Nanoose Bay author Allison Parry hopes her new book will help empaths understand how valuable and important they are to a community.
Emmie the Empath and the Kintsugi Vase tells the story of a young girl who feels different because of her deep-feeling, sensitive soul, who easily takes on the energy of other people.
“I’d wanted to write it for a few years and kind of put it off,” Parry said. “And my husband was saying ‘Allison write it, get your story out there because it could help somebody’.”
Parry said she wrote the book because she realized there was a lack of children’s fiction books about empaths.
“It was the book I wish I’d had when I was growing up,” she said.
The protagonist, Emmie, struggles to relate to her extroverted friend, Katie, particularly when asked if she is excited for an upcoming slumber party, where there will be lots of people.
“Emmie kind of fakes her smile and goes, ‘yeah that sounds great’,” Parry said.
She goes to her grandmother because she thinks there is something wrong with her. Her grandmother explained that there is nothing wrong, but Emmie just needs time alone to recharge after being around people for a while.
“You just feel so deeply, and as a result can be left feeling super tired,” Parry said.
Later, her art teacher tells the class a story about her childhood, which resonates with Emmie, about coming home from school upset and asking her grandmother if something was wrong with her. The grandmother replied that nothing was wrong and the reason she felt that way is because she is an empath.
Emmie finds some peace because she finally can put a name on how she has felt her entire life, Parry explained.
The students learn kintsugi, the Japanese art of creating something beautiful from an object’s broken pieces. A person’s broken parts can make their story more beautiful and allow them to help others with their experience, Parry said.
“You start with all these broken pieces and by the time it’s put back together — Emmie says this in the story too — you create something more beautiful and each of the cracks can tell your story,” she said.
Emmie the Empath and the Kintsugi Vase is Parry’s first book, and writing and publicizing it have taken her out of her comfort zone, she said.
“It was a lot of hard work, but I just felt called to get the message out there.”
Parry was invited to give her first-ever book reading at a school in New Westminster last month.
The book, which came out in July 2022, was illustrated by Argentinian artist Mauro Lirussi.
Emmie the Empath and the Kintsugi Vase is available on Parry’s website, www.empathmom.ca, as well as Guardian Pharmacy and Springford Farm in Nanoose Bay, and the McMillan Arts Centre, Bumblebaby Boutique, Sweet Spot Bakery, Fireside Books and Tigh Na Mara Resort Gift Shop in Parksville. The book is also available at Superior Farm in Lantzville.