Book Review: You Are My Only

Author: Beth Kephart

Publisher: Egmont USA, October 2011

Genre: Youn-Adult Fiction, ages 12 and up

My Rating: A

Summary (from the publisher):

Emmy Rane was married at nineteen and a mother by twenty. Trapped in a life with an abusive husband, Baby was her only joy. Until one day in September, when Emmy walked the sixty-three steps from the backyard to the upstairs closet, and returned to find Baby missing. All that was left behind was a yellow sock, which Emmy clings to as she’s institutionalized for what she calls grief and others call mental instability.

In another town, fourteen years later, Sophie is a teenage girl living a reclusive life with her overbearing mother. They move from place to place with almost no notice, always outrunning the No Good. One afternoon, Sophie ventures outside and meets Joey and his two aunts. Their unconventional family opens up Sophie’s eyes, giving her the courage to look into her past. And what she discovers changes her world forever. . .

My thoughts:

You Are My Only is told by Emmy and Sophie in alternating chapters. It only took the first two chapters for me to feel connected with the two of them. The chapters are fast so I didn’t feel like I was left dangling at any point.

I liked Sophie the best. At fourteen Sophie is discovering the world and her place in it. She’s a bright girl but she’s also very lonely. She’s never had a friend or much interaction with other people. She and her mother constantly move, nor is she allowed to go to school. It’s as if her world is painted black and white. When she meets Joey and his aunts from across the alley, it’s as if color gradually comes into her world.

Emmy’s chapters are sad and a little depressing. When she lost Baby, she lost the only good part of her life. Her husband is controlling and cruel. Emmy should never have married him, b

but she’s made a lot of bad choices in her life.

The neighbors across the alley, Joey and his aunts, Miss Cloris and Miss Helen, are what makes the story worth reading. I want to spend more time with them. They are an excellent example that goodness, love and common sense still exist in the human race, even if they are fictional humans. Miss Cloris definitely knows how to comfort with sugar and lemonade.

My only complaint was the ending. I wanted it to go on a bit longer. I thought there were a couple of things left unfinished. That’s just my take on it. That minor flaw is overshadowed by a story is so beautifully written. There are so many passages I want to share with you but here’s one of my favorites.

“And you never heard of Cather? My Antonia? Song of a Lark? O Pioneers?”


“You best get yourself a Cather education. A girl can’t live without Cather.”

How can you not love these characters who are Willa Cather fans? You’ll love these characters, and you should also be prepared to shed a few tears. It’s a very touching story.

I received a copy of the book from the publisher. Check your local library or your local bookstore for copies of this book.

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4 Responses to Book Review: You Are My Only

  1. I liked Sophie best also!

  2. Kephart’s writing is gorgeous, isn’t it? Have you shared this with your granddaughter? I’d be curious to know what she thinks of it.

  3. Serena says:

    I really loved this novel and the writing. I didn’t mind the ending at all. I’m glad you enjoyed this one.

  4. Staci says:

    My son is a Willa fan!! I have this one on my Kindle…must get to it soon!

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