If You Find Me

If You Find MeIf You Find Me by Emily Murdoch

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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Is it scary? You bet. But what’s the alternative? Even scarier, believe me.

If you are being hurt, find a trusted adult, one that DOESN’T hurt, and TELL.

The truth really does set you free.Emily Murdoch

A few-about four or five-years ago, I read this short story for school about two wolf-sisters. A reverend once ventures into the woods and finds two little girls living in the midst of a wolf’s lair, rolling around with wolf cubs and munching on deer bones. The reverend brings them home but there isn’t much scope of adaptation. The reverend and his wife try to rehabilitate them amongst other kids in the orphanage they run, but months later, they’d still be woken up by howls at midnight. There isn’t a happy ending here. The girls inevitably die, the younger one sooner rather than later.

I believe it was a variation of this unproven account.

If You Find Me could very well be the refined, modern version of the story.

Carey, and her little sister, Jenessa, live in an isolated broken-down camper in the middle of a forest. Their mother is a fucked up woman who has a penchant for deserting them for months at a time.

She was barely there, the last year, and still not there, when she was. And that’s not counting the times she was there and a person wished with all her might she wasn’t.

It’s a terrible life, Carey’s. But it’s all she’s known. And sometimes, even when you hate it, the terrifying, intolerable known is miles better than the indefinite.

But the shadows-which might not even be shadows-catch up. Always.

This time when her mother went, she went for good. And the real world comes to reclaim the two naive sisters, snarfing up beans and wishing they were not snarfing up beans. They are found by their father and opened up to a completely different world of bedazzled jeans, pancakes and toasty toes.

And the whole shebang from here on…

This tale of Carey’s is a yarn so expertly weaved and it captures every butterfly of emotion from pain to grit to little, varied versions of happiness along with a motley crew of other human emotions and gets them across impeccably. It is also extremely dark, dealing with very tough issue that require a lot of tissues(see what I did there? I’m so lame :(). Harsh and tenacious, sad, horrifyingly sad.

Carey’s transformation as she grows to accept these changes in her life-learning to not let go, but come to terms with her past, watching the trees fade away-is truly astounding, and moreover, believable. Her attitude, her mindset towards the two different worlds keeps fluctuating with every new step she takes towards something that is its own kind of freedom, while still being a cage.

The part that remains stuck like a leech on my heart is everything-Delaney. Delaney is the step-sister Carey acquires when she comes into her father’s family. It starts out with nonchalance, then vehemence, bitterness and acceptance, that I believe will gradually transform into some form of unbreakable, sibling bond. The relationship between these two girls is rocky to boot, yet there is hope. It reminds me somewhat of June and her sister’s strenuous relationship from Tell the Wolves I’m Home, which, not quite incidentally, was also my favorite part of the book. I remain a true lover of conflict.

And again, like that one book, this is also a debut novel that is so brilliantly written I have a hard time believing it’s the author’s first book.

…the morning not just a vision but a feeling, a scent, a taste that enters your pores and coasts through your veins until it fires up your very soul.

In the conclusion, I just wanna leave with this song that reminds me of the book’s ending for no particular reason-

Mr Raindrop falling away from me now.
Mr Raindrop falling away from me now.
Mr Raindrop falling away from me now.
Mr Raindrop falling away from me now.
Do u know how much you mean to me
Why must you leave?
I’m just a flower on a tree
Why must you leave?

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