Monday, March 4, 2013

MMGM: Destiny, Rewritten, by Kathryn Fitzmaurice

In these last few, gray weeks of winter, the best consolation (besides snowdrops--thank God for snowdrops!) is curling up by the fire with a good middle grade novel. My brain thinks it's still the weekend, so instead of summarizing this one myself, I'll give you the much more logical publisher's version:


Eleven-year-old Emily Elizabeth Davis has been told for her entire life that her destiny is to become a poet, just like her famous namesake, Emily Dickinson. But Emily doesn't even really like poetry, and she has a secret career ambition that she suspects her English-professor mother will frown on. Then, just after discovering that it contains an important family secret, she loses the special volume of Emily Dickinson's poetry that was given to her at birth. As Emily and her friends search for the lost book in used bookstores and thrift shops all across town, Emily's understanding of destiny begins to unravel and then rewrite itself in a marvelous new way.
In her third novel, Kathryn Fitzmaurice again weaves a richly textured story about unexpected connections, about the stories that shape our lives, and about the most perfect kinds of happy endings: those that happen just on time.

That last paragraph really hits on the point that makes Destiny, Rewritten quite remarkable. Happy endings. You guys probably know by now that I am a total sucker for happy endings...even the improbable ones. The whole Deus ex machina thing, as much as it drives my brain crazy, will still generally be preferable to the well-crafted stories where the best friend dies at the end. BUT--if you can pull off a happy ending that still has that kind of strong emotional pull and ties into an overall well-developed plot...well, I will just "hug you and squeeze you and name you George." (That's Looney Tunes speak for: be really happy. Anyone else get that ridiculously obscure reference?)

So...Kathryn Fitzmaurice, you are George. :) And I would love to hug you, really. Because you created a plot that plays with destiny and choices and the probability of all sorts of endings, and you chose a really happy one. And that is almost as good for a dreary winter day as a garden full of snowdrops. :)

(To find more Marvelous Middle Grade Monday recommendations, visit the blog of Shannon Messenger, the genius behind it all...)

2 comments:

  1. I loved her first two books, so I really need to read this one. It's been getting a lot of buzz lately. Sounds lovely (I love happy endings too).

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  2. Dear Faith, thank you for writing such a wonderful review of DESTINY, REWRITTEN. I am thrilled you enjoyed it and this kind of made my day!

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