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Miss Appleby's Academy

3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  365 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
Emma Appleby’s ordered and loving existence in New England comes to an abrupt and painful end with the death of her father. Emma plots her escape to the town in England where he was born. Opening an academy, she sets herself up in competition with the local school, provoking a savage response from the community. But she will not be deterred – even when her past catches up ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published January 31st 2013 by Quercus (first published January 1st 2013)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jennifer Johnstone
Apr 03, 2013 Jennifer Johnstone rated it did not like it
This was one of the worst written books I have ever read. Important and interesting issues could have been described in great detail but instead are skipped over in a couple of sentences. I don't consider this a spoiler but feel free to look away now; a good example is the introduction of Mick's wife. She goes from enjoying a glass of brandy on one page (right near the beginning!) to having a full blown alcohol problem on the next page and yet other issues (i.e. the description of some ...more
Mar 08, 2015 Anne rated it really liked it
Enjoyed reading this book, set in the early 1900's. It took a few pages to get into, but the pace picked up very soon. I liked the heroine, Emma and admired her spirit of adventure in the face of adversity. In this novel, there are surprises, interesting characters, a fascinating plot line with a few twists and turns, unexpected shocks and an unpredictable outcome.

The poverty Emma finds in County Durham is realistic, and the local people are portrayed in a sympathetic light. Emma's relationship
Nov 03, 2013 Sue rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-it
Thought this book was very easy to read, which was exactly what i was after as i have been reading quite a few thrillers lately. Had a reasonable story line, I am now currently reading Elizabeth Gill's 'Shelter from the storm', so far so good
May 03, 2015 Rachel added it
DNF at 65%. This book bored me, it didn't seem to go anywhere with it's story and the characters were uninteresting.
Feb 18, 2013 Zarina rated it really liked it
Review to follow.
Oct 13, 2013 Roo rated it really liked it
Lovely simple story, just the thing to loose oneself in during wet October!
Jacqueline  Whyte
Nov 22, 2013 Jacqueline Whyte rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Grace
I didn't think this was going to be my kind of read! But it took me by surprise and was excellent!
Wendy Currey
Sep 18, 2013 Wendy Currey rated it really liked it
It is a good story, little bit predictable but worth the effort. Very enjoyable read.
Feb 03, 2016 Sarah rated it it was ok
Good - if slightly predictable - plot, but very badly written. I can't put my finger exactly on what it was about this author's style that annoyed me so much, it was easy enough to churn through I suppose but there wasn't much depth or intelligence to it. It was like a book written for much younger readers. The characters quite frequently used modern expressions even though it was meant to be set in the 1900s, and the attempts at transcribing a 'broad Durham' accent were awfully clumsy. There ...more
Jul 13, 2015 Sheila rated it liked it
Emma Appleby lives in New England with her father. While out walking with him one snowy day, they come across an accident. Everyone in the carriage is dead but before she leaves the site, she hears a small baby. Several years later, her father is ill and not expected to live. She has raised the baby as her own. When her father dies, Emma learns her younger brother has inherited the house and all their father's money. Emma is penniless. Her brother, Lawrence plans to move into the house with his ...more
Beth Flint
Oct 30, 2013 Beth Flint rated it it was ok
This book was ok, not wonderful and not terrible. The plot is basic and predicable but easy going.
It seemed a bit careless and clumsy - for example...(SPOILER) when sitting next to a dead person about 3/4 through the novel it is stated that she had not done so before, and yet she does quite early on in the story. There are other inconsistencies also which I wont list. The author seems to move quickly from one scene to another in parts making you feel like she deleted paragraphs by accident. I o
Jan 07, 2015 Annie rated it it was ok
I'm both satisfied and unsatisfied with this book. When i was in the midst of reading it, I found it easy and a good way to pass the time. Looking back, I'm slightly annoyed at Emma's meekness and all the domesticity. When her awful brother sends her a letter demanding money and telling her how she is ungrateful, Emma agrees and sends money. I really wanted to see her finally stand up for herself, which was something i felt never really happened.
I finished the book last night and I was disappoi
Jasmine Sparks
Sep 28, 2014 Jasmine Sparks rated it really liked it
The intriguing Miss Emma

I found Miss Appleby an intriguing character - strong and vulnerable in equal measure.

