The Feathered Bone


“The Feathered Bone” is one of the most difficult to read books I have ever encountered but not because it was poorly written. The book itself is very well written but at times the subject matter is painful. This story illustrates all too well the lasting and devastating effect that a few minutes can have on a number of individual lives. This is a story that may very well stay with me forever.

Told through the eyes of both Amanda and Sarah’s journal, “The Feathered Bone” relates the story of their families during the years following Sarah’s disappearance while on a field trip to New Orleans. Her parents were understandably devastated but the aftereffects on Amanda, her daughter, and husband make up a large portion of the story. Sarah’s experiences while being held captive are detailed in her journal and reflect both faith and hope during what must have been painful years.

I was impressed with how the author was able to relate Sarah’s story in a way that the reader understood what was happening to her without resorting to lurid and explicit details. Cantrell paints such a vivid picture that it was easy to imagine myself in Amanda’s position.

I cannot say enough good things about this book but I do want to warn readers that it may not be for everyone. But – it might be one that would be helpful for all parents to read if only to make them more careful with their own children, especially in public.

This book was provided for review by the BookLook Blogger Program of Harper Collins Christian Publishing.


“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 in 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.


JulieCantrellNew York Times and USA Today bestselling author Julie Cantrell has served as editor-in-chief of the Southern Literary Review and is a recipient of the Mississippi Arts Commission Literary Fellowship. She is the author of two children’s books as well as Into the Free, which received Christy Awards for Best Debut Novel and Book of the Year 2013 as well as the Mississippi Library Association’s Fiction Award.

This debut novel received a rare starred review by Publishers Weekly and was selected as one of five finalists for the University of Mississippi Common Reading Experience 2014. It also was selected as a best novel of 2013 by LifeWay, USA TODAY, and many bookclubs.

Cantrell’s sophomore novel, When Mountains Move, is the sequel to her debut. Since its release in September 2013, it has been named a 2013 Best Read by LifeWay, was shortlisted for several awards, and won the 2014 Carol Award for Historical Fiction.

The Feathered Bone, Cantrell’s third novel, is set to release January 2016.