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Always Emily
     

Always Emily

4.0 4
by Michaela MacColl
 

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Emily and Charlotte Brontë are as opposite as two sisters can be, but they have one thing in common: a love of writing. Can they use their imaginations to determine the connection between the mysterious death of a neighbor and the appearance of a handsome stranger? And will Emily find love along the way? "Equal parts gothic melodrama and Nancy Drew derring

Overview

Emily and Charlotte Brontë are as opposite as two sisters can be, but they have one thing in common: a love of writing. Can they use their imaginations to determine the connection between the mysterious death of a neighbor and the appearance of a handsome stranger? And will Emily find love along the way? "Equal parts gothic melodrama and Nancy Drew derring-do" (Kirkus Reviews), this intriguing amalgam of fact and fiction is "filled with . . . mystery and witty humor" (School Library Journal, starred review) "that is guaranteed to bring new readers to MacColl" (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA), starred review).

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
01/27/2014
MacColl (Nobody’s Secret) weaves a suspenseful story set on the English moors in this historical novel loosely based on the Brontë family. Focusing on the personality clashes between petite, prudent Charlotte and tall, headstrong Emily, she crafts a well-paced period mystery with just the right dash of romance to make the book appropriate for sophisticated readers even younger than the target audience. Echoing the Brontës’ own fictions, the desolation of the moors is an ideal setting for frightening encounters and gripping confrontations—a fierce dog, a handsome young stranger, a possibly insane runaway woman, and her potentially dangerous brother all figure in the many strands of the plot, along with a multitude of well-drawn minor characters. While the outcomes of some of the tensest scenes are a little unbelievable, the prolonged climax is satisfyingly action-filled and breathtakingly resolved. In an extensive author’s note, MacColl presents the Brontës’ biographical information and explains the liberties she took; her envoi encourages readers to go to the original novels—a worthy challenge that many will likely take up after reading this one. Ages 12–up. Agent: George Nicholson, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Apr.)
From the Publisher
"A treat for book lovers."—Brain Child

A Junior Library Guild Selection"

There's lots to like here: mystery, adventure, and a snippet of romance."—Booklist"

The prolonged climax is satisfyingly action-filled and breathtakingly resolved."—Publishers Weekly"

Inspired by the real-life Brontë sisters, MacColl has crafted a fictional tale of suspense and romance that is guaranteed to bring new readership to MacColl, as well as to the classic tales by both Brontë sisters. "—VOYA: Voice of Youth Advocates"

Filled with life, death, mystery and witty humor."-School Library Journal, starred review"

Equal parts gothic melodrama and Nancy Drew derring-do."—Kirkus Reviews"

Characters so remarkably that they simply spring to life on the pages."—Reading Today"

As exhilarating as a stroll across the wind-swept moor..."— Laurie Halse Anderson, New York Times Bestselling Author and Recipient of the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction

