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Review: You Are My Only by Beth Kephart

Monday, October 31, 2011
4 Stars: A Great Read
Hardcover: 240 Pages
Publication: October 25, 2011 by Egmont USA

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. . . .

You Are My Only is told from the perspective of Emmy fourteen years ago and Sophie from the present day. Emmy has been abused and degraded by her husband, and now she suffers the blame for the disappearance of her baby. She feels the despair of losing the one bright spot in her life. Sophie has been homeschooled all the life, which isn’t much of a life as she’s always been on the run from what her mother calls the “No Good” people. She wants to live a normal, open life.

What really stood out to me in this novel is how Beth Kephart captured the emotions of Emmy and Sophie in words and transmitted them to the reader in a stream-of-conscious narrative. I could never entirely imagine being in either narrator’s place: feeling the horror of losing a baby or having to live my life locked in a house without being able to join kids my own age out in the open. Throughout the novel, I sat in my seat, horrified and anguished at my inability to help the two of them.

Beth Kephart has written a beautiful, beautiful story of tragedy, hope, and self-discovery, one that can only be fully appreciated by having read the novel. I will definitely be reading more of Kephart’s past works, and I will be looking forward to future works from her!


An ARC was provided by the publisher for review purposes

2 comments on "Review: You Are My Only by Beth Kephart"
  1. I'm so glad that you enjoyed this. I really love Beth's writing and her books. I would suggest reading Nothing But Ghosts or Undercover -- though I may be biased as those are my favorites.

  2. Thank you for the recommendations, Serena. I'll start with those books! :)


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