Emmy is a very young mother trapped in an abusive marriage. The only thing that keeps her going is her baby – until the day she leaves her outside for just a moment to get a blanket, and comes back to find only Baby’s yellow sock.
Sophie is a homeschooled girl of fourteen, living a reclusive, nomadic life with her mother, always trying to outrun the “No Good.” When she decides to break the rules and go outside, she meets her neighbor, Joey, and the beautiful old women who are raising him. As Sophie spends time with the first friends she’s ever had, she finds out that sometimes you’re not born into your family, sometimes you stumble into it.
The way that Emmy’s and Sophie’s stories are connected is no secret. This isn’t a mystery, and as a reader, the link between the two is easily discovered. There isn’t a slow unraveling of clues – You Are My Only isn’t that kind of book. The story of Emmy and Sophie isn’t a Lifetime Movie or after-school special, either, with everything tied up in a neat little bow, all problems solved within the allotted time slot. This isn’t that kind of book.
Emmy and Sophie are young women who have each been robbed of something precious. The way that Beth Kephart tells their stories is haunting and beautiful, heartbreaking and joyful, full of bittersweet ache and tender melancholy. I read Beth’s words with a constant lump in my throat, hurting for Emmy, longing for Sophie to know that she is smart and brave and beautiful. And when the story came to its much anticipated conclusion, I was so amazed at the courageous way that Beth chose to close the door on these two beautiful young women.
For the last few days, since I turned the last page and read the final words, Emmy and Sophie have been continually in my mind. I find myself imagining the next scene, and the next, and the next, because I don’t want to say goodbye to them. You Are My Only is that kind of book.