Children's Literature - Linda Sweitzer
Sisters as different as chalk from cheese. Emily and Charlotte are the Bronte sisters of noted fame. Fearless, headstrong and impetuous Emily often clashes with Charlotte, who is cautious, trustworthy, and pure, making life at home and at school quite difficult. As the eldest, Charlotte becomes responsible for keeping the stability of the family intact, lest they should be driven out of the parsonage, which their father heads. But when strangers appear in their village of Haworth, England, and unusual things threatening their family occur, Emily and Charlotte must try to put aside their differences long enough to ensure the safety of their father, their brother, and a tall, dashing young outsider, who knows more than he should. MacColl beautifully captures the richness of a language long past, making this historical fiction come alive in strong, vivid images: It is a language of which the Bronte sisters themselves would be very well pleased. A definite page-turner and one for any fan of any Bronte, this is an excellent choice to entice suspect readers to expand their tastes in early nineteenth century literature. Reviewer: Linda Sweitzer; Ages 12 up.
Voya Reviews, April 2014 (Vol. 36, No. 1) - Stephanie Wilkes
Inspired by the real-life Brontë sisters, MacColl has crafted a fictional tale of suspense and romance that is guaranteed to bring new readership to MacColl, as well as to the classic tales by both Brontë sisters. Weaving fact and fiction, MacColl begins this tale with the death of Elizabeth Brontë, sister to Emily, Charlotte, Anne, and Branwell. It is within these first few pages that we catch a glimpse of the personalities and contradictions among this family. The narrative jumps ten years in the first chapter—Charlotte and Emily are off to boarding school, where Emily will attend, much to her dismay, and Charlotte will be teaching. While Emily seems to get into calamity after calamity at school, Charlotte herself is not innocent and is reprimanded for retreating to her fictional world that she is writing while she should be teaching. After both sisters are sent home for different reasons, the story plunges into the mystery of burglaries taking place near the parsonage and a madwoman running the outskirts of the village desperate for an escape. Emily’s adventurous personality and Charlotte’s need to control all situations bring these sisters together to solve this mystery of the moors, where romance and sinister forces are abundant. A brief snippet from both Charlotte and Emily’s books sets the foundation for each chapter and is enough to draw the reader to the classic Brontë tales. MacColl includes a very informative author’s note giving information about how much of the tale is told from fictional and factual events and brings the reader to a greater understanding of how the lives of both sisters affected their writing and influenced this novel as well. Reviewer: Stephanie Wilkes; Ages 11 to 18.
School Library Journal
★ 04/01/2014
Gr 7 Up—Based on the Brontë family of writers, MacColl's story is filled with life and death, mystery, and witty humor. The main premise involves Emily and Charlotte uncovering Branwell's nefarious activities and exposing a local mill owner, Master Heaton. The strong-willed sisters join forces to uncover Branwell and Heaton's secrets and to reunite a family. Charlotte and Emily are the most richly drawn characters, and their often-contentious relationship is engaging. Their personalities are balanced by the supporting characters, including their father, the house manager, and a young man Emily finds on the moor. The two-dimensional Heaton has no redeeming qualities, save charm, and Branwell, who falls under his spell, is also thinly drawn. However, the effects of alcohol, mental, and physical abuse are realistically conveyed. MacColl succeeds in creating a vivid sense of place with her intricate details about Masonic rituals and the lush descriptions of the moors, Emily's place of sanctuary. Readers will be satisfied with the ending, and their curiosities will be piqued to read more about the Brontë family. A lengthy author's note tells more about the Brontës.—Hilary Writt, Sullivan University, Lexington, KY
Kirkus Reviews
2014-01-15
Reimagined as detectives, the Brontë sisters kick-start their writing careers by solving a mystery in this detailed if dubiously grounded novel. Having lost their mother and several siblings at an early age, the remaining Brontë siblings deal with grief in their own ways: Prim Charlotte grudgingly shoulders responsibility for her family; eccentric Emily runs wild on the moors; reprobate brother Branwell drinks and falls into bad company. Both Charlotte and Emily enjoy writing—Charlotte writes fantasy bodice-rippers, while Emily tends toward the darker stuff—and find sudden inspiration in the strange occurrences in their little town of Haworth. Despite their differences, the teenage sisters unite to solve the (much-belabored) mystery of a madwoman, a long-lost heir and unscrupulous Freemasons. Already familiar with death, the girls also get to experience love, albeit briefly. Sharing narrative responsibility, Emily and Charlotte are distinctive and well-drawn characters, though their depictions are somewhat complicated by the mixture of real biographic details, literary hagiography and modern free-spiritedness. MacColl works hard to connect the real-life Brontës' books to an imagined source in a fictional adventure, blending quotes from Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights with her own historical fantasy. Equal parts gothic melodrama and Nancy Drew derring-do. (Historical fiction. 12-16)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781452111742
Publisher:
Chronicle Books LLC
Publication date:
04/08/2014
Pages:
282
Sales rank:
414,825
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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Meet the Author

Michaela MacColl studied multidisciplinary history at Vassar College and Yale University, which turns out to be the perfect degree for writing historical fiction. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Connecticut.

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Always Emily 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
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She says a good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think it looks good