Review Detail5.0 1
Eleven-year-old Emily has had her destiny thrust upon her. Her mother named her after Emily Dickinson, giving her a complete collection of the poet’s work stating that baby Emily was destined to become a great poet like her namesake. Unfortunately for Emily, she’d prefer to be a romance writer, creating love-infused happy endings.
Occupying Emily’s thoughts almost as much as whether or not she can take the romance instead of poetry route is the identity of her father. Her mom has never told her who her dad is, and she says she won’t until the universe makes it clear it’s time for Emily to know his identity. Emily gets extremely close to discovering his name when she learns that her dad’s name is written in her collection of Emily Dickinson’s work, only to discover that the book was donated to Goodwill by mistake. Now Emily must go on a wild goose chase across the Bay Area to find the book, the whole time questioning if it was in her destiny to never know the name of her father in the first place.
What I absolutely love about this book is that it tackles the philosophy of destiny at a level that is perfect for middle grade readers. Fitzmaurice delivers the perplexing concept of whether or not we have control over our own lives in a completely nonperplexing way. As the story went along, I regularly found myself thinking, “This is it! All of that philosophizing Plato, Aristotle and Immanuel Kant did is going to be outdone by a middle grade book!” My heart was racing multiple times in my certainty that Kathryn Fitzmaurice somehow knew more about destiny than anyone else ever has and that she was about to enlighten the world to the wonders of destiny on the next page.
While my overdramatic thoughts weren’t assuaged with a definitive answer on destiny, I was so completely satisfied with Fitzmaurice’s explanation of how we should lead our lives regardless of whether or not a team of fates has already decided what will go down. Fitzmaurice encourages being an active participant in your own life, but to know that at times certain things beyond your control will occur. She delivers this message with a heartfelt tearjerker moment that left me appreciating each and every step that has made my life what it is today. I may not know how my destiny is written, but I’m excited to find out.
Everything in this book comes back into play. You never read useless information.
A relatable protagonist who just wants answers about her future. (And a few about her past, too.)