Finding Emma by Steena Holmes
I was sent a review copy of this title by SparkPoint, and I thought it sounded intriguing so I gave it a whirl!
This novel (50% of the proceeds of which will benefit the Missing Children's Society of Canada) is about the unraveling of a family after toddler Emma disappears out the door of the home of Megan and Peter and Emma's two sisters on a normal day. Megan is unable to put her life back together, and is risking her marriage (and sanity), believing she sees Emma everywhere she goes and unable to move forward or back, not knowing Emma's fate...
Running parallel and told in alternating chapters is the story of an older couple, Jack and Dottie, who are taking care of their granddaughter while Dottie slowly battles Alzheimer's disease, with a few chapters of their neighbor and her special needs children thrown in (but not really developed in any meaningful way).
I liked the premise of this novel - the missing child, the mystery of where she went, the unraveling of a marriage - but felt the story was flat for my expectations. The ending is telegraphed from the beginning, Megan's part of the story was big on repetition and little on change, and the ending didn't really explain all the questions the reader probably had from the beginning - it just ended and the reader was left to fill in the blanks. There were characters with little to no development, and a lot of disjointed plot points.
(As an aside and because I'm a stupidly picky reader, there were a lot of errors in the novel in terms of spelling and wrong words inserted, probably due to autocorrect, all of which drove me batty.)
While I applaud anyone who has written and published a novel, and I'm glad the proceeds are benefiting such a worthy cause, this novel just fell short for me, though it was obviously written with conviction, emotion and a desire to "get the word out" about missing children, all of which I applaud.
Every reader is different, though..if you read this novel, let me know what you think!
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