Author: Kathryn Burak
Publication: Roaring Brook Press (October 2, 2012)
Description: When Claire’s best friend Richy went missing, he disappeared without a trace. But when Emily Dickinson’s dress goes missing from the Amherst museum, she knows exactly where it is: in her closet.
As Claire and her student teacher, Tate, attempt to figure out what do to about the dress, they begin to uncover the truth behind Richy's disappearing act. Following a trail of clues across state lines, Claire and Tate attempt to find the person that Claire knows in her gut is responsible for his disappearance.
My Thoughts: This was a wonderful, lyrical story about a girl dealing with grief and loss. Claire is struggling with her mother's suicide and then her best friend Richy goes missing. Her father moves her to Amherst where he is teaching at the college. Claire's mother loved poetry and when Claire visits Emily Dickinson's house she feels a closeness to her mother. She sneaks in frequently through a window that is left open just a little.
Claire is also dealing with a new school. She isn't normal or average and often misinterprets events because of her unique and poetic worldview. A student teacher named Sam Tate takes an interest in Claire because he is intrigued by her poetry and her world view. He is also afraid that she might be like his sister who committed suicide when she was fifteen. Claire doesn't know what to make of the relationship or if they really have a relationship.
Their lives get more and more intertwined when he sees her sneak into Emily Dickinson's house and sets off the alarms when he goes in too. They end up escaping with Claire wearing the dress of the title. Then they have to figure out how to get the dress back. Claire and Tate also work together to investigate what really happened to Richy on the night he disappeared.
Through these activities, Claire begins to heal and to get rid of some of the guilt she feels for being there when her mother committed suicide and for not meeting Richy on the night he disappeared. She also manages to connect to a new friend and forge a relationship with Tate.
The story is told from Claire's point of view. So we see her confusion and bewilderment as she tries to come to grips with events that would challenge anyone. The story is filled with wonderful descriptions of odd things that catch Claire's attention and bits of her poetry.
This story demands a reader who will slow down and take the journey with Claire. They will be richly rewarded in this story.
I need to ask him something. I'd like to ask, "Do you think it's possible to imagine something and then it happens? Does it only work for things you dread -- or is it possible -- still -- for you to hope and have that thing come true?I received this ARC from Macmillan Children's Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. You can buy your copy here.