This moving story had me intrigued and asking questions straight away; who are Carly and Jen, why are they walking such a long way, just the two of them, so young? What has happened? Who is Teddy and why is Carly so determined that he is the one to help them?
Sisters Carly, 16, and Jen, 12, have set off from New Mexico and are trying to get to Teddy in California. They soon become hungry and tired, and it becomes increasingly difficult for them to continue and to stay safe and not risk it being discovered that they are on the run alone together; the threat of being taken in by the authorities and potentially separated keeps them walking and reluctant to reveal the reality of their situation to anyone.
It is primarily Carly whose thoughts we follow, and it's a very emotional as well as physical endurance test that she goes through on her journey. It is very clear that she has lost her trust in others and lost her belief in her self, and her self worth; she has convinced herself that she doesn't matter and that 'everyone likes Jen better'. As I read, I willed things to change for the better for Carly because she had been so strong, I didn't blame her for having lost trust in people because of her past treatment, but she needed to take the risk of trusting again; the story illustrates how sometimes we have a new, unexpected chance for happiness in life and it is the ability to let go of fear and accept this chance, to take the risk of trusting again, that we need. This was such an important theme running through this story; who can the girls trust and believe in, who has their real interests and welfare at heart, who isn't all that they seem to be, and who cares more than they realise.
I felt this was an engrossing, well-paced story about being honest with yourself and having to admit to the truth, and learning to accept kindness from unexpected places. It is about loss, loyalty, truth, courage, and the hard decisions people have to make, the strength we have to find sometimes even when we are only a young age.
Thanks very much to the publisher for the opportunity to read an advance ebook copy of this novel via netgalley.
You can visit the author's website here find her on facebook here or follow her on twitter @cryanhyde