Customer Reviews: Finding Emma
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Finding Emma was a truly outstanding, character driven story that lingers with you after you finish! I was a little worried about reading it because when the subject matter deals with something awful happening to small children, it isn't always a comfortable read for me. First thing I found was that this was a fictionalized account which instantly made it an easier read for me than if it had been a memoir type of story. I finished this book in one night.

The characters in this book were easy to get to know and truly likeable. No matter how hard you looked there truly weren't any "bad guys" well except for HER (a man hungry lady with her eye on Peter) and she played such a minor role. The main people surrounding Emma were:

Mom- Megan who fell into the depths of despair when she took her eyes off her child for just a few minutes to take a phone call yet would never give up hoping to see Emma again even when it threatened her marriage and family.

Dad- Peter, who wasn't always the most loveable of guys, sometimes non-supportive to the point of almost cruelness, judgmental and apt to freely give ultimatums so he could go on and and continue to live some kind of life. Yet he truly was the rock of the family and in his way was doing his best to hold the family together.

Sister Hannah- a lovely young girl who tried to be an adult and take up the slack when her mom proved incapable after Emma disappeared long before she was ready to partly because she blamed herself for Emma's disappearance..

Sister Alexis- the middle sister who often felt ignored and honestly believed that she might as well have just disappeared on the day Emma did, she felt that invisible.

Dottie (Grandma)- an older woman who upon finding out of the death of her only child snapped and began from that moment to have significant mental & memory loss issues from that day forward.

Jack (Papa)- Just a lovely older grandpa type man who loved his wife, loved his daughter & granddaughter and always tried to do the right thing, but dealing with the unthinkable nearly broke him.

Sherri- the neighbor with the heart of gold who decided to get involved and made the difference.

Detective Riley- the police officer who in the end was the one who believed, took a chance and found the answers.

The plot flowed well from the first page and although I did spot a few grammar/language issues like once peaked was used instead of peeked, they were few and far between and did not detract from the story for me.

If you like a suspenseful book where the lines often get blurred between the good & bad guys, take a chance on Finding Emma. You won't be sorry you looked for her.
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on September 21, 2012
Finding Emma was a hard read for me, not in its structure or prose, but in that I had a daughter abducted myself and it took 31 months to find her. The author had a keen insight into to the daily struggle to survive that this kind of tragedy has on a mother, and a family. I found it fascinating to contemplate the mind set of Emma. I found myself asking if that is what my daughter thought or felt. I had to finish the book, not only because I wanted to know the outcome, but out of respect for the characters of Emma's parents. So although it was a difficult book to read for me personally, it was a very good story. I hope that people reading it will have a new compassion for left behind families of abducted children, no matter the circumstance by which they were abducted, the daily torture is the same.
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on March 17, 2012
I had the pleasure of reading an advanced copy of this book.

Four year old Emma goes missing. Her family searches frantically for her but there are no leads. Now Megan, Emma's mother, sees her daughter in every child. More than once she has brought hardship on the family because of mistaken identity. Two years later, and the search is taking its toll on the entire family. Megan's husband and daughters feel like they've not only lost their little sister, but their mother too. But can Megan ever stop searching? And, if she does, will she miss her daughter's face in the crowd?

As a parent, this story stirred some of my deepest fears...the loss of a child. It is poignantly told and had me smiling at times and crying at others. If you enjoy stories about love and family, you will enjoy this story.
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on September 15, 2012
Be warned - spoilers ahead.

I am genuinely puzzled by a few different things:

1: I don't understand 99% of the 5-star reviews, but I don't want to be insulting to other people's reading preferences, so I'll leave it at that.

2: I don't understand how Emma disappeared exactly, or how Megan knew RIGHT AWAY that she had been kidnapped. I get that Dottie took her, but... how? Megan's in the kitchen suggesting in one breath that they play hopscotch (in the kitchen?) and in the next that they make lemonade (while they play hopscotch?), the phone rings, Hannah goes outside to get her hair band, the door slams, and by the time Megan gets off the phone, Emma's gone. Did Emma go outside with Hannah? After Hannah? Did Dottie come in? I'm so confused. Then Megan sees that Emma's not in the living room, Hannah says she's not upstairs, the screen door isn't locked, Emma's not in the driveway or yard, and "Megan screamed as loud as she could as tears streamed down her face. Emma was gone." Five stars for the super dramatic reaction to your child not being in the yard, zero stars for logic and plausibility.

3: How exactly did the detective track Emma down to Jack and Dottie's house? We know Megan brought him a blurry picture from the fair, and the next thing we know, he's knocking on the door of the farmhouse. Did someone warn him that Jack and Dottie were somehow suspicious? Did he recognize them from the picture? I don't understand how he got from Point A to Point B.

