Book review: Always Emily

MacColl, Michaela. Always Emily. Chronicle, 2014. 282p. $16.99. 978-1-4521-1174-2. Ages 12-15. P7Q8

In her earlier book, Nobody’s Secret, MacColl uses a fictionalized view of the poet Emily Dickinson who solves a murder in her small New England town when she is a teenager. In her new book, the Brontë sisters, Charlotte and Emily, are the sleuths in a mystery involving a neighbor. The novel also describes the pain of the two young women because of their mother’s sisters’ deaths and brother’s substance abuse. Each chapter includes a segment of Wuthering Heights or Jane Eyre, and part of the book’s plot follows those of these novels. The adventure is inviting to readers whether they are familiar with the Brontës or not, and the well-drawn characterizations bring the Brontë sisters to life almost two centuries after they struggled to publish their work. Gothic drama at its most interesting.

June 2014 review by Nel Ward.


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