Title: Destiny Rewritten
Author: Kathryn Fitzmaurice
Length: 176 pages
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books
Rating: 4 Stars
(noun) The hidden power believed to control what will happen in the future; fate.
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 a seeming tragedy strikes: just after discovering that it contains an important family secret, she accidentally loses the special copy 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 and delightful story about unexpected connections, about the ways that friends can help us see ourselves for who we truly are, and about the most perfect kinds of happy endings: those that happen just on time. -Goodreads
Destiny Rewritten is a case of a book that contains a message that is far more complex than it's middle grade label would lead one to believe. This is the lyrically meandering tale of a girl, a book, and the loss through which she finds herself.
Emily's life has been planned for her since before she was born. Her mother has convinced her that she is fated to become a great poet. Emily however, is far more fond of the passionate paragraphs of Danielle Steele.
The loss of the book that contains the moments of her life as written in the margins of her namesake's poems by her mother, is the catalyst for what becomes the scavenger hunt for her destiny.
This book is one that is truly made great through the sum of it's parts. There are many times when it seems that the piece of the puzzle that you, as the reader are being shown doesn't fit, but a few pages later you see that it's just right.
There is a natural tendency to want to shake her mother, and tell her to be straight with Emily. If that were to happen however, this book would be about two chapters long.
It is the fact that her mother is so vague about the important details of her life, that makes her quest for the book and the self determination that results so important.
The one drawback that this story has is it's tendency toward literary loading. It is choc full of literary references that the average 6th-8th grader could find a bit boring. Emily's cousin Mortie, along with a host of quirky support characters provide both comic relief and points of interest that somewhat remedy this.