Always Emily by Michaela MacColl
Rating: 4 out of 5
About the Book
Title: Always Emily
Author: Michaela MacColl
Publishing Date: April 8th 2014
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Provided by: Chronicle Books & Edelweiss
Summary (via 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 leas 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 burglaries, rumours that a neighbour'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.
'For once, she couldn't control the direction of a story with the stroke of a pen.'
I'm ashamed to admit it but I am one of those people who has a love for Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights - well, all things Brontë if I'm being honest - but has only ever watched the film. As much as I enjoy the stories I've never had the chance to sit down and read the Brontë sister's classic novels! However, I know enough to know that Always Emily is a very cleverly written and brilliantly told story that transports you into the past and sparks the imagination. Making you, as a reader, wonder what these two historic women were really like.
I'm not going to sit here and say that it was perfect, it wasn't, but it had a kind of charm about it that made reading Always Emily really enjoyable. The story itself swaps between the two sisters as they uncover things in their local town aren't quite as they seem. Charlotte's approach being - in most parts - thought through and meticulous, where as Emily runs head first into trouble. But the question throughout the book is whether or not they can find a way to work together? Despite they're differences can they stop another 'accident' from happening.
The story has a very strong Brontë feel too it. It's been ridiculously well researched and there's no denying the period in which the tale is set. And for those of you that struggle with the classics - not because of their stories but the text - this is the perfect compromise, as it's easy to follow and get lost in. Lost, in a good way that is.
The thing I liked the most about this was the comparisons between the sisters and their famous literary heroines. Emily has this unfaltering connection to the moors and a ruthlessness that reminds me of Cathy. Charlottes similarities to Jane are a lot more obvious and at time I found it hard to tell where Charlotte stopped and Jane began. The book teases with the inspirations behind some of our most beloved literary women.
As for the 'mysterious and handsome stranger'? I don't want to give anything away - so I won't - just keep an eye out for him. He's kind of important!
There isn't a huge love story in this, which is strange for a YA novel. However, that doesn't take away from it's charm. I'm a big believer in epic romances but the bond between the two sisters is more than enough to melt your hearts and have you smiling - without the need for some tall dark and handsome hottie with rippling muscles and... wait I'm going off track.
Overall it's a good read, that has a lot of different things going for it. I truly believe that it will entertain not just the usual YA readers but also an older audience. So, give this one a go lovelies. It has my wax-seal of approval!
Ooh! Almost forgot... Character to watch out for: Tabby! She's the house maid? If that's the right term. If this book was the human body then Tabby would be it's funny bone.
'"You're impossible! Must you disagree with me about everything?"
Emily nodded. "Probably."'
These are a few notes I made while reading Always Emily. All notes where made on my GoodReads page.
I received this book as an ARC from Edelweiss to read & review. This is a 100% honest review.