Proving the old adage of, “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it”, author Michaela MacColl stays true to her recipe for success by concocting a rich layer of fiction and coating it with reputable facts as she yet again constructs a novel that is both informative and clever. In Always Emily, MacColl’s fourth young adult novel, she gives readers the chance to explore not one, but two well-known historical characters: Charolette Brontë (author of Jane Eyre) and Emily Brontë (author of Wuthering Heights). Before they were acclaimed writers, these sisters were just imaginative young girls creating tales in their parsonage home in Haworth Yorkshire. Set in the moors of the Brontës” home and surrounding areas, readers have the chance to witness the delightful rivalry between sisters and also the love they have for one another.
A clever twist on both sisters’ novels, MacColl’s ability to immerse readers in the time period and invent an intriguing experience for Charlotte and Emily to draw upon to create their own gothic romance is truly uncanny. Infiltrated with a little romance, and rich with mystery, Always Emily will excite readers who are well-versed with these sisters’ literary works to pick up their novels again. Its appeal will also spark interest in the next generation of readers to discover the works of Charlotte and Emily Brontë for the first time.
This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Chronicle Books
Profanity/Language: 4 religious exclamations; 2 mild obscenities; 2 derogatory names.
Violence/Gore: Characters attend sibling’s funeral; mention of siblings’ passing due to neglect; characters briefly gossip about the suspicious death of a neighbor; extended scene (about 3 pages) attempt at burglary, gun fired, some blood mentioned; report of family pet’s death, non-violent; report of verbal threat; character recalls reports of spousal abuse, character sees bruising on another character and suspects abuse; character with bruises fears for her life, implication of violence; character is bit by an animal, some blood mentioned; character cauterizes wound to prevent infection; report of spousal abuse; character is threatened; mention of character’s family member being involved in an accident involving an animal, results in death; character is struck by an object inflicting a wound, some blood mentioned; extended scene (about 2 pages) characters engage in physical violence towards one another; character threatens another character; character threatens another character with bodily harm using a firearm.
Sex/Nudity: Characters discuss (twice) the scandal of a neighbor whose daughter became pregnant out of wedlock; male character kisses female character’s hand; characters kiss; characters embrace.
Mature Subject Matter:
Death of family member(s), kidnapping, fraud, physical/mental abuse, secret society.
Alcohol / Drug Use: