As Emily Beaver watched others move on after her brother died of cancer, she realized she would always feel his loss. Emily’s novel “Slipping Reality” is the devoted sister’s way of honoring her sibling forever, as he was the first who encouraged her to follow her dream of becoming an author.
Emily pulled from her own hardship and heartbreak watching Matthew battle the disease to write a young adult novel — at only 14 years old. The experience had become her world. She stopped going to school and wouldn’t leave the house because she didn’t know when Matthew’s time would come.
In her book, 14-year-old Katelyn Emerson couldn’t face reality as Emily did. Instead, she slipped to the depth of her imagination to find comfort. And yet, as Katelyn’s grasp on reality began to unravel, so does the story of a girl who grew up too fast and fell apart too soon. Emily’s debut novel is a coming of age story that deals with the trials of young grief, insight, and growth where it’s least expected.
“It was the story I wanted to live, but the story I could only tell,” Emily explains, “In my real life, I had to deal with the pain of watching my brother pass, so I wrote what I wished could be into a book instead.”
Aside from being a page-turning story, Emily hopes the book gives insight to the “Forgotten Mourners” – siblings. She says that while people often asked how her parents were holding up during Matthew’s three-and-a-half year fight, rarely did anyone care to ask how she was feeling.
“People don’t seem to take into consideration how much a sibling deals with during a tragedy,” she said. Matthew would have been 21 this April 13.
“While a few teenagers write full-length novels, ‘Slipping Reality’ proves that adults are not the only authors capable of cutting so beautifully to the bone of a story,” said David Tabatsky, co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul, The Cancer Book: 101 Stories of Courage, Support, and Love. And Grief Haven, a national newsletter for those dealing with grief, hailed “Slipping Reality” as “an extraordinary book. A book of love, loss and fantasy for tweens, teens, parents and all others.”
Emily is currently a senior in high school and an AP scholar. Her writing can be seen in Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Cancer Book, various magazines, thisibelieve.org and SparkNotes.com, where a piece on her brother received an award for “Most Inspiring.”
Emily loves acting and singing – she recently led school productions of “Fiddler on the Roof” and “Noises Off” – is a public speaker, and volunteer teaches Hebrew and Judaica to third graders at Temple Adat Shalom.
Emily Beaver and her book “Slipping Reality” will be featured at World Book Night at the Del Mar Highlands Barnes & Noble (12835 El Camino Real) on April 23. at 7 p.m.
For more information, visit www.emilysreality.com; Twitter: @MissEmilyBeaver; Facebook: Slipping Reality. Memorial Video for Emily’s brother, Matthew Beaver: www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4Wgh0Bydvo