A timeless tale by the incomparable Kate DiCamillo, complete with stunning full-color plates by Bagram Ibatoulline, honors the enduring power of love.
“Someone will come for you, but first you must open your heart. . . .”
Once, in a house on Egypt Street, there lived a china rabbit named Edward Tulane. The rabbit was very pleased with himself, and for good reason: he was owned by a girl named Abilene, who treated him with the utmost care and adored him completely.
And then, one day, he was lost.
Kate DiCamillo takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the depths of the ocean to the net of a fisherman, from the top of a garbage heap to the fireside of a hoboes’ camp, from the bedside of an ailing child to the bustling streets of Memphis. And along the way, we are shown a true miracle — that even a heart of the most breakable kind can learn to love, to lose, and to love again.
“There’s no point in going on if you feel that way. No point at all. You must be filled with expectancy. You must be awash in hope. You must wonder who will love you, whom you will love next.” “I am done with being loved,” Edward told her. “I’m done with loving. It’s too painful.” “Pish,” said the old doll. “Where is your courage?” “Somewhere else, I guess,” said Edward. “You disappoint me,” she said. “You disappoint me greatly. If you have no intention of loving or being loved, then the whole journey is pointless. You might as well leap from this shelf right now and let yourself shatter into a million pieces. Get it over with. Get it all over with now.”
I listened to the audio book version quite a few years back and remember loving the story though I’m not sure how well I actually understood it. So in a decision to read through all of Kate DiCamillo’s works, re-reading if necessary, I once again picked up The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane and once again got sucked into the heart-wrenching story.
I’m not going to lie – this story has all the emotions and left me on the verge of tears multiple times throughout the relatively short novel. The story deals with love and loss and everything in between and at times depresses you and at others makes you want to hug the book with all your might. At some point you are even left wondering what’s the point of loving if there’s a chance it might get taken away from you. But then at the end you realize that, to quote Tennyson, “‘[t]is better to have loved and lost, [t]han never to have loved at all.”
Edward learns that it is only through loss that we realize the meaning of love and and that only when we learn that nothing is forever can we understand the importance of love.
And the writing. I don’t even know how I can begin describe how perfect the writing is. In its simplicity it manages to capture every description and flows so beautifully there is not a word out of place. You feel every emotion and connect with every character. More importantly you connect with Edward and his journey. You desperately wish for him to find happiness and cry when he doesn’t and rejoice when he does. All because of the writing.
The illustrations that accompany the book are stunning. The attention to detail is astounding and you can see that they were drawn from the heart as they capture the mood of the story perfectly.
The ending was the most perfect ending and there is no other way it could have ended. It was not rushed and did not tie up all the loose ends and I wouldn’t have it any other way. If you are are a fan of childrens lit, of beautiful writing or heartwarming stories then do yourself a favour and read this book. I promise you won’t regret it.