Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord

Names They Gave Us

by Emery Lord

From the acclaimed author of When We Collided comes a vibrant, compelling story of love, loss, faith, and friendship.

Lucy Hansson was ready for a perfect summer with her boyfriend, working at her childhood Bible camp on the lake and spending quality time with her parents. But when her mom's cancer reappears, Lucy falters--in her faith and in her ability to cope. When her boyfriend "pauses" their relationship and her summer job switches to a different camp--one for troubled kids--Lucy isn't sure how much more she can handle. Attempting to accept a new normal, Lucy slowly regains footing among her vibrant, diverse coworkers, Sundays with her mom, and a crush on a fellow counselor. But when long-hidden family secrets emerge, can Lucy set aside her problems and discover what grace really means?

Emotionally-charged and unforgettable, Emery Lord's storytelling shines with the promise of new love and true friendship, even in the face of life's biggest challenges.

Reviewed by Sam@WLABB on

5 of 5 stars

Rating 4.5 Stars

This is my first Emery Lord book, and I can say, I now understand why people love her books so much.

I have heard some people saying that they are leery of this book because it has a religious aspect, however, religion was not the crux of this book. Lucy was a preacher's kid, so her faith was part of who she was. She suffered a crisis of faith when her mother's cancer returned, but it was not just her belief in God that she was questioning, but rather, she was questioning everything she thought was true. She became sort of untethered when the foundation of her world began to crumble, and I would say her flagging faith was just a part of her coming of age.

There was so much to love about this book. Lucy, her family, her camp friends, the romance -- I was just won over by the entire book. Cancer books have been difficult for me since my father's diagnosis, and his up and down battle with lung cancer, but I thought Lord was very thoughtful with her portrayal, and it was also very realistic.

So, I adored this book, yet I docked it half a star. Why? Because I struggle a little with the ending. A lot of HUGE things were revealed at the end, and I remember, I kept looking at how much was left to read, and I could not imagine this being wrapped up in so few pages. Well, I was right, and I was left with one of those dreaded open-ended type endings. Although I totally understood that this was Lucy's story and it was her coming of age, I just was perturbed that Lord left a particular storyline in that state. You can't just write a character, make me care about them, and then leave me hanging at the end. It's just not right.

Overall: A beautiful coming of age story, which was sweet, poignant, and sometimes, quite painful.


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Reading updates

  • Started reading
  • 12 June, 2017: Finished reading
  • 12 June, 2017: Reviewed