Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Always Emily

Always Emily

Spring 2014 Fiction
Ages: 12 & Up
Author: Michaela MacColl
Publisher: Chronicle Books
ISBN: 9781452111742
Hardcover Price: $16.99

Always Emily is a fictional peek into the lives of a teenaged Emily and Charlotte Bronte, along with their good-hearted reverend father and hapless brother Branwell.

The story is written true to life, with many details and events taken from biographical data, but the plot is fictional. It's a tale of two strong and talented young women who have a knack for stumbling onto danger and romance—adventures that inspire the elaborate stories to fill their journals late at night. The moors are here, in all their swirling storm and muck. There are gloomy manors, mysterious strangers and a faithful account of the political climate and clashes of the age.

The supporting cast is rich but the book revolves around the two sisters and their battle with the evil Master Heaton. The younger Emily is headstrong and feisty; the stern, more practical Charlotte keeps her in check. Their unfettered and venturesome lives are enticing, yet the hardships of the time–death, illness, poverty–loom large.

A fine introduction to the actual Bronte-penned literature; a lengthy author's note at the end is likely to spur further reading.

Teresa DiFalco   ©2014 Parents' Choice
Teresa DiFalco is an award-winning ghostwriter, writer, and mother in Vancouver, Washington. She's been a contributing editor for Parents' Choice for over ten years. She's a strong speller, a menace at badminton, and makes a decent soufflé.

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