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Finding Emma: A Novel

(Finding Emma #1)

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  9,395 ratings  ·  702 reviews
A mother’s near-obsessive devotion to her missing daughter threatens to destroy more than one family.

Megan is the harried but happy stay-at-home mother of three little girls living in a small town. Her life implodes when her youngest daughter, Emma, disappears on her third birthday.

Two years later, Megan is preparing to commemorate Emma’s birthday and the anniversary of he
Paperback, 296 pages
Published February 26th 2013 by Lake Union Publishing (first published March 14th 2012)
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Average rating 3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  9,395 ratings  ·  702 reviews

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Jul 27, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Such a dreadful book, poorly written, no character development, massive plotholes, badly edited, really bad! The two main female characters are so unsympathetic - firstly there is the mother, Megan, whose daughter is kidnapped. Megan is very unlikeable and totally self absorbed and so melodramatic. She also is in the habit of falling asleep during the day with her 3 year old child outside of the house so big surprise that the child goes missing! I can't describe how much I hated this character, ...more
Three year old Emma was a delight – Megan and Bruce had a wonderful life with three beautiful daughters; Alexis was the eldest, Hannah the middle child and Emma their youngest. But the day Emma was kidnapped from their home was the day the life of the family changed forever.

Two years on and Megan’s family was fracturing. She looked on a daily basis for Emma; but in doing so she was neglecting her other family members. Hannah and Alexis were hurting – Bruce was trying to keep his family together
Bette Crosby
Mar 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book. It is the story of a Mother who child is there one moment and gone the next. You might think a woman who went through this would give up on life completely, but Megan can't. She has two other children and a husband to consider. This is truly a heart-wrenching story that will send you off to hug your own babies. It is an Amazon best seller and easy to understand why. ...more
Patricia Sands
Mar 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finding Emma is a story that goes straight to the heart. Suspenseful and gripping, the reader experiences the full range of emotions as author Steena Holmes artfully guides us through an experience we all hope we never face.

Megan and Peter, the parents of three sweet daughters, begin the long journey into a parent's worst nightmare when three-year-old Emma suddenly disappears from her own home.

Through two years of searching, praying, and wishing, her loss consumes the family and no one more so
Ginny Messina
Jul 03, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Holy moly, this was some bad writing. I found it while poking around the selections in the kindle free lending library and it had tons of great reviews. Which really makes you wonder. This was self-published, and while the author thanks an editor in her acknowledgements, I suspect it was more managing editor type of help. There is no way that anyone with any editing skill whatsoever went through this manuscript, which uses the same phrases over and over again, and is jam-packed with nails-on-the ...more
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: two-star
It's somewhat of a gamble picking up a freebie in the Kindle library, sometimes that gamble pays off and other times it doesn't. Although this story had lots of favourable ratings, I wasn't impressed, although I did give it the benefit of the doubt.

The writing nor the storyline is absolutely terrible, it just happens to be very bland. There is little depth to the characters - my favourite being Papa, perhaps the only half interesting protagonist here - and what should have been a gripping missin
This was a very empathetic read. Very moving. And any parents worst nightmare. Two years ago three year old Emma went missing from her home/yard. One minute she is with her family and the next gone. No trace or clues are found as to what happened. I cannot even begin to truly imagine what that must be like. Steena Holmes does an amazing good of showing us on possible scenario to watch play out. This is a very down to earth, putting yourself in someone else's shoes.

Megan, Emma's mother, looks in
Allison Gary
Oct 27, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I had read the sequel first (Emma's Secret), and felt that to clear up some of the holes from that book I needed to read this one to get the full story. Honestly, not as good as Emma's Secret, and all of the same complaints only actually heightened as a reader. Grammatical errors throughout the text, odd breaks in chapters, lots of odd structures and even a lack of fluidity at times. There were also discrepancies between the two novels - one example was in Emma's Secret, Emma has a stuffed lion ...more
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
A 3 to girl disappears, leaving her parents and 2 sisters in perpetual unrest two years afterward.
Elsewhere, two grandparents are raising their 5 yo granddaughter.
There's no mystery, the girls even have similar names, Emma and Emmie. The characters are likable, albeit one-dimnensional, the plot predictable, the writing marginal. The writing contained many cliches, confusing pronouns, and the most egregious grammar taboo, starting too many sentences with "it".
One of the minor characters was a 3 y
Elena Aitken
Mar 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a mother, this is your worst fear! To have your child disappear and have to continue living day to day. How would you do it? How would you go on if every time you turned around you thought you saw her?
This is what Megan suffers through. For years as her marriage and family crumble around her, she hangs on to the hope that Emma is out there.
Finding Emma is a heartbreaking story of a mother's journey of hope. I was captured by the emotion and depth of the characters from the beginning. And ro
Louise Behiel
May 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book some time ago, but couldn't force myself to read it - Sometimes reading about the pain and horror inflicted on children is just too much to bear, so I put it away. This week I decided I could take a peak and settled in to read.
I'm so glad I did.

Finding Emma is a strongly written deeply emotional story about a topic every mother can understand. A book where there are no bad guys, but where bad things happen. Emotional, evocative and deeply touching, Finding Emma is all that I e
Apr 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely brilliant, well worth reading! I did a review on the forum
Oct 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book, didn't want it to end! ...more
Kelly Hager
Ever since her youngest daughter was kidnapped, Megan's been falling apart. She tries to stay sane and normal for her husband and two other daughters, but it's not working. She keeps thinking she sees Emma, but she's always wrong. And then one day, she looks through pictures she took when they went to the fair and she sees Emma in the background.

