Emily's Ghost: A Novel of the Bronte Sisters: A Novel of the Brontë Sisters

Emily's Ghost: A Novel of the Bronte Sisters: A Novel of the Brontë Sisters

4.7 7
by Denise Giardina
     
 

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“A convincing reimagining of the Brontë story, perfect for Brontë fans.”—Booklist

Enigmatic, intelligent, and fiercely independent, Emily Brontë refuses to bow to the conventions of her day. She is distrustful of marriage, prefers freedom above all else, and walks alone at night on the moors above the isolated rural

Overview

“A convincing reimagining of the Brontë story, perfect for Brontë fans.”—Booklist

Enigmatic, intelligent, and fiercely independent, Emily Brontë refuses to bow to the conventions of her day. She is distrustful of marriage, prefers freedom above all else, and walks alone at night on the moors above the isolated rural village of Haworth. But Emily’s life is turned upside down by the arrival of an idealistic clergyman named William Weightman. A heart-wrenching love story, Emily’s Ghost plumbs the depths of faith, longing, and romantic solitude.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Giardina (Saints and Villains) offers Brontë fans a solid biographical novel portraying sisters Anne, Charlotte and Emily as different in temperament but in love with the same man, fighting the same illnesses and withdrawing from the same grim realities to write poetry and fiction that express their individual passions. Youngest sister Emily distinguishes herself at age six when, while attending boarding school, she admits to encounters with ghosts. (The punishment doled out by the headmaster does not deter Emily, but it does inspire a well-known scene in Jane Eyre.) Brontë men include brother Branwell, who struggles with addiction; father Patrick, straining to support his family on limited finances; and William Weightman, Patrick's young, flirtatious, social-reforming curate who becomes the key figure as he wins the hearts of the three Brontë girls. Giardina's mid-19th-century England is factually sturdy, while the relationship between Emily and Weightman is nicely nuanced, and the insights and inferences about Emily and Charlotte's relationship are convincingly rendered. You don't have to be a Brontë scholar to appreciate Giardina's novel, but having a little context will greatly increase the payoff. (July)

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Kirkus Reviews
Giardina turns from socially conscious historical novels (Fallam's Secret, 2003, etc.) to a fictionalized biography of sui generis poet and novelist Emily Bronte. It begins with a flash-forward in which Emily, anticipating her death from consumption, begins to read her masterpiece Wuthering Heights to her indulgent father Patrick, a venerable Yorkshire clergyman. The story then focuses on Emily's childhood as one of five sisters, two of whom predecease her, and the bond of solidarity formed with siblings Anne and Charlotte, who will also live to write memorable fiction. Headstrong Emily incurs the displeasure of her masters at the Clergy Daughters' School, to which the Bronte girls are sent to prepare for careers as governesses, and upon returning home scandalizes neighbors by roaming the moors unchaperoned, accompanied by her favorite dog and trained hawk. But her horizons expand significantly when handsome young curate William Weightman arrives to assist elderly Reverend Bronte. Weightman's romantic imagination and passionate solidarity with exploited workers agitating for overdue reform attract Emily's sympathetic attention and eventually her devotion. A catastrophic cholera outbreak destroys the incipient lovers' dreams, and Emily retreats into the world of her teeming imagination, creating her passionate antagonist Heathcliff out of Weightman's stoical decency and her own austere independence. Giardina's research tends to occupy undue space and slacken the narrative pace. But the surpassingly strange Bronte family, which also includes surly ne'er-do-well brother Branwell, offers a fascinating spectacle, and the reader's attention is held throughout several labored and redundantsequences. Most interesting, perhaps, is the pointed contrast Giardina presents between Emily's untrammeled, indeed often admirable egoism and Charlotte's emotional meanness and ruthless careerism. Something less than the definitive portrait of a frustratingly elusive great writer, but an agreeable read nonetheless, and a good bet for reading groups.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393071351
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
07/05/2010
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
931,751
File size:
553 KB

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Meet the Author

Denise Giardina is the author of Storming Heaven, Emily's Ghost, and Saints and Villains, which won the Boston Book Review Prize. She is an ordained deacon in the Episcopal Church and lives in Charleston, West Virginia.

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Emily's Ghost of the Bronte Sisters 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Moving story.... enjoyed very much!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You desire to read more of them. If only they had lived longer. This historical novel will give a bite more. You will enjoy it, it is well researched. Bon apatite.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked the book i read every book of the bronte sisters.
Ashtead More than 1 year ago
This brings the Bronte sisters to life again. A must for Jane Austen fans. Giardina has captured the spirit of both the sisters as well as the times in which they lived. Do read it, you'll not regret it!
BookwomanNC More than 1 year ago
I wish I had more biographical knowledge about the Bronte sisters. Prior knowledge would have made the read more meaningful, I think. The story was so well written but I knew shortly into it that it was NOT going to be light reading and it was not going to be one of those "happily ever after" stories. Because I read for entertainment I would have never read this book unless a book club member had chosen it. Excellent read but sooooo not uplifting! I definitely recommend it for those who prefer to read something other than intellectualy fluff (I called it trash once and a friend thought I was exposing my children to dreadful things!!!).
Whitney Fry More than 1 year ago
This book is great. Once I started reading I couldn't stop
Anonymous More than 1 year ago