Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Feathered Bone” as Want to Read:
The Feathered Bone
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Feathered Bone

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  1,612 ratings  ·  367 reviews
“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 tru
Paperback, 384 pages
Published January 26th 2016 by Thomas Nelson
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Feathered Bone, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,612 ratings  ·  367 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Feathered Bone
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List


This book was hard on so many levels. Yes, there are some places that drag & you want to smack someone to wake up & smell the coffee, but these things happen, these things happen to people & sometimes they just can't see the same things others see, even when it's right there in their face.....

As you can read from the description, the kids go down to New Orleans on a class trip for Halloween. I mean, what were they thinking anyway? And Amanda who is one o
Amanda Geaney
Jan 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was heavy — it really sat like a rock in my chest. It's NOT what I've come to expect from Christian fiction because of the darker topics, but completely real. Perhaps we (Christians) need to read more real-to-life books that don't sweep the darker things of the world under the rug.
May 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an emotional novel. There were so many difficult issues squeezed into this... each one enough to break someone. The recurring theme of hope was one everyone, even the non religious will be able to relate to. This contained so many beautiful passages... a couple of my favorites:

'Again and again we spin into darkness, but the sun is always there, ready to rise again. It never leaves us. And if we manage to hold on long enough to make it through the night, then we'll be given a brand new d
Dec 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was fortunate to receive this from a Goodreads giveaway.
Set in New Orleans just prior to Hurricane Katrina, Amanda Scalassi is chaperoning her daughter Ellie's sixth grade field trip to New Orleans. It's Halloween and there is an assortment of colorful characters parading the streets. Ellie and her best friend Sarah are enchanted with all they see, especially the fortune teller. When the unthinkable happens and Sarah disappears, it has a profound effect on all who love her. Ellie takes it espe
Jul 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
So maybe a miracle is anything that gets us through another day when life gets too hard.

I saw this book on the Anticipated 2016 Literary Fiction GR list, and decided to read it just because hurricane Katrina formed the background to the story. Because of this I did not realize that The Feathered Bones is classified as Christian fiction, which I've never tried before, as I've always been scared that these would be "preachy". I am very happy to say that this was not the case at all. The writing wa
What if you became part of a parent’s worst nightmare, their child has gone missing and there are no clues, no hint of where she could be? What if you had been charged with that child’s safety when it happened? Follow Julie Cantrell’s heartbreaking tale The Feathered Bone as we become witnesses to the aftermath of the disappearance of a young child and how that disappearance makes everyone who knew her become a victim, too.

Centered around Amanda Salassi, the mother/chaperone on a sixth grade fi
Angela (Reading Frenzy Book Blog)
Audiobook Review

The Feathered Bone tells the story of every parent’s worst nightmare. Amanda is chaperoning her daughter’s class field trip to New Orleans when her best friend’s daughter disappears while under Amanda’s supervision.

You should know up front that this is a work of Christian fiction. If you are put off by faith-based stories, then this book is not for you. Personally, I appreciated the religious messages, but I can see how it might be overkill for some.

Difficult topics are explored,
Jan 01, 2016 rated it it was ok
I can handle the deep sadness novels sometimes emanate. Hell, sometimes sad books make the best books. But then again, sometimes sad books are just that ... sad. For me, the big difference between good-sad and simply-sad is entirely dependent on the reader. If I feel sad, as well as incredibly moved and smarter for having felt so sad, then the author definitely got it right. But when I read something sad and all I felt the entire novel was sad - and it's that frustrated, lackluster kind of sadne ...more
Jun 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
“That’s what we have to remember. Light defeats darkness. Never the other way around.”

Where do I even start? This is one of those evocative, straight to the heart kind of stories where once you turn the final page, you have to take a few moments to gather yourself and let all that just happened truly sink in. I had planned to read a couple of chapters before going to bed one night and then ended up staying up all night. I simply could not stop.

Have I mentioned this one hits you deep in your hear
Jun 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
Emotional. Faith Building. Those two words best describe Julie Cantrell's latest release.

