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Emma's Secret: A Novel

Emma's Secret: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

Steena Holmes
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For two years, Megan, Peter, and their two older daughters, Alexis and Hannah, dream of nothing but being reunited with the family’s youngest child, Emma, who was kidnapped just before her third birthday. When Emma is miraculously found living with an elderly couple just miles from the family’s home, they are hopeful that her return will heal the wounds her disappearance created.

But Emma is vastly different from the sunny toddler they remember. She barely remembers her parents or her older sisters. She is quiet and withdrawn, and, worst of all, longs for the very people who kidnapped her.

Megan is consumed with bitterness, while Peter works later and later nights in the company of his gorgeous business partner. And in the middle of everything, Megan’s best friend has become suddenly distant and secretive.

Then a chance encounter in town leads to a secret that changes everything again for Emma. And Peter must decide between the happiness of his youngest daughter and the trust of his family.

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Steena Holmes grew up in a small town in Canada and holds a bachelor’s degree in Theology. She is the author of two previous novels, Chocolate Reality and Finding Emma. In 2012, she received the Indie Excellence Award. Holmes enjoys writing stories other mothers of young children can relate to. She currently lives in Calgary with her husband and three daughters and loves to wake up to the Rocky Mountains each morning.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 509 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 254 Seiten
  • ISBN-Quelle für Seitenzahl: 1477800662
  • Verlag: Lake Union Publishing (25. Juni 2013)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 3.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (2 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #58.439 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Spannend geschriebene Familiengeheimnisse 13. August 2013
Von beberlin
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
Das Buch erzählt die Geschichte von Emma und ihrer Familie, nachdem Emma von einer dementen älteren Dame aus dem Garten der Familie entführt wurde. Diese kann ihrem Mann das Kind als die Tochter der verstorbenen eigenen Tochter glaubhaft vorstellen, so dass Emma zwei Jahre lang bei ihnen lebt, bis durch den Tod der alten Frau die Geschichte auffliegt.

Das Pikante: Emmas eigentliche Familie lebt nur wenige Minuten von der Farm der alten Leute entfernt, im Rückblick erfährt man, dass sich die Wege sowohl im Coffee Shop als auch am Strand leicht hätten kreuzen können. Das ist ein schöner Trick im Plot, treibt er doch unweigerlich die Geschehnisse voran. Obwohl an sich nicht viel passiert (die Familie muss sich neu finden, vor allem Emmas Mutter leidet unter Schuldgefühlen und Überprotektionismus, die anderen beiden Töchter sind eifersüchtig etc.) hat man ständig das Gefühl, dass gleich etwas explodiert. Im Mittelpunkt der Geschichte stehen dabei Emmas Mutter, die das "alte Leben" ihrer Tochter liebend gern ins Feuer schmeißen würde, und dann Emma selbst, die um genau dieses alte Leben kämpft - weil sie als Fünfjährige kein anderes hat.

Das ist alles sehr spannend geschrieben, zumal alle Beteiligten noch ihre jeweils eigenen Geheimnisse haben. Nach der inneren Logik sollte man jedoch nicht fragen - denn dass man in dem beschriebenen Kleinstadtsetting selbst bei größtmöglicher Vorsicht niemals gesehen wird in zwei Jahren, und sei es von Freunden oder Nachbarn, und dass sich über diesen Zeitraum im Prinzip niemand groß wundert, woher die alten Leute auf einmal das Kind haben, ist doch mehr als zweifelhaft.
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen Quit reading after two chapters 7. Juli 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
This book is not well written, it lacks suspense. Trys to make up with sympathy for a poor little girl. I quit reading it after two chapters.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.1 von 5 Sternen  840 Rezensionen
69 von 73 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Wonderful!! 25. Juni 2013
Von H Tymo - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
I just finished reading Emma's Secret and once again, Steena Holmes did it! By the last few pages I had tears in my eyes. This book is a wonderful end to an amazing set of books. I came across Finding Emma by chance and couldn't put it down, then I was lucky enough to find that the story had continued with Dear Jack. Having to wait so many months for Emma's Secret to come out was pure torture! This is a story that you can't help but fall in love with every single character in the book. I think what has grabbed me most, not just from Emma's Secret, but since the beginning, is how real and human these characters all are. The struggles, emotions and moments that happen to Megan, her family,Jack and of course Emma; they're all how you can only imagine a real family would deal with this tragedy and trying to put their lives back together. Emma's Secret is a wonderful story to read alone, as the back story from Finding Emma isn't left out. It really holds it own, but if you haven't read the previous two books, do yourself a favor and start from the beginning!
63 von 71 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen The Secret is not Emma's. Tip: Read the pre-sequel first. 1. Juli 2013
Von Dale Dreibelbis - Veröffentlicht auf
***Warning Contains Spoilers***

