Carmel Wakeford becomes separated from her mother at a local children's festival, and is found by a man who claims to be her estranged grandfather. He tells her that her mother has had an accident and that she is to live with him for now. As days become weeks with her new family, eight-year-old Carmel realizes that this man believes she has a special gift.... While her mother desperately tries to find her, Carmel embarks on an extraordinary journey, one that will make her question who she is - and who she might become.
©2016 Kate Hamer. Published by Melville House Publishing. Recorded by arrangement with Kate Hamer, care of ICM Partners Incorporated.Recording copyright 2015 WF Howes.Recording copyright 2015 WF Howes. (P)2016 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books
"Moving, convincing, and completely compelling. I read through the night, desperate to know the little girl's fate." (Erin Kelly, author of The Poison Tree)
"Trust us: This book is unlike anything else." (Stylist)
"2015's oh-so-chilling thriller breakout." (Grazia)
loved it...not what I expected. The story line kept you engaged. Carmel is a very interesting character
Eventually. I'm not sure I could put myself through the emotion of it again for a while. The book goes back and forth between the perspective of the mother and the daughter -- the daughter's section is an interesting story, while the mother's section put me into severe emotional trauma (this is a good thing for a book to do!!!!).
Beth (the mother), without doubt. Her emotions as she goes through the loss of Carmel, trying to recover from the loss, guilt for trying to recover, etc., are incredibly true. During Carmel's sections, I listened attentively; during Beth's sections, I bawled uncontrollably.
She did a great job of going back and forth between Beth and Carmel -- both characters sounded very real. I agree with other reviewers that some of the characters with other accents (especially Mexican) did not feel as authentic.
I liked the fabric of the story and I think the narration was very good, but the ending left me feeling that the last few days of my listening was cheated. A good story that did keep me guessing, just wanted more of a synopsis at the end. I'll listen to this author again, this was a debut, but hope for more of a beginning middle and actual end in the next "read" :)
I was excited to read something a little different, but I was disappointed in the story. It dragged, and I found myself becoming depressed. I just wanted it to be over. I felt cheated with the ending. The story went on way too long and the resolution was too thin for such a long story. As far as the performance, the narrator was good and I could tell when she was switching POV, but there was a Mexican character that for the longest time I thought was Russian. Her Spanish accent wasn't authentic. I hate to give bad reviews, but honestly, I just wasn't thrilled with this book. Perhaps it's just a matter of preference.
As a mother myself I could feel Beth's despair and unyielding hopefulness playing at the same time throughout the story. The story was particularly engrossing as it switched between Beth's story and her daughter, Carmel's, story. I don't think the narrator was the best fit, but it may have been the author who wanted to narrate it. In my opinion, it would have sounded much better if a professional narrator had done it.
Being from the south I really enjoyed the backwoods healers. Hamer painted a great picture of how hypocritical and insane the religious fanatics can be and at the same time made it into an entertaining and at times comical portrayal.
Hamer and Beamish did a wonderful job conveying the desperation of the mother when her daughter went, and then stayed, missing.
I read some critical comments about the ending and I will have to say I thought it was a great ending. I truly enjoyed this book.
Canadian girl in Kansas, love audible, books on kindle or kindle fire, and old fashioned books! I enjoy fiction most, mostly books with strong female leads. Favourite authors: Diana Gabaldon, Stephen King, Jodi Picoult, Wally Lamb, Pat Conroy, Andre Dubus III, Lisa Genova, many more!
The pain of a lost child is like no other. Losing a child to death is horrific and unbearable. Losing a child to a kidnapping and never knowing what happened.. well I can't even begin to imagine the nightmarish hell parents in that situation go through.
Beth and Carmel and mother and daughter, separated from their husband and father, respectively. Beth and Carmel's dad couldn't make their marriage work, so Beth was Carmel's primary care giver. One day on a mother/daughter outing to a soft of fair, Carmel seems to have wandered off, away from Beth. It was something that she did often, and each time it alarmed Beth. This time however, she didn't come back.
Weeks go buy, months, years.. Beth continually blames herself of course and looks for her daughter every day, in a fog of depression and devastation.
Every other chapter is Beth talking about her trials without her daughter, and Carmel tells the story of what happens to her with her new family- who are evangelicals who believe that Carmel has a natural healing powers and need her to make money at big church productions-- in America. Beth and Carmel and all of their family live in the UK.
The good- The portrayal of Beth as a grieving parent is believable and makes the reader extremely empathetic. The character development of Beth is very strong.
The bad- These is a lot of repetition in the book. It gets to the point where the listener is frustrated because not a lot happens, and there are several things in the story that don't quite make sense. The ending is simply not satiable either- I wanted more, I wanted lose ends tied up.
Regardless, great first novel. I hope there is a sequel so we find out what happens to the characters.
3 stars overall
Was the author rushed by the publisher to finish the book? The ending sure made it seem that way - very melodramatic. Everything was very detailed all the way up to the last two chapters. I was disappointed in the abruptness of the end; it literally just said, "The End."
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