Tuesday, March 25, 2014
If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch
This novel reminded me of Homecoming by Voigt, Pictures of Hollis Woods by Giff and half dozen stories about young people abandoned or stolen by mentally unstable folks. Carey has been told for some 10 years that she was taken to the trailer with no running water, no heat, no electricity because her father abused her. She didn't know any other story so she believed it must be true. But, mom had a string of scarey men visiting her, mom left her and later her little sister too alone for weeks at a time. So a man she doesn't know and a woman called a social worker show up at the trailer in the deep woods of Tennessee. They show her a letter from mom to the social worker saying she cannot take care of the girls and please go take care of them. Carey and little sister Jessica suddenly find themselves experiencing things Carey can't remember and Jessica has never experienced, things like electricity, bubble baths, pajamas and more. Jessica has selective mutism. Jessica seems to be nobody's child except Carey's. On that basis she stays with the family with whom the girls are placed and cared for and adjusts quite well. Carey is narrating the story. She has secrets she both needs to tell and needs to keep. Slowly over time, her and Jessica's story of horrific deprivation, abuse and more come out. There is a three legged dog that takes to Jessica and Carey and helps to ease their transition that is quite important to the story. I want folks to know since it also takes some of the horror for the reader who likes pets. I've always taken to "rescuing kids from bad situations" stories quickly and this one is no exception. Recommend.