Article published on April 10, 2015.
This is a hidden gem – whenever I mention it to anybody they claim to have never
heard of it. So I decided that for the book club I run I would sneak it in and the
feedback that I have had has been immense. I have had people who criticise and
find fault with every book that they read coming back to me in bewilderment!
They can find nothing bad to say about it and others have just been in awe of
what an amazing book it is. Virtually every member of my book club has been
out and bought a personal copy so that they can keep it forever and read it over
and over again.
Admittedly, the paperback version has a less than desirable cover, and – working in a library, as I do – I see everyday how the cover often ‘sells’ a book. However, as I often say to my customers – ‘you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover’ – and that has never been more true in this case.
So, about the book and why I think everyone should read it straight away: Carey and her sister Jenessa are found in the Hundred Acre Woods eight years after Carey was taken there by her Mama. Returned to Carey’s father who she believed had beaten her Mama, the story of what really happened in the woods slowly unfolds.
This is a beautifully written book which captivates you from the first word. As a reader you empathise with the characters, and flow through the varying emotions with them. The book keeps you guessing until the end, where you want the mystery of what happened in the woods to become clear but at the same time you don’t want to ever know because you know it will be truly harrowing.
There are so many themes to discuss within your book club – trust, love, survival, family and abandonment just to begin.
This really is a true gem of a book and everyone will take something away from it. If You Find Me completely encapsulates why I love reading and why it is a truly exceptional experience.
I have made it my mission to make as many people as possible read this book and so far I have not heard a single bad word said about it. I simply cannot wait for Emily Murdoch’s next book – she has a lot to live up to.
Claire Ellis, Liverpool
If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch was first published by Orion Children’s Books in January 2014.