I'm going to start out saying that I received the paper copy of this book but ran out of time to actually read it, so I purchased the audio to listen while I was heading back and forth to work. I think this may have given me a different view than others that have reviewed the book because the narration was done wonderfully well.
Emily's boyfriend brought a gun to school, threatened her, and then shot himself in the library. Instead of giving her an opportunity to work through all of that, her parents have sent her away to boarding school in Amherst. The now angry Emily has to deal with her guilt, along with learning everything in her new school. Oddly enough, her roommate also struggles with survivor's guilt and this helps to build the relationship between the two girls. Emily also is haunted by the ghost of Emily Dickinson. Between her new friends and ghost, Emily has to find her way towards healing and building a new life.
As mentioned, I really got into this story through the narration from the audio. I felt Emily was a well described character. She struggles with questions of how to move forward while also trying to figure out her new relationships. She doesn't want to let anyone too close to her because she doesn't want to get hurt as she has done before. We get to know her motivations through poetry, mostly from Emily Dickinson. She searches for answers within the poems while also suffering from flashbacks of her relationship with Paul. I loved the blend between poetry and prose. To me, it added so much more to the story and gave a depth of emotions that only Emily Dickinson could have added. While I understand that a lot of people are upset about the disconnect they felt from the main character, I think if they listened they would have a different experience.
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings
Emily has endured a very public tragedy and escapes to her aunt's home and then boarding school to recover. The reader is given bits and pieces of the story as it unfolds, but only as it is needed.
If you are a reader that is not in any remote way a fan of poetry, you may want to skip this one. As our main character incorporates the poetry that she is currently writing into the story and is quite obsessive about Emily Dickinson; I enjoyed having her poetry add to the story, but I am not the hugest of poetry fans.