If You Find Me A Novel

Emily Murdoch

St. Martin's Griffin




256 Pages


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A broken-down camper hidden deep in a national forest in Tennessee is the only home fifteen year-old Carey can remember. The trees keep guard over her threadbare existence, with the one bright spot being Carey’s younger sister, Jenessa, who depends on Carey for her very survival. All they have is each other, as their mentally ill, meth-addicted mother comes and goes with greater frequency. Until that one fateful day their mother disappears for good, and two strangers arrive. Suddenly, the girls are taken from the woods and thrust into a bright and perplexing new world of high school, clothes and boys.

Now, Carey must face the truth of why her mother abducted her ten years ago, while haunted by a past that won’t let her go—a dark past that hides many secrets, including the reason Jenessa hasn’t spoken a word in over a year. Carey knows she must keep her sister close, and her secrets even closer, or risk watching her new life come crashing down.


Praise for If You Find Me

"The book is a page-turner. Murdoch has created a moving, riveting read that will have teens staying up late to finish the novel."—VOYA Magazine

"This deeply affecting story is made all the more so by Carey's haunting first-person narration . . . A compelling narrative that is both unflinching about life's pain and hopeful about its possibilities."—Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)|

"Murdoch has written a painful, hopeful, surprisingly quiet book that charts the best and worst of humanity. Her narrative is full of unique yet breathtaking similes, detailed descriptions, and unflinching dialogue . . . she validates the courage and ingenuity of young people the world over for whom survival is instinctive; protection of siblings is nonnegotiable; and love both a right and a gift bestowed upon those fortunate enough to find it."—Booklist (Starred Review)

"Murdoch's debut is beautifully written. The deep bond between the sisters is almost physically palpable, as is their intense longing for love and acceptance; they will quickly endear themselves to readers."—School Library Journal

"Carey and Nessa's story is memorable and deeply moving, and readers will find it very easy to fall in love with these girls."—Publishers Weekly

Reviews from Goodreads



Read an Excerpt

Mama says no matter how poor folks are, whether you’re a have, a have-not, or break your mama’s back on the cracks in between, the world gives away the best stuff on the cheap. Like, the way the white-hot mornin’ light dances in diamonds across the surface of our creek. Or the creek itself, babblin’ music all day long like Nessa when she was a baby. Happiness is free, Mama says, as sure as the blinkin’ stars, the withered arms the trees throw down for our fires, the waterproofin’ on our skin, and the tongues of wind curlin’ the
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  • Emily Murdoch

  • Emily Murdoch lives in the Arizona desert with her husband and adopted dogs, spending her days operating a sanctuary for slaughter-rescued horses and burros. At night, she writes furiously by candlelight, capturing the ideas inspired by the day. This is Murdoch's first published novel.

  • Emily Murdoch © J. Anderson
    Emily Murdoch



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