The last time Megan saw her youngest daughter, Emma, was on the little girl’s third birthday. Now, two years later, she sees her daughter’s face in every blonde girl she passes - at the grocery store, in car windows, at the doctor’s office. She is determined to find her daughter, but her commitment borders on obsession as she finds herself following these little girls who resemble her missing daughter.
Her inability to move on after Emma’s kidnapping has distanced Megan from her friends and family. Her two older daughters resent her relentless and fruitless search for their sister, and her husband, Peter, pleads with her to come to terms with Emma’s absence before her obsession causes the destruction of the rest of their family.
Meanwhile, in the same small town, Jack dotes on his granddaughter, Emmie, but has begun to question his wife, Dottie’s, secrecy about Emmie and her mother, Mary. As Dottie slips into dementia, Jack can’t help wonder if there is a dark secret Dottie is keeping from him.
Jack and Megan’s lives collide at the town fair when Megan snaps a photograph of a little girl with her grandparents - an act that could lead to catastrophe for both families.
©2013 Steena Holmes (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
While under her mother's supervision, three year old Emma disappears. Two years later Emma is still gone. Her Mother, Megan, hasn't been able to recover. She spends her time putting together "stranger danger" seminars for schools and organizing supervision for children who walk home. She also mistakes other little girls for Emma. Her husband, Peter, shames Megan for "seeing" Emma in other children. He wants Megan to focus on the present and their two other children. The novel quickly shifts and then alternates to the story of an elderly couple struggles to raise their granddaughter, Emme amongst the grandmother's declining health.
I am afraid I am in the minority on this one. I thought this book was only OK. I was expecting more of a mystery. Any mystery Holmes had, she gives away pretty quickly on in the story. There isn't really a plot other than waiting for the characters to uncover the "secret" that the reader already guessed. Holmes replaces suspense with repeated heart wrenching scenes illustrating the damage that Emma's kidnapping has afflicted on Megan's family. The story of a kidnapped child is pretty relatable for any parent, so the dozens of scenes underscoring the repercussions of this tragedy are unnecessary. I felt beat over the head with sad scenes. The marital tension seemed contrived and never fully fleshed out. A typical argument:
Peter: You need to move on from Emma's kidnapping!
Megan: I will never give up on Emma! (bursts into tears).
Ok, maybe that's a facile transcription of an argument. But they had multiple arguments to this effect and that's how they began to feel. I wanted to say: Megan, honey, if your husband's idea of being supportive is to encourage you to move past your daughter's tragic kidnapping while flirting with his attractive business partner, you may want to move past your marriage. I mean it's only been two years. But do try and acknowledge your other kids, just once and a while. He has a small point there.
Another thing that bothered me was several sub-plots that never went anywhere. I kept reading hoping they would go somewhere, but they didn't. I now see that maybe they will be picked up in the author's companion novella or the sequel. Inexplicably, I am tempted to purchase both of these? Maybe I am still hoping to uncover the novel I intended to read. AS of today, I have not purchased either.
Another note: I got a deal on the audio version via Whisphersync. The narrator baby talks Emma's lines. While I have no problem with a narrator who performs characters, I have never heard an adult do a good rendition of a small child's voice. This is a pet peeve of mine, and is so grating, if Emma had more lines, I would not have been able to listen to the audio version.
The narrator was annoyingly insipid and dramatic.
She sounded like the church lady.
The premise was good and the plot had possibilities, but the execution was poor.
Very well written, and had you guessing until the end.
I can't say without giving away the book!!!
She brought out real emotion
This book is not just another kidnapping book. It is much more. In the end, it is so heartbreaking. I cried so hard I had to pull over onto the side of the road to gather myself. So good, and I highly recommend it!!!
Listening allowed me to get a real "feel" for the characters. Situations are dramatic and emotionally charged which are experienced through the audio version.
Without giving up the story, what remains memorable is how quickly those we love can be taken from us. The effects of one person missing from a family can have tremendous impact that is experienced differently by all other members of the family.
The emotional aspects experienced by the characters.
The grandfather who seems to provide a thread weaving the characters ultimately together.
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