Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A Voice of Her Own: Becoming Emily Dickinson (YA Challenge 2009 #12 of 12)

Barbara Dana's idea to write a novel in which Emily Dickinson tells about her teenager years is fabulous. My sister picked this up randomly at the library for me and I am so glad she did. I have only read a few of Dickinson's poems and knew nothing about her life except that she never married. And while it seems Dana did her research well, it isn't exactly a biography. It's just a good read.

There isn't really a plot per truly climatic event. It's just seeing the world through Emily's eyes - her repeated illnesses (which apparently were occurrences of TB), her panic attacks, her strange relationship with her parents and siblings, her discovery of words and of her overwhelming desire to be a poet during a time when women weren't poets. Not only did I like the book for what it was, I am now going to go check out a book of her poetry. The author actually created some poems in what she refers to as the style of Dickinson but they are not actually Emily's poems. I am excited to read the poems Dickinson created, she's a pretty remarkable woman.

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