Most of us are accustomed to seemingly basic necessities, like a bed to sleep in and running water at our disposal. But for fourteen year old Carey and six year old Jenessa, young sisters from Tennessee, a working toilet is a luxury beyond their wildest dreams. Growing used to their lives isolated in the woods and looking after themselves while their drug-addicted mother spent weeks, and often months, away, their lives are turned upside down when two strangers arrive at their caravan.
Carey had always been told that her mother had saved her from an abusive father, but when the strangers introduce themselves as a social worker and their long-lost father, everything Carey believed she knew begins to unravel.
Transported back to their father’s home, where they find themselves living in a real home with a real family for the first time in their memory, the girls must learn to live in civilised society, and remember just what happened in the ten years they were trapped in the woods.
“If You Find Me” is a gripping Contemporary YA tale about family, loss, and learning to live after a major trauma. The themes in the novel may seem outlandish to regular readers, but are all too real in many hidden parts of society.
The novel is brilliantly written, but often confronting and upsetting. With recollections of rape, abuse, addiction, and horrific conditions, the novel is extremely intense, but very powerful. I truly enjoyed reading the story, and finished it in one sitting. I then passed it on to my mum (who has a Social Worker sister, and who often works with abused children in her teaching role) who enjoyed it just as much as I did, and commended the way it tackled difficult subjects.
“If You Find Me” is in no way an easy read, but it’s definitely a worthwhile one, and a pleasant change from all the Paranormal YA still dominating the shelves.
If You Find Me is out now, where all good books are sold
Publisher: Hachette Australia
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