“A storytelling triumph about the meaning of family — ultimately a wondrously uplifting tale of hope and redemption starring a main character who is quite simply unforgettable.” – Bookreporter.com
This stand-alone, follow-up to Me & Emma is a dazzling novel of two unforgettable families bound together by their deepest secrets and haunted pasts—perfect for fans not only of Me & Emma but also Ellen Foster and The Lovely Bones.
Nine-year-old Carrie Parker and her mother, Libby, are making a fresh start in the small town of Hartsville, North Carolina, ready to put their turbulent past behind them. Violence has shattered their family and left Libby nearly unable to cope. And while Carrie once took comfort in her beloved sister, Emma, her mother has now forbidden even the mention of her name.
When Carrie meets Ruth, Honor, and Cricket Chaplin, these three generations of warmhearted women seem to have the loving home Carrie has always dreamed of. But as Carrie and Cricket become fast friends, neither can escape the pull of their families’ secrets—and uncovering the truth will transform the Chaplins and the Parkers forever.
WHAT HAPPENED TO MY SISTER by Elisabeth Flock made Oprah’s list of books to read – Flock_Oprah Magazine September 2012 -a follow up to EMMA & ME now readers see first hand what transpired with sister Carrie. Deeply moving, disturbing and thought provoking – – – readers familiar with EMMA & ME or not will want to read this book.
Joy Tipping of the Dallas News wrote this:
Because I’m such an obsessive reader (3-4 books a week on average), it’s rare that I remember much past the basic details of ANY book a few years past when I first read it. That’s kind of a good thing, because if I really love something, I can read it all over again in a few years and it’s almost a new experience. Still, there are always a few books every year that go on the “oh my God I’ll never forget that” list. One of those books was 2005′s Me & Emma, a winsomely empathetic and ultimately crushing tale told from the perspective of an abused and neglected 8-year-old girl. Little Carrie Parker takes us on a wrenchingly emotional tour of her world and that of her younger sister, 6-year-old Emma. The book has one of the most heart-stopping endings I’ve ever read: I literally had to go back and re-read several paragraphs to make sure I was really understanding what was being said. Stunning.
Now, seven years after Me & Emma, Flock returns with a sequel, which sees Carrie and her family moving after Carrie’s abusive stepfather dies under horrifying circumstances (I will not spoil here!). Emma has left the picture, but not in any way you might suppose. Carrie meets another girl, Cricket, who’s about her age and has also had, and lost, a sister — and Carrie just happens to be her spitting image. The book is narrated this time by both Carrie and Cricket’s mother, Honor, who is 180 degrees from Carrie’s mom in terms of motherly love (i.e., Honor exhibits some). As Carrie unravels the secrets of her past (and there are some doozies), Cricket and Honor start coming to terms with the loss of their beloved girl, Caroline.
I honestly thought Me & Emma was about as perfect a book as I could ever want to read, with absolutely no need for a follow-up. But now that I’ve read What Happened to My Sister, I can’t imagine one without the other. If you like your family sagas a mixture of dark and light (Flock has a wicked sense of humor, as does her protagonist, Carrie), with a healthy dose of suspense, I can’t recommend these two books highly enough. But take my advice and read Me & Emma first. They’re both really quick reads; you’ll tear through them in a few days.
Book groups – consider this for your next book to read – enjoy this FREE excerpt:
Here’s a few discussion questions:
1. The mother-daughter relationship is an important theme in this novel. What lessons can be learned from Libby and Carrie, and from Honor and Cricket?
2. Why do you think Elizabeth Flock chose to narrate the story from Carrie’s and Honor’s points of view? How would the novel differ if it were told through the eyes of Cricket? Of Ruth?
3. Honor’s relationship with Cricket is very different from Eddie’s relationship with Cricket. Do you think that father-daughter relationships are inherently different from mother-daughter relationships? If yes, how so?
4. What are the characteristics of a strong mother-daughter relationship? Do you think that Honor and Cricket have a strong relationship? What in their relationship works? In what ways do you think Honor approaches motherhood differently than Ruth does?
5. Discuss Carrie’s relationship with Cricket. How are the two girls alike? How are they different?
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About the author:
New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Flock is a former journalist who reported for Time and People magazines and worked as an on-air correspondent for CBS. She is the author of several acclaimed novels, including But Inside I’m Screaming and Me & Emma. She lives in New York City.
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