emma and me (2004)
I don't even know where I picked this book up - it does have a second hand sticker on it- but one that I don't recognize so I can only presume the book has had a history before it fell into my waiting hands. I love it when a book finds you at just the right moment in your life.
The opening sentences slam you:
"The first time Richard hit me I saw stars in front of my eyes just like they do in cartoons. It was just a backhand, though-not like when I saw Tommy Bucksmith's dad wallop him so hard that when he hit the pavement his head actually bounced. I s'pose Richard didn't know about the flips I used to do with Daddy where you face each other and while you're holding on to your daddy's hands you climb up his legs to right above the knees and then push off, through the triangle that your arms make with his. It's super fun. I was just trying to show Richard how it works. Anyway, I learned then and there to stay clear of Richard." (9)As a reader I was stunned and sad but pulled in by this little voice of eight-year-old Carrie. The abuse she suffers at the hands of her stepfather and her mother's neglect are juxtaposed around her original family story; one where happiness played an important role and her father was kind and playful. Flock twists the story from Toast, NC to a tiny mountain town where Carrie meets several unusual characters that see right through her family's struggles. I can't give you any more details so when you read it the story can unfold and surprise you.
I loved Flock's writing style and would enjoy reading more of her work. Carrie's voice will stick with me for a long time to come. Because this book has already been through several readers I want to keep it traveling along. I will send this book to one lucky reader leave me a comment about one striking childhood memory and I will pick one unique answer. Include your email and I will get the book to you quickly!
This book is on my TBR Pile Challenge and the first book I've read on my list. Lisa from Books Lists Life encouraged me to read it and it was a perfect book to start with- Thanks Lisa! I hope the rest of my choices thrill me as much as this one did!
*the book does have some pencil marking in it from a child's drawing hand-this amused me as the story is about a child, it is only on the first few pages and does not interrupt the story in any way but thought I should mention it in case you are one of those paperback book swap people who like pristine books.*