I had mixed feelings about this book, at times I liked, yet at other times I was not so sure. Emma's Secret centers around a family (with no last name) and with a major emphasis on the one daughter Emma. Just before she turned three Emma was kidnapped by an elderly woman with dementia and had been living in the same town with said woman named Dottie and her husband Jack.

Emma's disappearance happened in a pre-sequel called Finding Emma which I did not read. The time is now 3 years later and Emma has now been returned to the family, as the mother Megan struggles with the need to center her daughter in the family since her return. This is a major issue for Megan because Emma had bonded with the couple who had kept her for those years. However Emma's emotional attachments to this couple do not seem to be as much of an issue for Emma's father Peter.

My problems with this story had nothing to do with Holmes's writing style, I found the book was fluid and easy to read. Although I read this book from cover to cover I was still left confused by a few things. I didn't understand why the book was Called Emma's Secret, when the actual secret was being held by Dottie, the demented kidnapper.

Although Holmes does reference a few times in the book how long Emma has now been home, for me the time line felt blurred as I was unsure of how much time had passed between both books. I didn't understand why Emma and her mother were not receiving regular therapy sessions anymore. Although Megan does have a few minutes of a refresher during a moment of stress with the apparent previous therapist. You would think this would continue considering Emma had only been home for a few months, and being a kidnapping is a very tramatic experience.

Throughout the story the author tries to give a sense that Peter is having an affair with his business partner Samantha (aka Sam). I didn't feel enough clues were given into making the reader feel her husband Peter might have been having an affair, other than his partner Sam stating a couple times, that he must tell his wife, leaving it open ended. Then at the end of the book I find out Megan might have had her own affair, when she sees her friend locking lips with someone she appartently locked lips with. Appartenly a character who was the police officer involved in searching for Emma who the author does not reference as such during this episode.

I also did not understand what was going on with the relationship Jack had experienced with his wife. Jack knew Dottie had dementia and knew his wife thought Emma's was their granddaughter. Although the secret does clarify why Dottie might have thought Emma was the granddaughter. Any person with dementia bringing home a child that they seem to have plucked out of the thin air without any explanation is reason enough to set off flags in any marriage. Yet Jack who seems to be in his right mind did not question this, yet he is still allowed to see this child. So is Peter a little crazy for allowing him ascess to his daughter? Is it really good for Emma in the long run?

I don't know what information the pre-sequel contained however I felt Holmes could have detailed more in this book for those who have not read the pre-sequel. I would say I don't feel this book is one that reads well out-of-order and the reader would need to read Finding Emma to get a grasp as to what is actually going on with these characters. I don't like giving a bad review but I do belive in being honest, maybe this story was just not one I could relate to. I have my own three children and understood Megan's anguish and need to protect Emmas as well as her other daughters at all times now that Emma was home. I tried to place myself in Megan's shoes when it came to Emma's relationship with Jack I just couldn't do it.
30 von 33 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen A Clean Family Story 9. Juli 2013
Von William L. Brown - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
The basic theme of Emma's Secret is quite uplifting. A family, which had lost its 3-year-old daughter, has been reunited with her two years later. The book tells how the family and their previously lost child make the adjustment to being together again.

