Chapter 5: Diamond Cut Diamond
By, Jana Tayfour
Emily Byrd Starr! A star she is! As she seals her fate with the Murrays, Emily feels that her life as a Starr will never be the same. After living her whole life with her father (a Starr), Emily is torn.
"But I'm not a Murray, you know," Emily firmly says to Aunt Laura, although she knows what is coming.
Who will take her? Is she a burden? A duty? Her mom was a Murray before she eloped and married her father, but is Emily really a Murray? Would she have been accepted and loved if her mother hadn’t eloped?
The Murray clan is there to discuss raising her, but she feels she isn’t one, she grew up as a Starr. Emily, a child of 10, is judged just because her father is poor.
She wonders: why would the Murrays come back for her now?
Emily has just lost her only source of safety— her father—and feels unwanted, a burden, a duty and an obligation. New Moon sounds like a horrible place. Deep inside, Emily knows that a part of her is a Murray. However, she is defensive when it comes to the Starr part of her personality.
She thinks: Where do I belong? Who is Emily? I’m a Starr as I always was. What’s the problem if I love cats? Why can’t I answer back when I’m insulted? What’s with the Murray pride?
However, as the saying goes, “The apple doesn’t fall so far from the tree” and Cousin Jimmy still thinks that deep down in her skin, Emily must feel she is one of them. She has to know that Murray pride is in the blood.
“Talk about you’re not being Murray! The Starr is only skin deep with you,” he says.
This struggle of finding your identity amidst a group of rigid minded Murrays and the fear of belonging in the wrong lot is scary. Imagine what would that be for a 10 year old child who is as fragile as a rose now? It is too early for her to be raised as a miniature adult. It is cruel to expect child of 10 to control her emotions and manners when she has just lost a father? She is about to be plucked from where she belongs with a family she never belonged with.
My favorite part is the diary Emily keeps from Aunt Elizabeth. Emily writes about her pains, her fears and a description of all the Murray members who came to destroy her life. It is her only source of solace and connects her to her mind and soul. Her diary is her best friend that speaks to her and understands and allows her to be Emily Starr and no one else.
But, how could she forsake it and throw it in the fire? She chooses to bury and let her memories and ideas turn to ashes instead of letting them fall into the hands of the ice queen, Aunt Elizabeth.
I have always kept a diary and I gave her a name, Lucy. It was the only way I could connect with my thoughts that I show to no one. Like Emily, I felt different and alienated from everyone around me. I never felt I belonged anywhere. However, in my diaries and books, I belonged and lived the life I love.
To protect herself, Emily throws her diary into the blazing fire, so no one can read it: ‘’She fled to the kitchen stove--she whisked off a cover--she crammed the book into the glowing fire. It caught and blazed merrily. Emily watched it in agony. It seemed as if part of herself were burning there.’’
Everything that meant to her is burned into ashes. All the details of her life are gone! No matter how hard Emily tries, it won’t be the same as it was before. Now that she is going to New Moon, Emily feels as if there is no prospect of happiness or imagination for her.
Towards the end of the chapter, before Emily leaves her father and her beloved town, she says goodbye to everything that represented her kingdom: ‘’She did not say good-bye to the Wind Woman, for she knew the Wind Woman would be at New Moon, too.’’ The Wind Woman will for sure follow Emily to New Moon at least.
This really broke my heart.
Emily says good bye to everything—to the Rooster Pine and Adam-and-Eve—who will “miss me so when I'm gone; there won't be any one here to love them.” Poor Emily is about to go to a cold place that means nothing to her now.
Even though it won’t be enough for Emily now, New Moon will be the source of her safety and consolation later. Here is the part that made my heart melt, and it’s the reason I’m looking forward to what happens next.
When Emily cries, Aunt Laura consoles her: “‘Oh, I just love you, Aunt Laura,’ whispered Emily.”
With this sentence a new chapter has opened for Emily. What she doesn’t know is that cold and scary New Moon will be the home she never dreamed of.