4: I don't understand half of the characters' relationships. Did Megan cheat on Peter with Detective Riley? Did Peter cheat on Megan with "Her"? If not, why the super-drama every time one of them communicated with a member of the opposite sex?

The synopsis of this book sounded awesome - I was really looking forward to reading it. The grammar errors took me out of it quickly, and the handling of the plot was worse than the grammar. I love the concept of this book, but the actual book... not so much.
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on March 22, 2012
Even when Meagan Taylor begins to doubt her own sanity and her husband appears to be turning away from her, the young mother refuses to move on, seek closure, and accept the fact that she'll never see Emma again. But after two years of trying and failing at every means possible, is Meagan just fooling herself with wishful thinking?

Meagan Taylor's obsession with finding her daughter becomes the reader's obsession, too. I fell in love with the adorable Emma and found myself riveted to Ms. Holmes' every word. While I turned the pages, I kept hoping against all odds that the sweet little girl would find her way home. You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll cheer Meagan's efforts right to the last page.
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on April 8, 2012
What is a very touching and REAL topic was very hard for me due to the lack of editing. It seemed amatureish at best and there were so many times that I had to 'pop' my own words into places to make sentences complete or substitute a word for a word that was either not a real word or just flat didn't make sense. This may be nit-picky, but the author is asking for REAL reviews, right? Take some time to proof read and I would have given it 5 stars like everyone else did, but I just couldn't get past the multitude of errors.
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on August 9, 2012
There are already plenty of reviews summarizing the story, so my review will focus on the writing style. First, I am grateful that I did not waste my money on this book, but I am disappointed that I used up my monthly borrow from the Kindle Lending Library because it was not worth it. I am very surprised at the glowing reviews, as I don't consider this good literature. The author needs to develop her writing, especially dialogue. The story was very choppy and disorganized and many times it seemed as though one of the "hints" would be explained. There were many instances where there was talk of infidelity and secrets being mentioned with no explanations. I would not recommend this book.
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VINE VOICEon March 18, 2013
While under her mother's supervision, three year old Emma disappears. Two years later Emma is still gone. Her Mother, Megan, hasn't been able to recover. She spends her time putting together "stranger danger" seminars for schools and organizing supervision for children who walk home. She also mistakes other little girls for Emma. Her husband, Peter, shames Megan for "seeing" Emma in other children. He wants Megan to focus on the present and their two other children. The novel quickly shifts and then alternates to the story of an elderly couple struggles to raise their granddaughter, Emme amongst the grandmother's declining health.

I am afraid I am in the minority on this one. I thought this book was only OK. I was expecting more of a mystery. Any mystery Holmes had, she gives away pretty quickly on in the story. There isn't really a plot other than waiting for the characters to uncover the "secret" that the reader already guessed. Holmes replaces suspense with repeated heart wrenching scenes illustrating the damage that Emma's kidnapping has afflicted on Megan's family. The story of a kidnapped child is pretty relatable for any parent, so the dozens of scenes underscoring the repercussions of this tragedy are unnecessary. I felt beat over the head with sad scenes. The marital tension seemed contrived and never fully fleshed out. A typical argument:

Peter: You need to move on from Emma's kidnapping!
Megan: I will never give up on Emma! (bursts into tears).

Ok, maybe that's a facile transcription of an argument. But they had multiple arguments to this effect and that's how they began to feel. I wanted to say: Megan, honey, if your husband's idea of being supportive is to encourage you to move past your daughter's tragic kidnapping while flirting with his attractive business partner, you may want to move past your marriage. I mean it's only been two years. But do try and acknowledge your other kids, just once and a while. He has a small point there.

Another thing that bothered me was several sub-plots that never went anywhere. I kept reading hoping they would go somewhere, but they didn't. I now see that maybe they will be picked up in the author's companion novella or the sequel. Inexplicably, I am tempted to purchase both of these? Maybe I am still hoping to uncover the novel I intended to read. AS of today, I have not purchased either.

Another note: I got a deal on the audio version via Whisphersync. The narrator baby talks Emma's lines. While I have no problem with a narrator who performs characters, I have never heard an adult do a good rendition of a small child's voice. This is a pet peeve of mine, and is so grating, if Emma had more lines, I would not have been able to listen to the audio version.
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on September 17, 2012
Poorly written, a repeat of another similar story of kidnapping and loss (in fact there was a movie with Michelle Pfeiffer about having her son kidnapped and finding him again right in her neighborhood), this book does not even merit one star. The plot is simple, the characters uninteresting - you cannot even relate to them- and the storyline is very basic. To be avoided.
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on March 17, 2012
Steena Holmes's book, 'Finding Emma' sucked me in and spit me out exhausted yet happy!

The ebb and flow of the writing was perfect. I got so attached to the mother in the story I wanted to crawl into this book and defend her.

It is a MUST read!
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