Her prior novels, Into the Free and When Mountains Move, were Historical Fiction Novels. Cantrell has a unique writing style. I enjoyed her first novels and when I learned she had a new one coming out, I knew I'd want to read it. I read only the first sentence or two of the book summary (way too many spoilers in book summaries) and got enough to know her latest release was a contemporary novel and that the m
Jul 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful story, language, and characters. This is a memorable read. Will come back to you long after you've read it.
Laura McNeill
Jan 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Read this entire novel in two sittings - it's a beautiful tribute to love, loss, and faith. Cantrell is indeed on her best game with this new novel. The descriptions of New Orleans are lovely and spot-on, as well! Highly recommend.
Camille Eide
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved it. Such a powerful, captivating story of agonizing, painful truths and yet brimming with so many reminders of hope. Beckons faith and miraculous strength. Well done!
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Above all else this is a novel of hope and faith. Set against the backdrop of Hurricane Katrina we navigate as here is kidnapping, human trafficking, suicide and finally second chances

Heartbreaking and finally hopeful.
Jenny Belk
Nov 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was my first book by this author. It won't be my last. A parent's worst nightmare-your child has been abducted in public and there are no clues to her disappearance. As this nightmare unfolds, the family and friends of the child all suffer from guilt and fear. What follows is Hurricane Katrina and it's aftermath and desperate searching.
New Orleans is the setting. Vividly descriptive with beautiful prose, I really enjoyed the author's style of writing. The characters are well developed and
Dec 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: net-galley, 2016
“We all have a feathered bone. It’s called hope. If we hang on to hope, if we don’t let anybody break us or make us forget who we are, then we will always be free.” Sarah

Julie Cantrell’s The Feathered Bone is a story about hope – a hope that grows thin; a hope that is dashed; but a hope that is resurrected in the lives of people deeply and personally affected by the sudden disappearance of twelve year-old Sarah in pre-Katrina New Orleans during a school field trip.

Cantrell’s storyline is one t
Mar 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I had no idea what to expect when I picked up this book. However, I was not expecting to feel like my life had changed. There are not many books I say that about.

I know this book may not touch others as it did me, but I am hoping that will speak the message of hope in dark circumstances to everyone that reads it.

This book covers some really hard topics, such was depression, domestic violence, suicide, kidnapping, trafficking, and divorce. But the key element in this book was it was not a depre
Melissa (LifeFullyBooked)
Nov 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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.
Amanda Salassi accompanies her daughter Ellie’s sixth-grade field trip to New Orleans in October of 2004. The city is alive with energy, and in the c
Jolina Petersheim
Nov 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Feathered Bone is a challenging must read that forces us to face our greatest fears and believe in hope despite them. Julie Cantrell is one of the most dynamic novelists on the scene today.
Lekeisha The Booknerd
Jan 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fc-for-review
Originally posted over at Lekeisha The Booknerd

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,
Elite Group
Jan 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Is this a Field Trip or a Nightmare?

It’s a well-supervised sixth grade field trip to New Orleans. What can possibly go wrong? Amanda Salassi and Beth have been friends for many years. Well heck, their girls were even born on the same day twelve years ago, and acted more like identical twins than friends. Beth had to leave the field trip early knowing full well that Amanda would keep an eye out for both kids. Ellie and Sarah stayed closely together, even suggesting to Amada that she was being a h
This has to be one of the hardest books to review. I say this because it's difficult to put into words the swirl of emotions that I experienced while reading this novel.

The story is well written and the characters come alive. So much so, that I was an emotional mess throughout. Such difficult topics to cover, yet more important than most people realize. As tough as it was to read about Sarah and Ellie I pray that others will be made aware of how this secret world affects so many.

It was interesti
Jenn Belden
Jan 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
WHOA. Just, whoa.
What just hit me? It's Julie Cantrell's latest book, the Feathered Stone.

I really feel like I've been through the wringer of emotions and I've had more than one ugly cry because, y'all, this book is HARD. Cantrell's characters are real and complex, the story is layered and the themes difficult. It's a look at what happens when the "it could never happen to me" does.