Meanwhile, Emmie is a young girl who lives with her grandparents. She loves them both, but it's hard because her grandma is very overprotective. Emmie i
Katie O'Connor
Mar 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am a voracious reader, but it has been a long time since I picked up a novel that I was unable to put down. FINDING EMMA may be the most heart-wrenching and heart-warming book I have ever read. From the first page, the characters pulled me in and held me captive. Is there anything more heart breaking than losing a child? Emma’s family must struggle to go on after her disappearance, but it is tearing them apart. When Emma’s mother Megan believed she had found her daughter, I thought my heart w ...more
Melanie McFarlane
Oh my...Steena you break my heart then give me hope
Annie McDonnell
Aug 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a story that had me on the edge of my seat, because I had intense feelings for each of the characters. Megan and Peter have a lovely family with three children, the eldest is Hannah, the middle sister is Alexis, and the youngest is Emma.
The girls were enjoying a local carnival on Emma’s third birthday when she disappeared in the blink of an eye. This is where the story begins.
Megan’s determination to find her daughter turns in to what her husband considers an obsession. He feels that Me
Rebecca Berto
Feb 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

Wow, what a read! I was really enjoying myself and then I got to about 2/3 through and things started happening and all I could think about was how it would end. From that point onward it literally didn't stop the pace and my chest was hurting and my mind was focused on getting through the story ASAP. I read that last bit faster than my progress for a week or two before that!

I identified with the main character, and Mum, Megan and was with her with every crazy, possibly stupid, obsessiv
Arielle Morin
Jun 21, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
So the book started out well enough. It kept my attention. Then about 70 pages in I just lost interest. I pretty much figured out the whole "secret" and my predictions for the ending were pretty spot on.

This book feels like the author wanted to write a book about a kidnapping, and so the next day she just throws together her entire novel into one large word document and clicked saved and said, "Yay. I finished my story. Now who wants to read it?" It just has that vibe. One dimensional characters
Terri Tinkel
Apr 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who loves children
Shelves: family, marriage, children
This story was every mother's nightmare. A mother of 3 daughters, turns her head for a moment and her 3 year old baby girl disappears. Of course, she is frantic. Her life has been changed. Her marriage is falling apart. Her other 2 daughters are feeling left out. And she can't give up on believing her daughter is still alive and will come home again.

After I finished the book, the author's comments said she was giving a large portion of her profits to the Missing Children's funds in our country.
What an emotional story of a women whose younger daughter has gone missing. Emma has been missing for two years and Meagan's life is falling apart all around her desperately wanting her daughter back. Will she find her? Does she save her family from falling apart? Read this story and find out!

Steena Holmes does a fabulous job with the character building and writing about the human condition these characters find themselves facing.

An intense, heart- wrenching story that will change you. I rated
C.J. Carmichael
Mar 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fun-read
Steena Holmes is quite the storyteller. She hits all the right notes with this poignant story about a family in crisis two years after their youngest daughter goes missing. Once I started, I had to keep reading and was not disappointed by the very emotional ending!

Having read Dear Jack, I already had an interesting insight to a couple of the key characters, but if you have the choice, read this first, and then Dear Jack.
Jessica Florio
Apr 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finding Emma

This was an excellent book. How heart wrenching to know your child disappeared. This was a gripping reality of all the emotions they experienced and how the mother didn’t give up hope; how each family member dealt with the disappearance in their own way. This book is one everyone should read.
Aug 08, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was an incredibly disappointing book. I actually had to keep checking to see how many pages were left. There's not a single likable character in this cheesy waste of my time, and the plot never truly climaxes. I was left unsatisfied beyond belief, but relieved when it was over. ...more
Mar 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An incredible book. I couldn't put it down, even when I had tears in my eyes. ...more
May 04, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Easily among the worst books I've ever read. How impressive though - to create a book about a child abduction that is not just boring, but downright tedious. Terrible writing. ...more
Oct 30, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Poor editing and unnecessary drama. I'm also disappointed by the ending & would like a little more information on some unexplained details. ...more
Jun 10, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Don't waste your time! ...more
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have to admit, I'm actually surprised by how much I ended up enjoying this book. Although I did have a few issues (which I'll get into), I thought Finding Emma was a great read.

It is on the "lighter" side of "missing child" stories, but it was still a heartwrenching read. It was definitely predictable, but I still enjoyed reading this. I knew the "whodunit," but found I had a very difficult time putting the book down because I had to know how it was all going to come together. Like I said, ev
Laura Lovett
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finding Emma tugged at my emotions. I was pulled into the world of what it might be like to have a child abducted, and how impossible it would feel to move forward. I wavered between digust and pity for the elderly couple who abducted her. This talented writer builds out scenes and emotions to pull the reader into this story. I look forward to reading Steena's next book to see what happens as this relatable family moves forward with their lives. And a beautiful cover to match the beautiful writi ...more
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Trying to find the name of a book 1 2 Dec 07, 2018 07:37AM  
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YA Buddy Readers'...: Finding Emma by Steena Holmes-Starts August 3, 2015 8 37 Aug 19, 2015 02:46AM  
Ask Steena Holmes: Your thoughts on Finding Emma 13 49 Jun 25, 2013 05:57PM  

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NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author - Steena is the author of the heart wrenching Finding Emma series.

Her latest novel - LIES WE TELL OURSELVES - is out October 2020.

The Word Game was included in the Top 20 Novels to be Written by Women in 2015 by Good Housekeeping. The Word Game also won the 2015 USA Books Award for Best Fiction and her novel, The Memory Child was a finalist in the same categ

Other books in the series

Finding Emma (3 books)
  • Emma's Secret (Finding Emma, #2)
  • Megan's Hope (Finding Emma, #3)

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