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


"I know who he is, and we're not goin' with him."

"I have permission from Child Services to release you into his custody."

"So we have no choice?"

Mrs. Haskell sits down next to me, lowerin' her voice.

"You have a choice, Carey. If you refuse to go with him, we can place you in foster care. Two foster homes. Our families are pretty full right now, and we can't find one that can take both of you at present. In light of your sister's condition—"

"She's not retarded or nothin'. She just don't talk."

"Even so, her, um, issue requires special placement. We found a home for Jenessa, but they're just not equipped to take two children right now."

Nessa's thumb finds her mouth, and her hair, soaked with sweat, falls in a curtain across her eyes. She makes no move to smooth it away. She's hidin' in plain sight.

"I can't leave my sister alone with strangers."

"I don't think it's the best idea, either. We like to place children with relatives whenever possible. Taking into account Jenessa's bond with you, I think it would be detrimental to her emotional well-being to separate the two of you. It's already going to be a big adjustment as it is."

I glare in the direction of the man on the bench, this man I don't know and barely recognize. I think of runnin' away, like maybe we should've done as soon as we saw them comin'. But we have no money, no place to go. There's no car to pull the camper, since Mama drove off with it, and we can't stay here. They know where we are now. They know everythin'.

I think of tellin' her what Mama told me about him, because there's no way she'd make us go with him, if she knew. But I look down at Ness, disappearin' before our eyes.

I can't leave my sister.

"How much time do we have?"

"Enough time to pack up your things. You'll need to pack a bag for your sister also."

She leaves us sittin' there, with the late-afternoon sun dapplin' the forest floor as if it's any other day. I watch her reach into the bin by the foldin' table, then walk back over. She hands me two of the shiny black garbage bags folded up like Mama's letter. I slip out from under Jenessa, balance her on the tree, and proceed to shake each bag into its full size. We all stop and watch the birds scatter into jagged flight at the unnatural sound of plastic slappin' the air.

"Just take the necessities. We'll send someone back to pack up the rest."

I nod, glad to turn my gaze toward the camper before my face melts again. How could Mama do this to us? How could she leave us to fend for ourselves—leave us at all—without explainin' or sayin' good-bye?

I hate her with the fury of gasoline set on fire. I burn for Jenessa, who deserves better than this, better than some screwed-up, drug-addicted mother, better than this chaos that always seems to find us, rubbin' off on us like some horrible rash.

Ness is my shadow as the camper door creaks on its hinges, this old piece-of-crap ve-hic-le we've called home for almost as long as I can remember—definitely as long as Ness can remember.

I glance around, absorb the mess, the clothes strewn about, the plates dribblin' crumbs or caked with dried bean glue, and begin to pack Ness's bag first. She sits on the cot, unmovin', not even jumpin' when I grab the nearest book, one of her Winnie-the-Poohs, and slam it down on a cockroach scuttlin' across the tiny stainless-steel sink; without runnin' water, it was as useless as a dollhouse sink, until I'd turned it into a place to store plates and cups. Mama never hooked the camper up to water because water sources meant campgrounds, sites out in the open, and judgmental strangers with pryin' 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

Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: A Certain Age
    A Certain Age
    by Beatriz Williams
    Lovers of high-society gossip, there's a new set of players in town. A good 20 out of 23 of our...
  • Book Jacket: The Romanovs
    The Romanovs
    by Simon Sebag Montefiore
    The Romanovs chronicles the reigns of the 20 individuals who were considered members of that dynasty...
  • Book Jacket: Barkskins
    Barkskins
    by Annie Proulx
    Barkskins, by Annie Proulx, is not a book to read quickly. After a month of slow reading, I ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Secret Language of Stones
    by M. J. Rose

    "A fantastic historical tale of war, love, loss and intrigue."
    – Melanie Benjamin

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    All Is Not Forgotten
    by Wendy Walker

    This is fast-paced psychological suspense/thriller at it's very best.

    Read Member Reviews

Members review books pre-publication. Read their opinions in First Impressions

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
The Fair Fight
by Anna Freeman

A page-turning novel set in the world of 18th century female pugilists.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Summer Stunner
Summer Giveaway

Win 5 books, each week in July!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

W M T N, W C F All

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

BookBrowse Summer Giveaway

We're giving away
5 books every
week in July!