A deeply compelling mix of high school drama and page-turning mystery that asks profound questions about family, truth, and love
Fourteen-year-old Carey and six-year-old Jenessa have been living in the woods with their mother for as long as they can remember; the sheltering trees and a broken-down camper are all they know. But what they’ve never been told is that Carey vanished from the real world ten years ago, when their mother took her, causing an uproar in the media - and in her father’s life.
Now, abandoned by the mother they trusted, they’re often left alone for long periods of time to fend for themselves - but, in one moment, everything changes. They’re found by Carey’s father and thrust into a bright and perplexing new world, one of shopping malls, shiny appliances, new clothes, and mouth-watering food. Carey desperately wants to believe in this new reality but is held back by a deep and painful loyalty to her mentally ill mother, who gave Carey her violin and taught her how to play the soaring music that helps her survive.
And then there’s the other piece of Carey’s past that haunts her, the story of what happened to her and Jenessa on that dark night in the woods - the reason Jenessa hasn’t spoken a word in over a year. Will Carey ever be able to trust her father and his family enough to fit into this new life? Will Jenessa finally break her silence and ruin the cocoon of safety that Carey’s built so carefully around them? And what will happen if the secret comes out?
©2013 Emily Murdoch (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc
“Grabbed me by the heart on page one and didn’t let go till the very last word. Murdoch’s language is lovely, her storytelling gripping.” (Carol Lynch Williams, PEN Award-winning author of The Chosen One)
“Within two pages, I was so hopelessly hooked, I felt like the story had attached itself to me…Original and suspenseful, but most of all, it was Carey’s voice that had me flipping the pages…One of those books you devour.” (Jennifer Brown, author of Hate List)
“Searing…Hurt my heart and will probably haunt my dreams—a beautiful book about survival, identity, family, love, and so much more.” (Jenny Downham, author of Before I Die)
I don't know I've only listened tot eh audio edition. I'd like to see the print one... just to see if the audio edition missed a few pages though.
Yes, I'd be willing to give this author another listen. While I do have some issues with the book itself I did enjoy the story overall.
The narrator helps carry the story along, providing distinct voices to most characters and just provides polish to the story.
A few scenes could have moved me if they'd been executed better.
I don't know if it's the author's fault or the narrator's but there's spots in the book where scenes shift without much lead in. For example, in one scene Carey and her family are around the table eating. An argument breaks out. Carey's dad says he'll talk with Del (Carey's step-sister) after dinner. He never does and the author loses a chance for some character development.
The book could be 4 or 5 stars, except that it feels more like a teen-fiction checklist. It sometimes felt like the author had a checklist and she was writing stuff to cross those items off rather then a full story. There was quite a bit of insta-love going around too.
I did really like the idea and quite a bit of the story. It was the execution that brought the quality down.
Sure, I'd love to hear your story....
Such a touching book read with the perfect tone that tells so many tales without speaking them aloud. The characters are just left for you to explore instead of being fully explained by the author or completely obvious from the narrator. The main character is a teenager left to figure out life for herself and her sister with lenses provided by a mentally ill mother. Just when you're convinced that she's a bit too together, the everyday smacks her in the face and sets her back to longing for the familiar isolation. Two important components make this one extra special: 1) the accent of the narrator is just perfect (I would have NEVER gotten that twang if I were reading it myself) and 2) complexity of the mother, step-sister, and little 'Nessa characters provide a fuller picture of how each is touched by events that they aren't fully responsible for and for which they can't fully cope. Really special book.
A well written book about an interesting subject. A little long winded in spots and it was no surprise when you finally find out what happened to Carey and her sister, but all in all, I really enjoyed listening and would recommend it.
With that said, I enjoy books that are performed and in this case, I can't even refer to the narration as a performance, it was that poor. It is probably better in the written form.
This is certainly proof that I can't rely on the opinions of others. This book might be okay for a preteen, but lacked substance. Disappointing.
Audio books are growing. I have listened to books for months now, But I prefer my books in paperback/hardback format.
I liked this book and it's story line its an very interesting story had my attention from beginning to end.
Incredible story that had me by page two and NEVER let go! I followed along with the physical book while also enjoying this amazing Audiobook... Read in less than time than it takes to enjoy a weekend- this book gets ALL the thumbs up!!!!!
I am a fun loving mom that enjoys a great Book!! I'm happy to have Audible with a busy life it makes it so easy to still get lost in a book!
This Book IS AMAZING!! It has become 1 of my TOP 5 in my Favorite list!! Tai Sammons REALLY BROUGHT THIS BOOK TO LIFE! EMILY MURDOCH YOU ARE TRULY AN AMAZING AUTHOR!! THIS SUBJECT IS HARD TO TALK ABOUT BUT YOU DID IT IN AN AMAZING WAY!!
There were aspects of this book that were very real, unfortunately. The depravity of human nature in general, and the cruelty of some children towards their peers for starters. The author did keep my interest from beginning to end, but due to the foul language, will not recommend this book to my friends. Although the author was careful to spare us unnecessary detailed descriptions of sexual atrocities, we were not spared the foul language. I also had other concerns about some of the moral lessons alluded to. The 14 year old girl who had lived through horrible atrocities decides it must be ok for her friend to go to a wild party and sneak off to an upstairs bedroom to have sex because she was choosing to do so and was enjoying herself. Left unaddressed were the facts that parents drove their young teens to a party with no adult supervision where sex, alcohol and drugs were and were only concerned that they had a good time??
I loved this book it was a great story I just couldn't stop listening ! I will remember this book forever it is going to go on my wall of fame. The struggle some people have to go thru in there life is so real and this author just captured it like it was a picture.
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