Daine has a knack with animals that is actually telepathic communication. Throughout the series the young reader watches with growing anticipation as Daine learns to heal animals, control them, and eventually morph into them. Pierce’s books are filled with hope that maybe the impossible is possible, and for some of us it is about the impossibility of morphing into something or someone else. We often talk about animals as carefree and unthinking, untroubled by the everyday traumas that people go through. But even if the impossible never happens, having read Pierce opens up the social world to the loner.
A sharing of likes is one way to connect with other people. Love of animals and the shared experience of a good book are proven examples. I didn’t know it at the time, but this was my way in to the social world. I shared something with the other girls who had read Pierce’s writing. We knew immediately that the other girl must love animals. While animal connection is somewhat similar to escapism (escaping self), this concrete shared like opens up a doorway to connection.
In eighth grade I connected with Joscelyn, who also loved animals and especially horses. In high school, Jayna and I engaged in conversations about Pierce’s stories involving our favorite animals. I collected old fencing and wood in order to someday build my MSPCA, and I collected and shared literature with whoever I could about the terrible animal situation going on in the world at the time.