Sunday, 18 August 2019

Where I Found You by Emma Robinson

Time for a break from my usual diet of crime and psychological thrillers as today I'm delighted to be taking part in the tour for this special book, my first by this author. Huge thanks to Kim Nash at Bookoutre for inviting me and providing my review copy.

The Blurb:

Now titled My Silent Daughter.

Your daughter does not speak… But can she teach you how to live?

Ever since Ruby was tiny, she has been unique. Her smiles are magically rare, her building blocks are always colour-coded, and she communicates only in gestures. Sometimes, being Ruby’s mother is hard, but the way she sees the world makes it new for Sara every day.

When Sara’s husband walks out on them, Sara’s world falls apart, and her mother-in-law, Barbara, is the only person she can turn to for help. But Barbara thinks Ruby’s problems are all in Sara’s head; that she just doesn’t know how to raise a child right.
Sara can’t see how she’ll cope alone. Barbara won’t listen. Can a girl who doesn’t speak show them the way?

A powerful emotional page-turner about motherhood, friendship and family. Guaranteed to take your breath away. Perfect for fans of A Boy Made of Blocks, Jodi Picoult and Jojo Moyes.

Where I Found You was published by Bookoutre on 16th August 2019 and you can find the sales links below: 

My Review:

Oh my goodness! I read most of this book with tears in my eyes, and was openly weeping by the end. This is such a beautiful, emotional story.

Sara and husband Mike, together with daughter Ruby, move in with Mike's mother Barbara whilst they save enough for a deposit for their own home. Whilst it is extremely generous of Barbara, it is far from ideal for the young family. For Sara it is  especially hard, as Barbara dotes on Michael, criticises Sara's parenting and gushes about the perfect family next door.

Little Ruby is certainly a handful. She's not talking, doesn't mix with other children and plays with the same toys in the same way over and over again. Sara is unwilling to let anyone help because they won't know how to do things right for Ruby, but it's so hard. She is beginning to realise that Ruby isn't like other kids, that maybe there's something wrong, but she gets no family support and doesn't have any friends, until she finally starts to let people in.

I was so keen to read this book. I have a really good friend with a son on the high end of the autistic spectrum. His 'symptoms' are much less severe than Ruby's, and he is fantastic, but he has had some of the same struggles, just to a much lesser degree. And many of my friend's worries and concerns were similar to Sara's. But every mother and father will recognise them. We all want the very best for our children, for them to be happy, feel loved, so well. It's just a harder journey for some than others. And I don't think this is  a book just for parents. It's for anyone who has someone they advocate for, encourage or support. I am very privileged to work with disabled adults, and the main part of my job is to help them to be as independent and fulfilled as they can be, and this story resonated for me there too.

For me, this book is about recognising that we are all unique. It's about sometimes reshaping our ideas for the future. It's about celebrating the small things. And it's about family, friends and asking for help.

All of the above is poignantly done in Where I Found You. I adored Sara and cried and cheered with and for her. Her changing and often challenging relationship with Barbara is so interesting, and I think will resonate with many parents of children with additional needs. And we find out there is so much more to both Barbara and perfect next door neighbour Lisa than it seems at first glance. For me though, the stand out character was Leonard, whose quiet acceptance of Ruby and encouragement for Sara was lovely to read.

This was a beautiful read and one that will stay with me. I was deeply moved by it (there was ugly crying) and would urge everyone to read it. It's not soppy, gushy or preachy, but an accessible, relatable tale of love, friendship, acceptance and hope. And I would love to see how Ruby's doing in about 15 years time!

I have to say I'm not a fan of the new title, 'My Silent Daughter' (changed after the above review was written, as in my experience non verbal doesn't mean silent.

The Author

Emma Robinson is the author of three previous novels about motherhood and female friendship including The Undercover Mother. Where I Found You is her fourth novel, released in August 2019.

When she is not writing, Emma is an English teacher and lives in Essex with a patient husband and two children who are an endless source of material.

Author Social Media Links:

Twitter: @emmarobinsonuk
Instagram: emmarobinsonuk

No comments:

Post a comment

These Lost & Broken Things by Helen Fields

I am thrilled to be on the blog tour for this historical thriller from Helen Fields. This isn't a genre I go to very often but I knew He...