Date: 5th September 2017
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
|Emilie Day believes in playing it safe: she’s homeschooled, her best friend is her seizure dog, and she’s probably the only girl on the Outer Banks of North Carolina who can’t swim.
Then Emilie’s mom enrolls her in public school, and Emilie goes from studying at home in her pj’s to halls full of strangers. To make matters worse, Emilie is paired with starting point guard Chatham York for a major research project on Emily Dickinson. She should be ecstatic when Chatham shows interest, but she has a problem. She hasn’t told anyone about her epilepsy.
As soon as I started reading The Thing With Feathers by McCall Hoyle I was captivated and it held me all the way through.
Written in the first person, Emilie’s story, her struggles, her challenges, her gifts really appealed to me. She is a bright, intelligent girl, up until the story opens she has been home-schooled, but now she faces into the jungle of high school and her counsellor’s and mother’s bidding. Up until now she has been safe at home, now she must face the scary new faces and situations.
Emilie has epileptic seizures and is terrified that she will have one while at school. She endeavours to keep herself distanced from people there, but soon finds herself drawn into a couple of really important relationships. But hanging over her head is the fact that she has not shared that she suffers from epilepsy.
It seems that some of the girls envy her new budding relationship with Chatham, a golden haired sports hero who benefits from a little tutoring from Emilie, who has a real feel for books and poetry. I loved the references to Emily Dickinson, even though I am not familiar with her poetry – although now I feel myself drawn to read some of her poems and that of Walt Whitman as well. Anyone I suspect who knows the poetry of Dickinson will recognise the title of this book.
I liked watching the relationship unfold between Emilie and her mother, and their struggle with the loss of Emilie’s Dad three years before and the way that things are beginning to change.
Emilie has a service dog called Hitch – so loveable, his awareness of Emilie was just adorable.
The book moved along at a great pace, it was one of those books that was so easy to read and left me a little bereft when I had to leave all the characters behind. A refreshing read.