|You Are My Only by Beth Kephart
Published by Egmont USA
Publish Date: October 25, 2011
My Source: Borrowed/NetGalley
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. . . . -(summary from Goodreads.com)
My Thoughts: You Are My Only is one of those books that I read really quickly but have taken some time to really think through. I’m so glad I did.
As I began to read this book, a few things sort of jumped out at me within the first few chapters. The stories of Emmy and Sophie are not altogether happy ones, so I didn’t anticipate breezing through the story with a smile on my face. I also noticed that the author told the girls’ stories so beautifully with her words that I was not too overcome with negative emotion while reading, but rather I felt emotional at the use of the gentle and poetic language.
This story is told in alternating points-of-view, with Emmy giving accounts of things that happened in her life that were (in my opinion) just awful, awful, awful. Her story broke my heart over and over. Sophie’s story was bits of happy and sad infused with increasing bits of hopeful. I watched Emmy break down while I watched Sophie continue to build herself up and become stronger and stronger as the book progressed.
I found myself being surprised time and time again by little details that the author revealed throughout the story. These little details were the building blocks for a nice ending that seemed to hint at itself early in the book. Despite making some (in my opinion) obvious connections between some of the characters in the early part of the book, I never felt like this ruined the story for me; in fact, I actually felt the opposite. I think figuring things out early made the story more interesting. It made me more emotionally invested in the characters and their respective outcomes.
I realize that I am being kind of vague in these thoughts, but I do not want to give too much of the story away. This one is better if you can piece it together yourself, for the most part. I will say, however, that my favorite part of the story is the friendship that developed between Sophie and her neighbor, Joey. Sophie had never had a ‘real’ friend before, and their interaction written with Kephart’s prose was so sweet to read–a definite highlight throughout this book.
I think that the ending was great. I do wish that there was a little bit more–maybe more of the final scenes set up or played out, or perhaps it would be nice to know a little more about what happened after these final scenes. At any rate, I felt like the characters found a nice resolution to the issues they were going through and most of the questions were answered in the end.
I recommend this book for readers who love beautiful words or poetic prose. I recommend it for readers who tend to like the contemporary genre. If you like alternating points of view or books written with interesting or complex structures, this one is for you. It is beautifully crafted, well-paced, and nicely resolved. This was my first book written by Beth Kephart and I loved it. She has a wonderful way with her words.
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest thoughts and opinions. I received no compensation for my review. Thank you Egmont!