As part of this week’s Bout of Books challenge I read Emma’s Secret by Steena Holmes. I’ll hopefully get a review written up in the next week or so but thought I would share my review of the first book in this series, which I posted on my old blog, as an introduction (to the story, and why I chose it to read).
I have to say, last time it was posted I got really mixed comments from people who’d read the book. It seems to be one that divides opinion – there were no fence sitters, just those that had loved it or those that thought it was awful. If you’ve read it, I’d be interested on your take.
Title: Finding Emma
Author: Steena Holmes
Rating: 4 out of 5
What is it About?
Megan has three daughters, the youngest of whom is Emma. One Summer day, three year old Emma walks out of an unlocked door whilst Megan is distracted. Initially, Megan thinks Emma is playing with her older sisters. When she realises she isn’t, she frantically begins searching but Emma is nowhere to be found. Two years later, as her family falls apart around her, Megan is still searching. Will an ultimatum from her husband and her love for her remaining daughters stop her looking? Meanwhile, across town, Jack is starting to question just how his five year old granddaughter came to be living with him and his wife, Dottie. As Dottie’s dementia causes her to reveal long-buried secrets, does Jack really want to know the answers?
What Did I think?
I bought Finding Emma after reading several positive comments on other blogs (which I now can’t find in order to credit – sorry!). The fact that is was 99p on Amazon for an ebook also helped as I knew very little about the book or the author – at 99p, I figured I could afford to take a risk on the “unknown”.
I think that I expected some kind of detective story before I started reading, which is exactly what I didn’t get. Instead, there is much more of a focus on how Megan feels, on how she copes (or rather doesn’t) with the loss of her daughter and the knock on effects this has on her family. The same is true of Jack and how he feels and responds to the secrets his wife reveals, a wife he loves very much and would do anything to protect.
At times, the writing was possibly a little simple but this didn’t stop me liking the book. I found myself completely drawn in, eager to turn the page and needing to know what happened next; how everything would turn out. I felt for all the characters – there are no “bad guys” in this story – and connected with the difficult decisions they were faced with. As a result, I would definitely recommend this book.