Book Review: Me & Emma

Me & Emma
By Elizabeth Flock
298 Pages
Finished 7/14/08


In many ways, Carrie Parker is like any other eight-year-old girl–playing make-believe, dreading school, dreaming of faraway places. But even her imaginative mind can’t shut out the realities of her impoverished North Carolina home or help her protect her younger sister, Emma.

By turns achingly naive and utterly pragmatic, Carrie has been shaped by the loss of her beloved daddy, and her life mired by a drunken stepfather and emotionally absent mother. Charting an astonishing course of survival for herself and Emma, she hopes to transform their life into one more closely resembling the storybooks she treasures.

But after the sisters’ plan to run away from home unravels, their world takes a shocking turn–and one shattering moment ultimately reveals a truth that leaves everyone reeling.

Narrated with the simplicity and unabashed honesty of a child’s perspective, Me & Emma is a vivid portrayal of a heartbreaking loss of innocence, an indomitable spirit and incredible courage–a story that will resonate with readers of all ages and experiences.

This is going to be a hard book to review–it doesn’t feel quite right to say that I “enjoyed” the book, because, like the summary says, it really is a heartbreaking story. It seems an oxymoron to say that I really liked reading something that left my heart aching the way this story did. Me & Emma is very emotionally charged, and often left me wanting to shout at the mother and stepfather for their abusive behavior, while at the same time wishing Carrie and Emma had the wisdom and ability to stand up for themselves. The thing that really left me feeing sad what the realization that there are actually children out there who live in situations like this.

If you’re looking for a pick-me-up, you’re definately going to want to skip this one. It’s not a happy story. But, it’s very well written and reading it from the point-of-view of an eight-year-old gives the reader a mind-opening experience. The ending really threw me for a loop–I wasn’t expecting it at all–and I’m not sure if it was the late hour that I finished the book or the way it ended, but when I turned the final page I had a little bit of a creepy feeling. I’m curious if anybody else has read this and felt the same way?

Thanks for the loan Jessi….it wasn’t exactly what I expected, but I liked it enough to recommend it to my friends!

2008 Page Count: 5851


One Response to “Book Review: Me & Emma”

  1. Jessi Says:

    I probably should have warned you about the depressing nature of the book, but I’m glad you liked it. I liked that it was written from Carrie’s point of view also. It is a sad story though.
    I didn’t really get the creepy feeling but I read lots of sad books! It’s eye opening to realize how many kids live in situations like this everyday, kinda makes me appreciate what we have I guess.
    I just read another good one called “The Space Between us” that I really liked and It’s not depressing! Let me know if you would like to borrow it. 🙂

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