Excerpt from If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

If You Find Me

by Emily Murdoch

If You Find Me
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Mar 2013, 256 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2014, 256 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Sharry Wright

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


Twice I step on Nessa's foot, and tears spring to her eyes. I pat her head—it'll have to do—then stand back, fold my arms, and wait.

"Wouldn't you like to sit?" the woman asks, her voice soft.

I glance at Nessa, squirmin' in her seat, shyly slurpin' her water, and shake my head no. The woman smiles at me before fumblin' through her briefcase. She slides out a manila folder thick with pages. The white label on the front, I can even read upside down. It says: "Blackburn, Carey and Jenessa."

"My name is Mrs. Haskell," she says.

She pauses, and I follow her gaze back to my sister, who pours a few drops of water into an old bottle cap. We all watch as Nessa leans down and sets it in front of a fat beetle laborin' through the sea of wanwood leafmeal.

I nod, not knowin' what to say. It's hard to keep my eyes on her when the man keeps starin' at me. I watch a tear slip down his clean-shaven cheek, surprised when he don't wipe it away. Puzzle pieces click-clack into old places and my stomach twists at the picture they're startin' to make.

He hasn't offered his name, and he isn't familiar to me. But in that instant, hittin' like a lightnin' bolt, I know who he is.

"It's called Brut. I can't smell it anymore without gettin' sick, thinkin' what he did to us."

The memory bridges ten years of space, and, just like that, I'm five again, and on the run, clutchin' my dolly to my chest like a life preserver. Mama, crazy-eyed and talkin' nonsense, backhandin' the questions from my lips until the salty-metal taste of tears and blood make me forget the questions in the first place.

"Do you know why we're here?"

Mrs. Haskell searches my face as my stomach contents begin their climb: beans, of course. Baked beans cold from the can, the sweet kind Nessa likes so much. I feel like a fortune-teller, knowin' her words are about to change the earth below and the sky above and rearrange everythin' we hold normal and dear.

I stare at her, expectin' the inevitable.

"We're here to take you home, Carey."

Home?

I wait for the ground to right itself, and once it does, I fling myself into the bushes and let the beans fly. Afterward, the anger licks my innards like a wildfire. I turn around, hands on my hips, and stare this woman down. She cringes when I wipe my mouth on the sleeve of my T-shirt.

"That's impossible, ma'am. We are home. We live here with our mama."

"Where is your mom, honey?"

I glare at her; no way I'm fallin' for the "honey" bit.

"Like I said, Mama went into town for supplies. We were runnin'—running—out of some stuff and—"

"How long has she been gone?"

I have to lie. Jenessa is almost hyperventilatin', on the verge of one of her nervous fits. She skitters over and stands next to me, reachin' for my hand and holdin' it so tight, my pulse punches through my fingernails.

"Mama left this mornin'. We're fixin' on seein' her before nightfall."

I give Ness's hand a hard squeeze.

"Your mother said she left over two months ago. We received her letter yesterday."

What?

The blood rushes from my head and my ears ring. I grasp onto a nearby branch for steadyin'. I must have heard her wrong. But she nods her head yes, her eyes full of sorrys I don't want to hear.

"Wha—what letter?"

Jenessa's tears tickle my arm like chiggers, and I want to scratch, but I can't let go of her hand. She sags against me, and again, I burn. Look what they're doin' to my sister. Mama was right: Outsiders can't be trusted. All they do is ruin lives.

Mrs. Haskell smiles an apologetic smile, a practiced smile, like we're not her first victims, nor her last. I wonder how many kids have stood before her like this, swayin' in their newly tiltin' worlds. Hundreds, I'd bet, goin' by her eyes.

Excerpted from If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch. Copyright © 2013 by Emily Murdoch. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Griffin. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  Parental Child Abduction

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Opposite of Everyone
by Joshilyn Jackson

"Quirky and appealing characters, an engaging story, and honest dialogue make this a great book!"
- BookBrowse

About the book
Join the discussion!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    In the Country of Men
    by Hisham Matar
    Labeled by some as the "Libyan Kite Runner", In The Country of Men does share some ...
  • Book Jacket: Holding Up the Universe
    Holding Up the Universe
    by Jennifer Niven
    Jennifer Niven's spectacular Holding Up the Universe has everything that I love about Young ...
  • Book Jacket: Coffin Road
    Coffin Road
    by Peter May
    From its richly atmospheric opening to its dramatic conclusion, Peter May's Coffin Road is a ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Victoria
    by Daisy Goodwin

    Daisy Goodwin breathes new life into Victoria's story, and does so with sensitivity, verve, and wit." - Amanda Foreman

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win All the Gallant Men

All The Gallant Men

The first memoir by a USS Arizona survivor, 75 years after Pearl Harbor.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

K Y Eyes P

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.