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What Happened to My Sister    by Elizabeth Flock order for
What Happened to My Sister
by Elizabeth Flock
Order:  USA  Can
Ballantine, 2012 (2012)

* *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

Nine-year-old Carrie Parker and her mother Libby Parker leave Hendersonville after the death of her stepdad, Richard. Carrie can't be sorry he's dead. Now he'll never hurt her momma again. She's not sorry to leave Hendersonville either. The people there believe she's crazy.

Libby drives as far as the old car will take them. When it breaks down outside of Hartsville, North Carolina she finds them a place in at the Loveless Hotel and Motor Lodge. Carrie's supposed to stay in their room while her momma looks for work, but sometimes her hunger won't let her. Carrie mostly likes to do what Momma says but one thing she knows for sure: she did not imagine having a baby sister named Emma and some day she will find out what happened to her.

Carrie meets Honor and Cricket Ford at Wendy's fast food restuarant. They've stopped for an after-school snack and Carrie is stealing croutons from the salad bar. Honor recognizes a child in trouble and invites her to eat with them. Carrie sees in the Fords the family she wished she had.

Carrie's present situation is a dangerous one, but Honor doesn't realize how dangerous. She's hungry, alone and frequently banished to the parking lot while her mother entertains men. Cricket pulls Carrie's past out of her little by little, but Carrie swears her to secrecy.

The story point of view alternates between Carrie and Honor. Sometimes the story is touching and sad, but not always believable. Cricket often has to explain things to Carrie that any child who has a television would know, even if she grew up in a small mountain town. I read on to find out what happened to Emma and because I hoped for a happy ending for Carrie.

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