Thursday, April 4, 2013

Rhyme or Romance

Kathryn Fitzmaurice
Photo credit: Audie England
In Destiny, Rewritten, Karthryn Fitzmaurice writes about a parent wishing for her daughter what her daughter does not wish for herself. 

Eleven-year-old Emily Elizabeth Davis wants to write romance, like her favorite author, Danielle Steele. Her mother wants her to be a poet, like her namesake, Emily Dickinson. Her mother likes to play things by ear; Emily likes to plan. The heroine also wants to find out who her father is. But his identity is hidden in the pages of a poetry book by Dickinson, which the heroine mistakenly put in the donation pile. She searches all over her hometown of Berkeley, Cal., for the book. But sometimes the facts of our circumstances do not tell us as much about ourselves as our hearts do. That's what Emily has to figure out. 

One entertaining part of the book results from an assignment by Mrs. Mendoza, Emily's English teacher, who asks them each to write "a wonderful, elegant haiku," then tells them to turn to someone close by and try talking in syllables of five-seven-five "to get the hang of it." Connor, Emily's crush, turns to Emily. One of his goes like this: "Okay, how about/ Lacrosse is like branches in/ A fierce windstorm." Emily points out that he needs one more syllable in the last line, so Connor comes up with substituting "A violent storm" for "A fierce windstorm."

Their exchanges convey how naturally haiku grows out of conversation, and also how Emily's attention piques when the promise of romance draws near. Poetry and romance. Must Emily choose? Maybe there's enough of both to go around.


  1. I love Katharine's books. Thanks for the review, I hadn't heard from them. This will definitely go on my TBR list.

  2. I'm pleased as punch you've decided to highlight Kathryn's latest for April. I made a similar choice, picking DESTINY, REWRITTEN as the Wild Girls Mother-Daughter book club read for the month. Pairing it with a book of Dickinson poetry should be a wonderful way to celebrate verse this month.

  3. What a great idea for a mother-daughter book club selection--not only is it ideal for poetry month, as you mention, but also for the conversation Fitzmaurice inspires about a parent and child wanting different things for themselves.