The Passions of Emma
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The Passions of Emma

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  292 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Born to a life of wealth and privilege in turn-of-the-century Rhode Island, Emma Tremayne's life is all mapped out for her--including her engagement to the town's most eligible bachelor. Emma's sheltered world is shattered, however, when she discovers the horrifying working conditions in her fiance's textile mill. And when she encounters Shay McKenna, a brave Irish revolut...more
Paperback, 464 pages
Published August 1st 1998 by Vision (first published 1997)
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Dinjolina
This book hurt.
People called it marvelous. They called it the book of second chances.

I call it the book of second best.

Sure, it was written beautifully.
But from the start I knew where it will go, so all the sly little glances Shay gave Emma or all the thoughts of love Emma had? I never saw them as obscene, but they bugged me. They were sweet on one side but on the other almost every time Shay just went in to the next scene, picked up his wife, and twirled her around because it made her happy or...more
Dawn
I just finished this book and am so glad I picked this one up, though knowing nothing about the author. I thoroughly enjoyed EVERYTHING about this book. The writing, the plot, the characters, the setting. Everything!

The characters are fully fleshed and real. The plot is one that sucks you in and makes you care. The writing is smooth and compelling. I dived into this not sure what it would yield and was soon so immersed in the developing saga that I lost track of time and place while I read.

I was...more
Fani
Shay McKenna is a poor, Irish immigrant working odd jobs to make a living. Emma Tremayne is filthy rich and comes from one of Bristol's best families: the Great Folk. Their match seems a highly improbable one and that is if you don't count the fact that Shay's already happily married with Bria and have two girls together. But then we learn early on that Bria is suffering from consumption, which of course makes it obvious that one day she'll die and leave the road open for Shay's and Emma's roman...more
Julie
This book left me with so many emotions. I give this book four stars because it started off pretty slow but after you get to know Emma,Bria and Shay you truly get to know the heart and soul of this story. I truly enjoyed this amazing journey of true friendship and love and when I say love I mean a true love story. This is not your typical romance love story...
Jeri
Emma Tremayne is one of the "Great Folk" of Bristol; her family and those like it owning the land and businesses of the town. She isn't passionate about much of anything until a series of encounters with two Irish immigrants show her a different life. Shay McKenna, rough, outspoken, even at times hostile, disturbs her in a way she cannot understand, while his wife Bria becomes the first real friend Emma has ever known. Bria is dying of consumption, and her death will bring
together the two people...more
Barks & Bites
Ouch, this book was painful to read. It's vivid scenes and raw emotion lingered with me long after I turned the last page.

The plot sounds horribly depressing and there's no doubt that this is painful stuff but I wouldn't have put it down for anything. Rich in detail and emotion, it's moving and uplifting and tender and such a very beautiful story about love and friendship, THE PASSIONS OF EMMA is one of the best books I've read this year. Just grab yourself a box of tissues before starting it ....more
Jen
This.book.was.hard.to.take. On many levels.

I normally love this trope: widower hero has a second chance at love. Don't get me wrong, I understand you can love more then one person in your life and love each person differently. But, reading about Bria and Shay's love and life together for 3/4 of the book was hard.to.take. The struggles and pain they faced in Ireland as well as trying to build a new life in America for their family. We watch Shay's love for Bria through whispered words, tender mo...more
Regan Walker
Possibly My Favorite Historical Romance--a Keeper!

I always know when I read a story by Penny Williamson that I'm going to feel deeply about the people she introduces me to and I know I'm going to be swept away to another time and a great love story. I knew I was in trouble with this one when I was in tears by page 20--but I could not put it down.

This is one of the most moving historical romances I've read. If you've ever loved a man who loved a woman before you, or if you've ever loved a man you...more
Phair
Re-read for a f2f discussion. First read around time of publication (circa 1998). Reason for club selection was Rhode Island setting. While this was basically an historical romance it was better written than most and brought up many issues such as women's place, social prejudice re immigrants, child labor and conditions in textile mills in 1890s Bristol. The descriptions of the setting were spot-on and I could easily visualize the places mentioned. Author's The Outsider was more romantic but th...more
Greentea
"I love Another. I have taken a lover and, oh, by the by, he is a poor lad from Gartadoo"

When you fall in love with someone, you get hit pretty hard.

Emma Tremayne didn't mean to fall in love with Shay McKenna. It just happened simple because she was around him more due to being friend's with Shay's wife, Bria. Of course I was rooting for Emma and Shay, so I wanted Bria to be dead as soon as possible. I'm horrible, yes I know. SO.....
Why in the world was Shay with Bria anyway? Shay wasn't descri...more
Jacky Faber
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Awagner
I wasn't that into it for the first few pages, but then I started to realize that I had read this book before! I still couldn't even remember what happened but once the plot started to unfold more I remembered that I had already read this book a long, long time ago. After those first few pages, I started to really get into it and read the last 150 pages in bed until 2am last night. I wanted so much more to happen though I felt like it ended without a few thigns happening that I was hoping for. O...more
Macpudel
Like Lady Chatterley's Lover if it were a romance novel.
Vikki
Emma Tremayne is a rich girl. She is engaged to a rich man. She meets Bria McKenna, an immigrant from Ireland and they become fast friends. Bria dies. Emma has fallen in love with Bria's husband, Shay. This is a very good story.
Linda
My heart broke reading this book. I knew how it would end, but it took so much to get there. I loved all the characters, and could vidily picture them in my mind.
Great writing and descriptive work. I would read this one again.
Alberta
The romance novel takes place in the 1800's in Rhode Island. Emma is suppose to marry a man of her class but falls in love with another man.
When I got to 100 pages of the book, I almost quite reading it but did finish it
Jennifer
I didn't think this was as good as the Outsider, but it was still very good. I like her heroes.
Marianne
Beautifully written. I really got into this one. Like this author a lot.
Joyce Findlay
this was just a "good" read..easy and satisfying..a love story simple but happy
Eva
This book made me cry and I read it yearly.
Tammy
Starts out slow but over-all a good book.
Tricia
This is a one of those stories you never forget.
Angela Joyce
It's passionate, alright!
Steffi
Steffi added it
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Jeri
Jeri added it
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Valerie Sya
Valerie Sya marked it as to-read
Sep 03, 2014
Romana Hasanbasic
Romana Hasanbasic marked it as to-read
Sep 01, 2014
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Penelope Williamson is an internationally renowned author of historical romance and suspense. Penelope Williamson was born in Fairbanks, Alaska, and spent the first eleven years of her life as an US Air Force brat. She has a B.A. in history, an M.A. in broadcast journalism, and was in the U.S. Marine Corps for six years, where she reached the rank of Captain. She has more than 1.8 million books in...more
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“Shay," she said. "Shay McKenna," as if trying out his name, saying it for the first time. "Did you ever love me, even a little?"

Love you?" He turned his head and brushed his lips across her fingers. "I'm loving you now, mo chridh. After I'm dead, a thousand years from now, whatever's left of me, be it a soul or just a handful of dust, that will be loving you.”
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“We are all of us both light and dark, do you not find it so, Miss Tremayne? Wanting in our hearts to do right and able to do wrong. And so it’s the choices we’ve made, surely, that make of us what we are” 0 likes
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