and kids. In this one, it’s an absolute truth; a truth you wish is not illustrated so clearly … because where they have to bounce back from, it’s so much more than distressing. And even with the happy way things seem to unfold, it is understandable why she takes it all in with a bit of doubt, such a reception made sense; I simply wish it didn’t make too much sense.
Then there’s the newness of things; that contrast between their past and their present that was jarring. How she sticks out but not because of the reasons she suspects. And then in all that newness is a surprise connection to a forgotten past that I wish was fleshed out more. From Ryan, to her father, to who Delaney was, and even to Melissa, I know who they all are, but I’m left wishing more of them was laid out.
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