Featuring themes of child abduction and trafficking, teen depression and suicide, spousal abuse and balanced with
Jan 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I had to sit awhile after finishing this novel. There are so many feelings evoked throughout that it's hard to process all at once. This is an important book, and one that should be widely read, but it's also difficult to read at times because of the subjects the author deals with. As always, Cantrell's spectacular prose, attention to detail and characters who step off the page make for a rewarding reading experience. If you're looking for depth and a story that will pull on all your emotions, t ...more
David Armand
Nov 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jan 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
I highly recommend this book for a book club. There are so many situations and issues throughout the book that would be great for discussion. Julie Cantrell masterfully writes about important social issues of our time without coming across as preaching or trying to further an agenda.
May 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
"A feather may look weak. Vulnerable. But the truth is, it's a powerful little thing."

The unthinkable has happened, Sarah Broussard has disappeared in the blink of an eye; vanished in the middle of a busy café, gone without even a whisper. A school field trip to New Orleans has left an entire small town stunned, as days, then weeks go by.

Amanda Salassi and her daughter, Ellie, are fighting their own nightmares; feeling responsible, having been the last ones to see Sarah before they rushed throu
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
CW: (I'm going to censor this as a spoiler because it might give some parts of the story away. Only open if there are triggers you're concerned about.) (view spoiler)

The characters rely heavily on their faith to get them through hard times, and while I can appreciate that religion also helps many, many people in real life, I felt like it was mentioned a little too often. Howev
wow, so excited to read this and so happy my secret Santa got it for me, so here I read it before Christmas.
I guess in this case the blog on the back of book was a big tease.
too much religion for me but I overlooked that, then it was too much of a lot in this story.
sex trafficking
new Orleans flood, katrina
religious beliefs
a counselor that makes excuses for her own life
though I was ok with all of this the main character was annoying. as a counselor for abused clients she made a lo
Stephanie (Reading is Better With Cupcakes)
Wow. If you are wanting to read a book that touches on some really hard/emotional topics then The Feathered Bone by Julie Cantrell is for you.

However, if you want something that is nice light and fun, you may want to steer clear of this one.

The Feathered Bone starts out in New Orleans before hurricane Katrina. Our main character is with her daughter and her daughters classmates on a field trip. Everything is all fun and games until it isn't. Amanda's daughter's (Ellie) best friend Sarah has gone
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
United Methodist ...: The Feathered Bone 1 8 Sep 06, 2018 11:47AM  
Livingston Parish...: The Feathered Bone 4 16 Oct 12, 2016 01:38PM  
Transformational ...: * 2016 October Book Club-The Feathered Bone 1 13 Oct 06, 2016 08:37AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • A Sweethaven Summer (Sweethaven Circle, #1)
  • Water from My Heart
  • Driftwood Lane (Nantucket, #4)
  • The Book of Lost Friends
  • A Cry from the Dust (Gwen Marcey #1)
  • Rescued By Ghosts: A True Inspirational Survivor Story of Child Abuse, Bullying, a Radical Ultra-Fundamentalist Religion, Ghosts, and Supernatural Events (My Ghosts Book 1)
  • This Is How I Lied
  • Unrivaled
  • The Same Sky
  • Threading My Prayer Rug: One Woman's Journey from Pakistani Muslim to American Muslim
  • Eleanor: A Spiritual Biography: The Faith of the 20th Century's Most Influential Woman
  • Across Many Mountains: A Tibetan Family's Epic Journey from Oppression to Freedom (A Memoir)
  • Engraved on the Heart
  • Roeien naar de Volewijck
  • Once Was Lost
  • Limitless: Core Techniques to Improve Performance, Productivity, and Focus
  • Do Nothing: How to Break Away from Overworking, Overdoing, and Underliving
  • Veiled in Smoke (The Windy City Saga, #1)
See similar books…
Julie Cantrell is an award-winning New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, teacher, and TEDx speaker. She has served as editor-in-chief of the Southern Literary Review and has earned starred reviews by both Library Journal and Publishers Weekly. Cantrell is a recipient of the Mississippi Arts Commission Literary Fellowship and was named a finalist for the 2017 Mississippi Institute of Art ...more

Related Articles

Jennifer Weiner is the author of many bestsellers, including Good in Bed, In Her Shoes, and Mrs. Everything. She's also a contributing opinion...
95 likes · 25 comments
“Love is the child of freedom, never that of domination.” 5 likes
“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.” 2 likes
More quotes…