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Bending the Spine

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Early Review: You Are My Only by Beth Kephart

Emmy Rane is married at nineteen, a mother by twenty. Trapped in a life with a husband she no longer loves, Baby is her only joy. Then one sunny day in September, Emmy takes a few fateful steps away from her baby and returns to find her missing. All that is left behind is a yellow sock.

Fourteen years later, Sophie, a homeschooled, reclusive teenage girl is forced to move frequently and abruptly from place to place, perpetually running from what her mother calls the "No Good." One afternoon, Sophie breaks the rules, ventures out, and meets Joey and his two aunts. It is this loving family that gives Sophie the courage to look into her past. What she discovers changes her world forever. . . .

The riveting stories of Emmy and Sophie—alternating narratives of loss, imprisonment, and freedom regained—escalate with breathless suspense toward an unforgettable climax.

ebook, 252 pages (ARC)
Expected publication: October 25th 2011 by EgmontUSA
ISBN: 1606842854 (ISBN13: 9781606842850)

Kephart writes poetic.  Her words and the way she describes even the simplest things are beautiful.  You Are My Only is written unlike any book I have read.  At it’s basic, it is a story of loss, friendship, growth, and trust.  It is heart wrenching, heart breaking, gorgeous, and wonderful.  I laughed, I was nearly in tears, and I ached for Emmy and Sophie.

There isn’t too much that can be said without spoiling this magnificent literary creation, so I’m not going to say too much.  Just be prepared to stay up all night to finish it.  Seriously.  You kinda figure out the big reveal very early in the story, and I think that might be what you’re supposed to do.  So that you keep reading to see how it ends.  Kephart writes in such a way that made me second guess myself about the characters and the plot, but it’s not frustrating or irritating.  It’s enlightened.

At it’s deeper levels, you will explore humanity and longing.  The need to be held as dear and the need to hold things dear.   The need for purpose in our lives, unconditional love and acceptance.

The cover is my real issue with this book.  It is beautiful and what initially drew me to this story, but really didn’t fit the book.  It looks more like a young lady from the 20s, a flapper if you will.  I had trouble, because of the cover, figuring out what time period I was reading in.  Let me go ahead and let you in on a little secret: this book takes place for the most part in the early 90s (for Emmy) and 2004 (for Sophie).  But you don’t find this out right away.  Knowing this upfront would have provided necessary context desperately required for the first few chapters.  So, there you have it.  Context proper.

The ending, though not what I was expecting, was perfect.  I love it, I related to it.  It couldn’t have been any better.  It left me wheeling, dizzy, and breathless.

I was hooked, stayed up way past my bed time and HAD to finish this.  Just had to, no matter how bad my performance at work would suck the next day.  It was demanded of me to finish this book! [PS: I didn’t suffer at work, I was very productive]

4 Stars: Add this to your TBR list.  Go on, do it now!

Get to reading,

*This pre-release was provided to me by the publishers through netGalley*

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