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Blurb: When high school senior Paul Wagoner walks into his school library with a stolen gun, he threatens his girlfriend Emily Beam, then takes his own life. In the wake of the tragedy, an angry and guilt-ridden Emily is shipped off to boarding school in Amherst, Massachusetts, where she encounters a ghostly presence who shares her name. The spirit of Emily Dickinson and two quirky girls offer helping hands, but it is up to Emily to heal her own damaged self.
This inventive story, told in verse and in prose, paints the aftermath of tragedy as a landscape where there is good behind the bad, hope inside the despair, and springtime under the snow.
I received this novel for review from Netgalley. Thank you to the publishers, Netgalley team and author for letting me read this book in exchange for an honest review.
This book blew my expectations out of the water. I decided to not read the blurb when I started the book to let myself be introduced to the subject by the novel alone. I really liked tat as it was a new experience of reading.
The characters in the novel were so alive. They were three dimensional and so unique. The protagonist Emily was great. I really enjoyed reading about her look on life and her problems. She was very introverted near the start of the novel, which I felt I could relate to. I loved her very different outlook on life and the way she used poetry as an outlet to voice her feeling about the trauma she experienced. I loved the other girls who became Emily's friends, KT and Amber, as they were both very different character but good friends for Emily.
I loved reading about Emily's journey in the novel, it was really well written. I felt that the plot of the novel was paced perfectly and the reader was drawn into the story from the first page. I loved the way each time a little more of the details of Emily's experience was revealed slowly but beautifully through poems and prose. I loved learning about Dickinson from this novel. I've studied her in school but reading about a girl being surrounded by Dickinson's beauty everyday was something else.
I loved the writing style of the novel. I felt that Jenny Hubbard beautifully incorporated the poetry into the story and used it so very well in relation to the plot. The dialogue was great between characters and although there were funny moments, she really captured the sombre nature of Emily after the trauma she experienced. She really captured the effect of loss on someone very well. I will definitely try and pick up her other novel Paper Covers Rock after loving this book so very much.
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