On a positive note, the book is an uplifting account of a family trying to deal with the emotions of being reunited two years after an apparent kidnapping of their youngest member. The family has its ups and downs, but in the end they are stronger than ever, with several potentially serious conflicts resolved.

My wife and I read the story together. Since we had not read the prequel to the book (Finding Emma), we may have been somewhat at a disadvantage. We both agreed that the writing is not first-class. Other reviewers have recounted many of the same criticisms that we have, so we will be brief. In addition to some relatively minor grammatical errors, the author makes too much use of phrases like "Peter bit his lip." While these literary devices can be helpful for providing a "feel" for the emotions of the characters, one can open the book to almost any page and find a relatively trivial use one or more of them.

There is only a minimal use of profanity and overt sex. If you are looking for a clean story with a happy ending, then this book should be on your suggested reading list. We do have two main criticisms. The story (1) contains too many totally unnecessary and irrelevant scenes that appear not to add anything to the plot, and (2) is predictable almost to the point of boredom. Had it been a bit shorter, with less use of certain literary effects, it would have elicited a more laudatory review.

[Spoiler Notice] We read the book from cover to cover, looking for Emma's secret to be revealed, and upon arrival at the last page we were still not quite sure what the secret was. When the word "secret" is in the title of the book, one expects a blockbuster revelation to occur somewhere near the end of the story. We are still at a loss to understand what Emma's big secret was, although there are two or three candidates, none of which was developed by the author.
16 von 17 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
1.0 von 5 Sternen Not satisfying 21. Juli 2013
Von Joan E harvey-carter - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition
This book ended too abruptly. It left too many questions unanswered. Not being a serial reader, I felt a little cheated at the ending and I just don't care enough to invest time in another installment ...especially another cliff hanger.
21 von 26 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
1.0 von 5 Sternen Terrible 26. August 2013
Von Steve - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
Keely says:
I was very excited when I read the short description of Emma's Secret. I thought it would be about finding and helping this Emma character get back her life. However, it was hardly about Emma at all. Throughout the entire book we still only know very little about Emma, except for the fact that everyone was affected by Emma's kidnapping and new look at life. We didn't get to really see her progress or anything.

The point of view in the story changed almost every other page. Starting out with Dottie's journal entries, it almost immediately changes into the main character Megan, Emma's mom. Then it continues to change to Jack, Emma's 'kidnapper', and then Megan's husband Peter. The point of view could change up to three times in one chapter, just jumping all over the place. Dottie's journal could have been easily left out, as it seemed to never fit in. Author Steena Holmes seemed to give everyone and their mother a journal to write in, as if the entire town was into it.

Jack's story line was the one I enjoyed the most because it was the only one that seemed to have a point. He showed you his life and what he was doing and thinking. You felt so bad for him because he had lost everything he cared for and was left alone. He helped fill in little details about Emma's life away from the home, but never seemed to provide any unneeded information or wasted words, which everyone else did. Megan's story line was the most boring and frustrating of them all. Her entire character worried over stupid things and had trust issues. Her best friend Laurie, was keeping this 'big huge' secret from her, that made her upset. Her husband, Peter, also was keeping some big secret involving his hot and sexy secretary that I found to be very clichéd. Even if the book is called Emma's Secret, Emma is the only one who doesn't have one! I struggled my way through the book only to be disappointed by these 'secrets.' Once finding out that these disappointing secrets were the highlight of the entire book, I honestly didn't want to continue reading. These secrets were so pointless and had absolutely nothing to do with the plot! The entire book should have concentrated on helping Emma.

This story was jumpy, boring, and overall terrible. Whatever plot the author was trying to establish failed, and there were so many terrible clichéd moments that it made me wonder if Steena Holmes even tried to be creative with the story. I am glad that I won't have to read the book again.
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