Author: Michaela MacColl
My rating: 3.5-esque of 5 stars
Shelves Brontes, Historical-fiction
Always Emily was a cozy, read-in-your-pj’s mystery in a totally comfortable position NOT on your computer in a wicked hard chair, but obviously the star of the book is the cast of characters: the Bronte sisters. The story is told in Emily and Charlotte Brontë’s perspectives. While the title implies, along with the imbalance in the number of chapters assigned to either, that it’s slightly in favor of Emily Brontë, I think equal measure of importance has been given to Charlotte as well, if not in so many words. Emily’s chapters were full of her and adventures, while Charlotte’s polarizing feelings towards her sister and basically, the damage control. The characterization of the sisters is actually pretty much in accordance of what one would expect from their books. To its historical validity, I don’t have any comments because that would require me checking out stuff on Wikipedia and beyond. Nuh-uh.
Beyond these two, the rest of the household had well thought-out personalities as well. Branwell, their brother, was a classic example of guy messing with the wrong crowd. There’s a bit of romance for Emily, whose ending we can predict. All these little elements that make it more a story than a mystery.
The mystery itself I found to be lackluster, and same goes for Emily’s adventures on the moors, which end too early in the book for my tastes. However, there’s all this sneaking about and lying and pretending to be an idiot girl during the book to make it worthwhile. The last part of the book-the climax- was probably the best. There are fires and traps involved, and in all, fits of spontaneous and unprovoked giggling egressed on my part. Not the ‘that is so funny, I mustn’t laugh’ kind, or the coy type, but you know,’they’re being awesome and they should do this more and heel yeah! you girls show ’em!’ thingy going on. (Haha! I just realized that thingy is actually a word; there’s no redline under it. That is so fucking unbelievable.)
In the cover, there’s this atmosphere, this fog that pervades the story for a while. And I absolutely loved it. I might not have gotten a clear picture of English moors from the writing, but the temperature and climate and mood were all very well conveyed, creating a setting that fits snugly around the mystery and, duh!, the Brontës.
In all, it was a good book for the winters, but beyond that, with the onset of spring, not everyone might like it.
Review copy provided by the publishers.