Saturday 13 April 2019

Book ~ "Emily, Gone" (2019) Bette Lee Crosby

From Goodreads ~ 1971. When a music festival rolls through the sleepy town of Hesterville, Georgia, the Dixon family’s lives are forever changed. On the final night, a storm muffles the sound of the blaring music and Rachel tucks her baby into bed before falling into a deep sleep. So deep, she doesn’t hear the kitchen door opening. When she and her husband wake up in the morning, the crib is empty. Emily is gone.

Vicki Robart is one of the thousands at the festival but she’s not feeling the music. She’s feeling the emptiness over the loss of her own baby several months before. When she leaves the festival and is faced with an opportunity to fill that void, she is driven to an act of desperation that will forever bind the lives of three women.

When the truth of what actually happened that fateful night is finally exposed, shattering the lives they’ve built, will they be able to pick up the pieces to put their families back together again?

It's 1971 and there's a big music festival happening on a farm outside the small town of Hesterville, GA.  Lots of "hippies" invade the town and there's loud vibrating music all weekend.  The townsfolk complain but there's nothing the local sheriff can do since it's outside the town.

The Dixons live not far from the festival.  Tired from not getting a lot of sleep all weekend, the rain comes masking the sound of music and Rachel and George finally get a good night sleep.  When they wake up the next morning, they discover their baby, Emily, is missing.  The sheriff investigates, posters are put up, a reward is collected and ads are placed in newspapers but Emily is never found.  Hoping for the best, it takes years for Rachel and George to move on and they pray that Emily is being raised in a loving home.

Vicki and Murph are at the festival.  Stoned and hungry on the last night of the festival, Vicki convinces Murph to stop at a dark house so she can ask for food.  The door is unlocked and Vicki walks in.  Instead of taking food, she discovers Emily asleep in bed.  Vicki had given birth to a stillborn whom she named Lara a few months earlier and thinks God is replacing Lara with Emily ... and Emily grows up as Lara.

I thought this book was okay.  I loved the concept of the story ... a baby is taken, the girl grows up and discovers she was kidnapped at birth.  I was interested to know how it was discovered and what were the repercussions.  Then the "how" happened.  Up until that point, the book was a solid 4/5 as I was enjoying the story and the writing style (it's written in third perspective).  When the "how" was revealed, I thought "SERIOUSLY?"  It was way too coincidental and I wasn't buying it.  The happy ending was nice but it was too neat.  It dropped to a 3/5 for me.

If you are looking for a nice clean wholesome story, you will like it.  I've read many of this author's books and this is her style.  Though I am not religious, the characters in this book are.

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