Author: Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen (Penguin)
Publication Date: April 3, 2012
Source: From Author For Review
In the wake of heart-breaking betrayal, Carley Connors is thrust into foster care and left on the steps of the Murphys, a happy, bustling family.
Carley has thick walls and isn’t rattled easily, but this is a world she just doesn’t understand. A world that frightens her. So, she resists this side of life she’d believed did not exist with dinners around a table and a “zip your jacket, here’s your lunch” kind of mom.However, with the help of her Broadway-obsessed and unpredictable friend, Toni, the Murphys do the impossible in showing Carley what it feels like to belong somewhere. But, when her mother wants her back, will she lose the only family that she has ever known?
Carley’s life has never been picture perfect, but there is one thing that keeps her going, the love she has for her mother and the love she believes is returned. That is, until the day her mother betrays Carley, choosing an abusive man over her very own daughter and places Carley’s life in jeopardy.
After a brutal attack by her stepfather that left Carley with several bruises and her mother heavily sedated in a hospital bed, Carley is released and is left in the care of a foster family. Carley’s emotions are spinning, she feels betrayed, but nevertheless, she doesn't want to live with another family.
Never knowing how it feels to be part of a real family, one that loves and genuinely cares for one another, once Carley experiences such affection, she feels as though she doesn’t belong and that she doesn’t deserve the kindness that the Murphys have shown her. After several weeks have passed, the time has come for Carley to return in her mother’s custody. Will Carley return to her mother and receive that warm and loving embrace she’s been dreaming of, or will her emotions toward the Murphys prevent her from leaving?
One For The Murphys is an emotional tale that will leave readers shedding tears at this heartfelt story of Carley Connors and the journey she takes to discover herself as well as the true meaning of the love of a family.
My favorite aspect of One For The Murphys is how relatable and engaging the characters were. To me, the characters were real. I could clearly imagine young Michael Eric tie a cape around his shoulders, run around the living room and pretend to be a superhero, watch Adam play Michael Eric’s sidekick or ignore him to play with his cars, and of course, watch Daniel dribble the ball and smile brightly at Carley in the stands just at that moment where he finally scores his first shot at his basketball game. I could also smell the delicious pie Mrs. Murphy makes just for Carley when she needs it most, and hear Mr. Murphy cheer for his favorite baseball team no matter the score after a long day of working at the fire station. There were so many special moments that Carley experiences in the novel that made me laugh along with the characters or reach out for a box of tissues, moments that are truly unforgettable.
Lynda Mullaly Hunt is a phenomenal writer whose work I hope to read more of. One For The Murphys is one of my favorite reads of 2012 so far, and Lynda Mullaly Hunt should be commended for this truly wonderful and unforgettable debut.
I recommend One For The Murphys to those who enjoy reading Young Adult and Contemporary titles.
**Please Note: This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.**
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