Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Destiny, Rewritten by Kathryn Fitzmaurice

Destiny, Rewritten by Kathryn Fitzmaurice is a quirky story of poetry and parents.

Before Emily Elizabeth Davis was born, her mother found a copy of the complete poems of Emily Dickinson in a used bookstore and declared that her daughter was destined to grow up to be a poet. The poetry book became for Emily what a baby book is for other children, with her mother noting Emily's childhood milestones in the margins of significant poems. However, sensible, methodical Emily (now in elementary school) is not sure she wants to be a poet -- she'd rather write romances like her idol Danielle Steele. More than anything, though, she wants to know who her father is . . . but her mother always says that she will learn about her father when fate brings it about. Then, one day, Emily's mother reveals that she wrote the name of Emily's father on one of the pages of the poetry book -- but before Emily can search the book for his name, the poetry book is accidentally put in a box of items that are donated to a charity shop. Emily and her friends embark on a quest to all of the city's used bookstores in order to recover the book, and along the way Emily questions whether destiny controls her actions, or whether she is in control of her own destiny. Will Emily ever find the poetry book? Will she ever find out about her father?

I'm not sure if it's the reading slump I've been in this year, my personal aversion to the poetry of Emily Dickinson (don't shoot! It's all of those -- dashes that drive me -- Crazy) or something lacking in the book itself, but I never really connected with the story or the characters, other than to be extremely irrritated by Emily's stereotypical "Dreamy Poet" mother. Another reader might get more out of this book than I did, but it's not one I really see myself recommending.
(Reviewed from a copy borrowed through my library system.)

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