If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch

If you find meCarey grew up to be a remarkably mature teenager.  That’s not exactly surprising, though, if you consider the fact that she spent much of her childhood raising her little sister, Jenessa, in a broken-down camper in a national forest she affectionately referred to as The Hundred Acre Wood.  Although her mom frequently ran off and left the girls to fend for themselves with little more than a meager supply of canned beans, she still managed to brainwash Carey into believing that she was better off living in the squalor of the camper than if they had stayed with her father.  She had Carey convinced that her father was physically abusive and that leaving was the only way to protect themselves.  I thought it was quite clear that Carey’s mom was lying about her father and that she had major mental health issues — after all, what sane mother would leave two little girls to fend for themselves in the woods?  Still, I recognized how easily Carey could have been manipulated in that situation and understood why she just *had* to believe that her mother had the best of intentions, regardless of what her actions indicated.  After the girls were found by Carey’s dad and a social worker, based on clues in a letter from their mother, Carey had a hard time adjusting to life in the “real world.”  She did her best to help Jenessa adapt, but she also did her best not to reveal the harsh realities of what life had been like in The Hundred Acre Wood and why, exactly, Jenessa suddenly stopped talking about a year prior to their discovery.  Though I readily admit that this was an extremely difficult read at times, I can happily report that the ending left me feeling hopeful.

Happy Reading!

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