THE FEATHERED BONE
“Feathers—no matter what size or shape or color—are all the same, if you think about them. They’re soft. Delicate. But the secret thing about feathers is . . . they are very strong.”
In the pre-Katrina glow of New Orleans, Amanda Salassi is anxious about chaperoning her daughter’s sixth-grade field trip to the Big Easy during Halloween. And then her worst fears come true. Her daughter’s best friend, Sarah, disappears amid the magic and revelry—gone, without a trace.
Unable to cope with her guilt, Amanda’s daughter sinks into depression. And Amanda’s husband turns destructive as he watches his family succumb to grief. Before long, Amanda’s whole world has collapsed.
Amanda knows she has to save herself before it’s too late. As she continues to search for Sarah, she embarks on a personal journey, seeking hope and purpose in the wake of so much tragedy and loss.
Set amidst the murky parishes of rural Louisiana and told through the eyes of two women who confront the darkest corners of humanity with quiet and unbreakable faith, The Feathered Bone is Julie Cantrell’s master portrait of love in a fallen world.
REVIEWS FOR THE FEATHERED BONE
“Inspired by the real-life kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart, the author of the Christy Award–winning Into the Free and Carol Award winner When Mountains Move has written an excruciatingly dark and disturbing novel about the devastating impact of sex trafficking on two families. Although Cantrell inserts a grain of hope in the novel, her portrait of loss and heartbreak will leave readers reeling. This latest work is bound to be nominated for all the major CF literary awards.”
-STARRED review in the February issue of Library Journal
“Deeply emotional, moving and full of amazing imagery, Cantrell's latest is a triumph. Although some of the pain on the pages is incredibly difficult to read, this novel is stunning in its ability to convey the different meanings of slavery and being trapped in untenable circumstances. The ending is healing; this is a book to be savored and pondered."
-RT Reviews, 41/2 Stars and TOP PICK for February 2016
“This is my favorite kind of book. The type of story that dismantles your heart and then puts the pieces back together in better working condition. A powerful tale of devastation and redemption. I loved it.”
-Jamie Ford, NYT bestselling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
“Julie Cantrell does not hesitate to dive into the deepest places of the heart. She knows its all therein our fallen world — the good and bad, love and evil, the brokenness and the healing. In The Feathered Bone we meet three best friends who believe that their childhood promises will keep them safe, but when tragedy strikes one of them, they all fall. Cantrell’s characters ask of us all — what would you do? How do we recover from the worst we can imagine? A stunning story that takes us through tragedy, heartbreak and ultimately to both courage and redemption.”
-Patti Callahan Henry, NYT bestselling author of The Idea of Love and The Stories We Tell
"Julie Cantrell has done a marvelous job here of telling a story about real people who are confronted with unthinkable loss and hardship, but who rise up from the ashes to become fuller, stronger, and better versions of themselves. The Feathered Bone is at once heartbreaking and uplifting, tragic and beautiful. And it is also a book which reminds us that even in our darkest hour, there is still hope, still reason to go on, still reason to forgive, to be alive, and to love."
-David Armand, author of Harlow and The Gorge
“The Feathered Bone is a rare find, a beautifully written page-turner that left me stunned and breathless. In Julie Cantrell’s masterful hands, the horror of Hurricane Katrina becomes a metaphor for the personal tragedies of lives torn apart and patched back together by the power of faith, courage, and love.”
-Cassandra King, bestselling author of The Sunday Wife
“Julie Cantrell confronts the horrors that hide in the shadows of our modern world with love and grace. I read this novel in a great inhalation, and maybe it was the tenacity of her heroine, or the gamut she runs, from awful sadness to revelry and redemption, that kept me clinging to this story of real people in painful circumstances. The Feathered Bone reminds us of the value of letting in the light.”
-Jamie Kornegay, author of Soil and owner of Turnrow Book Company
“What a book with heart. Ms. Cantrell’s empathy for the complicated twists and turns of tragedy is woven throughout her new novel. She explores the gray area of simple decisions that come before disaster. This book is by far her best work yet.”
-Ann Hite, award-winning author of Where The Souls Go and Ghost On Black Mountain
“Startling and suspenseful, THE FEATHERED BONE zips along with color and action, but doesn't fail to underscore the issues; for instance, questions of faith, and the perpetual domestic guilt that wives and mothers seem always to feel. Julie Cantrell knows how to tell a story.”
-Lisa Howorth, author of Flying Shoes and owner of Square Books
“The Feathered Bone fulfills every expectation that Julie Cantrell occasioned with Into the Free and When Mountains Move. It is haunting and hauntingly beautiful, a heart-wrenching story about how one woman, Amanda Salassi, rises from the depths of despair to discover that freedom and miracles do exist. Seeing pure darkness enables her to appreciate the light of love and hope.”
-Allen Mendenhall, editor, Southern Literary Review
“Julie Cantrell is not only a best-selling author, she is also a groundbreaking one too. Her latest novel, The Feathered Bone, tackles the important topic of human trafficking and how a child abduction impacts the lives of a close knit community. Through lyrical writing, Cantrell creates a page turning story of suspense that weighs the strength of faith, forgiveness and the resilience of the human spirit. The Feathered Bone is not to be missed.”
-Michael Morris, author of A Place Called Wiregrass and Man in the Blue Moon
"Julie Cantrell, like all brave writers, puts her protagonist Amanda Salassi through unimaginable loss. And like all great heroes, Amanda battles to the brink of her own destruction . . . to be saved, ultimately, by her own enduring faith and love."
-Neil White, bestselling author, In the Sanctuary of Outcasts
"The Feathered Bone is a haunting look at humanity. A ferocious tale of failures and flaws, and the necessity of forgiving ourselves and one another. A breathless read from the moment young Sarah disappears from the suffocating crowds at New Orleans’s Cafe Du Monde. Julie Cantrell has expertly captured the unrelenting terror and enduring hope of a community transformed by loss."
-Karen Spears Zacharias, author of Burdy
“Only a writer of Julie Cantrell's caliber could craft a story so thoroughly moving. Filled with courage, love, and faith in the most horrifying of situations, The Feathered Bone promises to grip you until the last page, and then long after.”
-Billy Coffey, author of The Curse of Crow Hollow and When Mockingbirds Sing
“In a journey through the darkest parts of the spirit, Julie Cantrell provides a near handbook for surviving crushing tragedies. Peppered with colorful characters and places and touching on real-life topics, The Feathered Bone is a beautifully written, rawly honest look at human frailty and strength, faith and doubt, and the resilience to keep living.”
-Margaret Dilloway, award-winning author of How to Be an American Housewife
"Powerful and riveting. As a therapist who works with women in destructive marriages I was encouraged to see this topic explored without the “just try harder” solution many women receive."
-Leslie Vernick, counselor, relationship coach, speaker and author of
The Emotionally Destructive Marriage and The Emotionally Destructive Relationship
“Emotionally gripping, The Feathered Bone will break your heart, but Julie Cantrell’s masterful skill as a wordsmith will not leave you broken. If you believe beauty can emerge from devastation, this story is for you. If you don’t, this story is for you.”
-Susan Meissner, author of Secrets of a Charmed Life