Wednesday, March 26, 2014

MG/YA Historical Fiction: Always Emily by Michaela MacColl

Publisher: Chronicle Books
Date: April 8, 2014
Format: ARC
Source: LibraryThing Early Reviewers
Read: for review (disclaimer: I received my copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.)
Pages: 275
Reading time: two days

From GoodReads: Emily and Charlotte Brontë are about as opposite as two sisters can be. Charlotte is practical and cautious; Emily is headstrong and imaginative. But they do have one thing in common: a love of writing. This shared passion will lead them to be two of the first published female novelists and authors of several enduring works of classic literature. But they’re not there yet. First, they have to figure out if there is a connection between a string of local burglaries, rumors that a neighbor’s death may not have been accidental, and the appearance on the moors of a mysterious and handsome stranger. The girls have a lot of knots to untangle—before someone else gets killed.

My review: This was a delight to read. I've been a fan of Charlotte Bronte's books for years (not so much of Emily's, though), and it was fun to read how MacColl characterizes the two authors in their teenage years. At times the homage to their novels was a bit too obvious, but mostly I enjoyed seeing the parallels between the Brontes' (fictional) experiences and their later writing. That ending. OMG. Perfect for Jane Eyre fans.

Otherwise, the story was light and entertaining. This book is technically a mystery, but that seemed almost secondary to MacColl's playing around with the Brontes as lead characters, and the plot wasn't too difficult to figure out. While the book ended on a good concluding note, I hope we'll see more about the Brontes from MacColl - after all, there's a third sister she could introduce into the central storyline.

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