(*Author’s note: if you don’t want spoilers, please skip to the second paragraph.)
Advanced Review – Uncorrected Proof
Issue: February 1, 2013
(Star) If You Find Me.
Murdoch, Emily (Author)
Apr 2013. 256 p. St. Martin’s/Griffin, paperback, $9.99. (9781250033277). St. Martin’s/Griffin, e-book, $9.99. (9781250021533).
Carey’s little sister Jenessa has not spoken since the white starry night, a night so traumatic that neither acknowledges it happened. But now Carey’s father and Mrs. Haskell, the social worker, have found the girls and arranged for them to live together with him and his new family even though Jenessa is not his biological daughter. He and his wife Melissa and step-daughter Delaney offer the girls a life that is, while not without its challenges, far from the Hundred Acre Wood, the druggie mother who disappears more frequently than she stays, and the hard-scrabble existence of canned beans, pee-smelling coats, and cigarette-burned flesh.
First-time author Emily Murdoch has written a painful, hopeful, surprisingly quiet book that charts the best and worst of humanity, especially family, with characters who worm their way into your heart—or repulse the reader’s very nature. Her narrative is full of unique yet breathtaking similes, detailed descriptions, and unflinching dialogue all masquerading as backwoods Tennessee dialect.
Exposing child abuse, sexual abuse, and drug abuse for the terror they are, she validates the courage and ingenuity of young people the world over for whom survival is instinctive; protection of siblings is nonnegotiable; and love both a right and a gift bestowed upon those fortunate enough to find it.
— Frances Bradburn
To say I’m honored would be an understatement.
It was my elementary school librarian who typed up my first novel and sent it off to publishers.
I donated my lunch hour to putting away books for her, and I’m sure I read through the entire library before graduating and moving on to high school.
When I dreamed of being published, it wasn’t about the bookstores; it was about earning a place on those amazing library shelves.
Growing up is tough. (And the truth is, we never stop.) Books save. And I’m honored to be part of something so sacred.
(Is thanking reviewers a faux pas? I guess I’m a rebel that way, because Ms. Bradburn, *thank you*.)
(*Author’s corrections: IF YOU FIND ME publishes in hardcover in the US on March 26, 2013, and in softcover in the UK through Orion/Indigo on May 2, 2013.)