Misunderstandings by many of the characters, and the choices they made as a result, had sometimes devastating consequences. Elizabeth Gill's portrayal of the Durham area at the beginning of the twentieth century is striking, as is her portrayal of the people. Hard lives were lived by so many and they were often hard on themselves and each other. Did the bleakness of the landscape and cha
Michael Cayley
Aug 01, 2014 Michael Cayley rated it really liked it
A saga about a woman left penniless in America in about 1900 who returns to the Durham village where she was born. There she gradually overcomes prejudice and hostility. There is much sadness along the way, but in the end she achieves both happiness and self-fulfilment. There is the odd slip in the plot - in particular a Church of England priest would have found it difficult legally to refuse to bury a parishioner of whose way of life he disapproved - and the characterisation is not particularly ...more
Nov 16, 2014 Christina rated it liked it
Shelves: sagas
Loved the way the writer evokes place. New England was beautifully captured, as was the town in NE England where Emma goes back to. In particular, the houses and inside them, felt like I was there.

Lovely read, unputtdownable, but there was a long wait before central characters finally get together, would have liked to have seen them together much more in the book rather than apart, missing one another.

The dogs in the book are characters in themselves and are very real - loved their inclusion t
Sep 24, 2013 Vanessa rated it liked it
I enjoyed this as a bit of light reading. I felt the author described all the characters and the school room extremely well and they were very easy to picture when you were reading the book.
I liked miss Appleby, a very determined strong character, who i had a lot of sympathy for.
My only criticism of the book was the ending. It was obvious what was going yo happen eventually but the build up and finale happened in about half a page. It could definitely have been lengthened for a better read.
Mar 13, 2014 Jo rated it liked it
The book had a certain charm: sympathetic characters, a somewhat inevitable but 'happy ever after' plot, some well-written descriptive passages. It was a little patchy and in places the plot was a touch clumsy (eg, the late and unheralded introduction of a sibling with more in common with Emma).

Overall, a pleasant read and I would try other books by this author.
May 26, 2014 James rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, romance, saga
A nice story about Emma Appleby, who, having been cruelly turned out of her home by her own brother, bravely sets off for the North East of England. The plot is rather too predictable, which in itself is no bad thing. However, what let the book down for me was the author's writing style which is very basic and perhaps better suited for a children's book.
Pleasant reading

This book is what I call a fill in book. When I read a heavy book after I finish, I read a light book and what I read, it was romantic story, but not slushy. A woman who leaves her home in America to find her roots in the NW of England and finds a completely journey in finding her travels. I did enjoy this novel.
Lyndell Nyan
Nov 12, 2013 Lyndell Nyan rated it liked it
I really enjoyed the beginning of this book and was hooked.. However the Author lost my attention towards the end.. The ending to the book could have done with a lot more.. Overall it was an ok book...
Oct 07, 2013 Fiesta rated it liked it
This would be rated as three-and-a-half stars by me if it was possible. I enjoyed reading the story, but it became a little too contrived towards the end, even allowing for the fact that I was in the mood for a 'cosy' book.
May 23, 2014 Cassandra rated it liked it
It started out well, but if you're looking for mystery and intrigue, be aware that this turns out to be more of a romance novel than anything else.
Jun 30, 2013 Becky rated it liked it
Set in the north east this is a fairly gentle and fairly predictable novel. Some nice characters and period feel but not fine literature
Jun 07, 2014 Lynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This lovely story finished a little soon, it felt perhaps a chapter was missing. An enjoyable tale but missing an epilogue.
Sep 02, 2013 Gill rated it it was ok
Started off well, thought it was going to be quite good but didn't live up to expectations. Really didn't like the ending, seemed rushed and I sort of felt cheated.
Dec 30, 2013 Judy rated it liked it
Mmm, only worth 2 and a half stars really. Very light-weight, not very well written but had a reasonably good plot. Started well, but now wish I hadn't bothered.
Mar 31, 2013 Stephanie rated it liked it
Slightly predictable storyline but good light read, and liked the historical context and the character's tracing of her family history.
Aug 04, 2014 Fiona rated it it was amazing
A comforting read that despite the hurtfulness of some there are still good people who are willing to do the right thing.
Emily Baddeley
Feb 15, 2014 Emily Baddeley rated it it was amazing
I wouldn't usually choose a book like this but I loved it. I felt I knew the characters and didn't want it to end
Jan 30, 2014 Jennifer rated it liked it
What is it with books with rushed endings? I enjoyed the story, it was a quick read and then....Bam. Disappointed.
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