Title: If You Find Me
Author: Emily Murdoch
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Expected Publication Date: 26th March 2013
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 (From Goodreads, 11th March 2013)
If You Find Me reminded me of Room By Emma Donoghue but only really in the overriding topic – children being hidden away from society. Carey was taken by her mother when she was young and taken away to live in the forest. Now fourteen she looks after her little sister Jenessa. Jenessa has never been in the ‘real world’ and does not speak. After her mother being away for longer than usual both Jenessa and Carey are surprised when a man and women appear at their camp site. Carey’s father has found them and the adventure into the real world is beginning. Carey does not know if she should believe what her mother said about her father – that she saved her from him. And so we journey into the adjustments both her fathers family and Jenessa and Carey must make.
This is an exciting novel. It captures you from the beginning. Fast paced then dealing with the difficulties of adjusting to the new life Carey is now leading. Carey is the protagonist and we see the world from her eyes. We begin to understand the complexities of growing up in the forest away from society and being plucked out and thrown back into society. Lets us understand the mixed feelings that comes so often in abuse cases. I would highly recommend this novel to young adults, and view it as the young adults version of Room By Emma Donoghue.
4 out of 5