Nine-year-old Carrie Parker and her mother, Libby, are making a fresh start in the small town of Hartsville, North Carolina, ready to put their turbulent past behind them. Violence has shattered their family and left Libby nearly unable to cope. And while Carrie once took comfort in her beloved sister, Emma, her mother has now forbidden even the mention of her name. When Carrie meets Ruth, Honor, and Cricket Chaplin, these three generations of warmhearted women seem to have the loving home Carrie has always dreamed of. But as Carrie and Cricket become fast friends, neither can escape the pull of their families' secrets-and uncovering the truth will transform the Chaplins and the Parkers forever. Look for special features inside. Join the Circle for author chats and more.
In this companion piece to Me and Emma, nine-year-old Carrie and her alcoholic mother flee their small town after Carrie shoots her abusive stepfather dead. At a motel, Carrie's mother gets drunk and entertains strangers, leaving Carrie to fend for herself. On one of her foraging trips, Carrie befriends a girl named Cricket, whose mother, Honor, sees in Carrie an eerie resemblance to her dead daughter and comes to wonder why she never meets Carrie's mother. Carrie herself is puzzled by memories of her younger sister, Emma; she believes that Emma disappeared, but her mother swears Emma is a figment of Carrie's imagination. As Honor and Cricket take more of an interest in Carrie's life, the precarious web of deception that has been built around her comes under threat. While Carrie's abuse is distressing, readers will be more troubled by choices Flock has made in telling her story. Carrie as narrator has the expected limited perspective of a child and a by-the-book colloquial voice; she petitions the reader's sympathy too soon and fails to ever come to life. Ham-fisted coincidences, broad caricatures, and awkward plot twists don't help. Agent: Larry Kirshbaum, LJK Literary Management. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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August 07, 2012
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