I confess to judging this book almost entirely by its cover, which had a cat on it, so I couldn’t help myself! With such a bright cover, adorned with a very cute protagonist and a cheeky-looking cat, I only had to walk by it a few times before I decided to add it to my stack of books. The premise was also interesting, so I felt like that the book would almost surely be enjoyable. In the end, Destiny Rewritten was a wonderful book that warmed my heart and kept me smiling.
When Emily Elizabeth Davis’ mother, looking for a name for her unborn daughter, stumbled upon a collection of poems by Emily Dickinson, she knew her child was destined to be a great poet. Finding the book was, after all, a sign! Of course, Emily’s mother bought the book, and it became their prized possession, with Emily’s whole life is noted in the margins. When Emily took her first steps or learned to speak, Emily’s mother found a suitable poem and wrote her daughter a message on the page. Little did Emily know, however, that the truth she has been longing for, the identity of her father, was also somewhere in the pages. When Emily’s mother finally tells her that her father’s name is written in the book, next to an appropriate poem, Emily is ecstatic and decides to search through the whole thing until she finds the name. But fate intervenes, and the book is accidentally donated to a second-hand store. Emily must now track down the book if she is ever to learn who her father is.
You see, Emily’s mother is a firm believer in fate, believing that when the back garden gate won’t open, it’s a sign that she should take a different path to work. After all, she believed that by naming her child after Emily Dickinson, her daughter would grow up to be a wonderful poet. So when Emily loses the book, her mother suspects it is destiny’s way of saying that the truth shouldn’t be pushed! She believes that Emily will discover her father’s identity when the time is right, and only bad things can come out of trying to force destiny.
Emily and her mother live with her Aunt Nora and her cousin, Mortie. Mortie is obsessed with joining the army, and decides that it is his mission to help Emily find the book. Aunt Nora is quite unlike her sister – she likes to be in control of things, much like Emily, who organizes her shoes by colour. But after Emily loses the book, she begins to question if her mother is right and her destiny is already set, or if by doing things a little differently, she might be able to change her fate. So begins Emily’s quest to change her destiny. She starts with little things, like putting her math homework with her history homework instead of under the pre-algebra tab, but things only get bigger from there!
This book is charming. The characters are smart and funny, and it’s such a well-rounded story that you get to know the whole cast pretty well. Emily is a great, multi-faceted main character; on her journey to find her book, and with the help of her best friend, Wavey, she tries to discover how much control she has over her destiny, save the trees on the Berkeley campus, and get Danielle Steel to write back to her. That may have been my favourite part of the story. Every few chapters, Emily sends a letter to Danielle Steel, trying to get a response from the famous romance writer about how to achieve the perfect happy ending. One of my favourite letters includes the following passage: “Even though I don’t have people to organize a lunch for me, if you ever think you might want to actually meet in person, I am available. And even if I was busy, I would rearrange my schedule. Not that you have time to have lunch with me, but I wanted you to know, in case you do, that I am completely, 100% available.”
Destiny, Rewritten is a delightful blend of heart, adventure and humour. With its fast pace and lighthearted tone, you’ll finish reading this book before you know it!