Title: If You Find Me
Author: Emily Murdoch
Published: March 2013
Rating: 4 and a half stars
"Happiness is free, Mama says, as sure as the blinkin' star, the withered arms of the tree thrown down for our fires, the waterproofin' on our skin and the tongues of wind curlin' the walnut leaves before slidin' down our ears." p.3
Okay, so before I launch into the review, I have to say I've been on a pretty good streak regarding the standard of books I've been reading over the summer. Can't say I've come across one yet that I haven't been impressed with.
I was especially impressed with this one, it has to be one of the most powerful books I've read in a while, possibly ever. The way that Emily Murdoch writes just hit me right in the gut, she's astoundingly good at weaving her way through words and images - I was in love.
The story itself was brilliant, it hit off right at the get-go and I learnt to love Carey as a character so much. She was strong willed, intelligent, and dead set on protecting her little sister, Nessa. She develops so much throughout the novel, into a strong young adult, despite all odds.
Both Carey and Nessa grow so much once they are deposited into the hustle and bustle of normal urban life, away from the stand-still of the woods. They have to deal with the truth about their Mama, a new family, and learning to 'fit in'. The novel for me was about family, love, protection, and truth - with a smidgen of romance thrown in halfway through.
The story plays host to a great variety of characters and Carey's often mixed feelings regarding them. This is especially highlighted in Delaney's role - sometimes I thought she was a bitch and the next I was thinking about all she's had to deal with and how the impact of one thing ripples.
The novel tackles and grapples with some sensitive topics, which left me a bit teary eyed to be honest. Drugs, rape, kidnapping are just a few of the most obvious ones throughout the novel, but I felt like the were talked about honestly and maturely. This was a story of accepting the past, though not necessarily forgiving it, and embracing a brighter future.
If there were any points that kind of put a damper on it for me, it was perhaps the fact that Carey is 'the most beautiful girl anyone has ever seen ever' because of course she was gonna be a hidden bombshell. This didn't bother me overly much though. Also, some of the apparent teenage slang used by Delaney - hey, though maybe those words are used by American teenagers, I don't know.
Anyway, one of my favourite reads of this year, I'm very glad I read it and shall probably be picking it up for a re-read at some point.