Thursday, October 3, 2013

Book Review: Finding Emma by Steena Holmes

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Description from Good Reads
Megan sees her daughter Emma everywhere. She's the little girl standing in the supermarket, the child waiting for the swings at the playground, the girl with ice cream dripping down her face. But it's never Emma.

Emma's been missing for two years.

Unable to handle the constant heartache of all the false sightings, Megan's husband threatens to walk away unless Megan can agree to accept Emma is gone. Megan's life and marriage is crumbling all around her and she realizes she may have to do the thing she dreads most: move on.

When Megan takes a photo of a little girl with an elderly couple at the town fair, she believes it to be her missing daughter. Unable to let go, she sets in motion a sequence of events that could destroy both families lives.

My Review
Holy Cow.

I read this as part of my book club last month, and I am so glad it's the book that was chosen! I read it in just a few days- I had to know what happened, and if they would find Emma.

I really enjoy the way the author chose to write this book, going back and forth between Megan, Peter, and their other two daughters, and Jack, Dottie, and "Emmie". I thought the premise was just very intriguing- what if your daughter was taken, and what if she was still alive?

Now, don't get me wrong- this isn't a perfect book. I was constantly in a state of "did he cheat? did she cheat?" with Megan and Peter, even though it doesn't seem like either of them actually did cheat, there is just a lot of distrust between them. The author talked about loving moments between them, but I still never really felt that at all.  But I liked the characters separately. I'm not sure how I can not like them together but like them separately, but that's the way it is! I especially liked Peter.

Emma went missing two years ago (according to the time frame of the story), and Megan still sees her in the faces of other children. It's really hard for Peter, and he wants her to start to move on. But because Megan keeps seeing her, she keeps running up to strange children, which, of course, is embarrassing and then painful with the realization it is not Emma. Peter works long hours. The other two girls don't play too big of a role in the novel, although one of her daughter's does say something in school that gets a letter sent home about not being enough to compensate for Emma being gone. That broke my heart in pieces for the other girls.

Needless to say, this is a family that has been through something awful, and is trying to deal with it the best they can. But with Megan unwilling to try to move on, they can't properly let go.

Dottie and Jack have their granddaughter "Emmie" living with them. Dottie doesn't let Emmie go anywhere or do anything, but Emmie then meets a neighbor girl through the fence, and eventually is allowed to go play. Dottie has spells of memory loss, and is on medication. 
I felt so bad for Jack. Out of everyone in the story, he got most of my sympathy. I don't want to ruin the story, but I think if you read the book, you will understand. He has no clue what's really going on with Emmie. He's just a "Papa" who loves his granddaughter and will do anything to make her smile. He wants to take her places and show her things, but Dottie refuses.

They eventually all go to the same county fair. And that's where Megan sees Emma... or at least she thinks she does. And then all of their worlds are changed.

I think this is a great book for those people that enjoy a good, heart-wrenching, fast-paced novel. I really didn't want to put this book down. I had to find out if they would get Emma back, and what the consequences would be. 

This book does end in a bit of a cliffhanger, if you're looking a book that has resolution, but there is a sequel out and I have read it! My review of Emma's Secret, the sequel to this book, will be up on the blog on October 9th!

You can purchase a paperback copy of the book here, or a kindle copy here

FTC: I purchased this book with my own money. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
This post does contain Amazon Affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.

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