The Feathered Bone by Julie Cantrell

25379594Published: January 26th 2016 

by: Thomas Nelson / Harper Collins

Genres: Adult-fiction, Christian-fiction, Mystery

Format: Paperback 

Source: Publisher

My Rating: 4 Stars 4-stars

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.



The thing that I love most about Christian fiction, is that it has the tendency to NOT feel like Christian fiction. This book is dark and sad. Truly dark. Everyday, I came home and picked up this book until it was finished. 4 days isn’t bad for me. I think that had it not been for the long descriptive words, I’d have finished it sooner. Still, I think that this is one of the most thought provoking stories I’ve read in the CF genre. It isn’t preachy, and the mystery surrounding these characters, made me truly think; What does it take to make someone lose their s**t?. I’m not a parent, and that’s because I’m paranoid to the point that I’d be arrested for wrapping my child in bubble wrap, and not letting them leave the house. The world is a scary place, and the people in it are cruel beyond reason. 

The Feathered Bone is about the guilt that drives one woman to never give up. Amanda Salassi chaperons her daughter’s class field trip on Halloween to New Orleans. Little Sarah goes missing, and that fuels a battle within Amanda for years to come. On top of the search for Sarah, Amanda has to deal with her daughter’s depression and her husband’s verbal abuse. Amanda is a therapist. It’s not so hard to believe that she has a problem keeping her own problems at bay. I found her character to be believable in every way, even when she couldn’t fix the things going on around her. Her emotions were all over the place. Sarah’s parents, Beth and Preacher, were just as driven to find their baby. I felt their pain, but it was hard to keep up with their feelings because Amanda was in a league of her own – even when she was helping others.

The most heartbreaking thing about this story is the “Not knowing”. I was on the edge of my seat, wondering what direction the author would take. How will this all end? How will these families recover from this? I both liked and hated the journal entries from Sarah that the author weaved in. As if the reader didn’t have enough to be sad about. What she goes through is just another form of the dark side of humanity. It’s scary and you wonder how people can be so cruel. Then again, this country was built on slavery. Some people just found a different form, but it’s slavery all the same. It’s wrong and inhumane, and all the things I despise.

I really enjoyed this book, even though it made me tear up and want to murder someone. It spans through the years, and the mess that was Hurricane Katrina. As I said before, it’s very descriptive, so it drags in parts. This is a very dark story – made up of mental health, abuse, and sexual exploitation. It also drives home that old adage, There is no force equal to a woman who is determined. It’s dark and hopeful, but along the way it’s very scary. I can’t recommend this one enough. There’s no deeply religious feel to the story, but there are moments where the characters call upon God to fix it. I’m quite sure, even someone who isn’t at all religious, can empathize with the situation. Definitely recommended. 


*I received this book from the publisher for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*

25 thoughts on “The Feathered Bone by Julie Cantrell

  1. This sounds fantastic and extremely emotional. I like that it sounds like sections (or the whole thing?) takes place in New Orleans. I might have to check this out when I’m in the mood for a book that gets a little dark.


  2. This sounds like an amazing setting and so well done! I wouldn’t have even known it was Christian fiction. Glad you liked this one so much, great review!!


  3. I usually avoid Christian fiction, so I’m glad you said this one is dark and not overly religious! It sounds really great, but I would have avoided it. Thanks for the fabulous review!


  4. Hey girl! I was so excited to see you had read this one. I recently received it for review and it just sounds so good. I am glad it lived up to my excitement. I didn’t read the full review, I didn’t wanna be spoiled, but just those first few paragraphs have me really excited to read it soon! I think it will be my first Christian fiction novel.


  5. “I really enjoyed this book, even though it made me tear up and want to murder someone.”

    Those are definitely positives in my book, when it can bring out such strong emotions. This sounds fantastic!


  6. I definitely don’t mind a story with a serious religious background but I also like when it’s light. I just like a good story and this sounds like one. So maybe. Nice review 🙂


  7. I tend to avoid Christian fiction because I havent’ read one without strong religious undertones, so I would like that about this book. However, the dark themes sound so depressing.


  8. I am looking forward to when I get around to reading this one myself because you know I just recently got it. It sounds like it really is a dark book where it is impossible to know where the emotions are going to lead her decisions into going. The suspense seems to have been done so well. And my favourite CF is when it doesn’t feel too much like it. Looking forward to this for sure!


  9. I avoid Christian fiction just because often there are little bits that make me uncomfortable but you’re right that often it’s very, very light and not at all obvious. Especially with a story like this where characters are desperate- of course they’d call on God. So this might be one that I’m okay with just because of the nature of the story.
    I’m really curious about what happened. Where the girl disappeared to, etc.


  10. I think it would hit me so hard that I’d have to put it down now and then to regroup. While I don’t want to use the ‘enjoy’ word under the circumstances, let’s say that I would pick this up and find it deeply engaging.
    Nice review!


  11. Wow this sounds fantastic, Lekeisha. I love when a book can make you think and that also gut you with all the emotions. I can tell this would be a very hard book for me to read as well. Any story that involves children in danger is 10 times more difficult to read for me, but I’m adding this to my TBR because I love how determination is the powerful theme here.
    Lovely review!


  12. I only read Christian books when I’m in the mood for it because it tends to be preachy. Good to know its not in your face here and I like the struggle, I think we all can relate to that to an extent.


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