About The Thing with Feathers
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.
Emilie lives in fear her recently adjusted meds will fail and she’ll seize at school. Eventually, the worst happens, and she must decide whether to withdraw to safety or follow a dead poet’s advice and “dwell in possibility.”
I loved the way Emilie wrestled with her fears throughout the story—not just her fears about having peers find out about her epilepsy, but her unresolved grief over her dad’s death and the possibility that her mom might move on to have a new relationship, and her fear of rejection when handsome Chatham shows some pretty strong interest in her.
The tie-ins with Emily Dickinson’s life and poetry added another interesting layer to the story as well. I liked that Emilie recognized so much of herself in the reclusive poet and yet it was often Dickinson’s words which challenged her to go beyond the boundaries she felt comfortable within.
On the whole, I liked the story and enjoyed reading it. The Thing with Feathers is a sweet story with a strong but clean romantic thread. It’s a story about friendship, facing fear and finding hope. Fans of Stephanie Morrill’s Skylar Hoyt and Ellie Sweet books need to add this one to their reading lists.
Emilie has epilepsy and worries a lot about assumptions people may make about it.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Brief kissing between a boy and girl.
References to prayer.
Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.