Readnponder's Reviews > Emily Hudson

Emily Hudson by Melissa Jones
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's review
Sep 15, 2010

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bookshelves: first-reads
Read in September, 2010

If you enjoy Masterpiece Theatre period pieces, you will like this book set during the 1860s in New England and Old England and concluding in Italy. Emily Hudson is a young woman, recently orphaned due to tuberculosis. Throughout the two years chronicled in the story, she fears that she too will succumb to the disease that took her parents and brother.

Emily moves in with an emotionally detached uncle who hopes to marry her off as soon as possible to get her off his hands. Meanwhile, her cousin William is less interested in seeing Emily married. In fact, he thwarts the one serious prospect Emily has by telling the military officer that Emily has TB.

Then William offers to take her to London with him where she can study art. His offer is not without strings. Although their relationship is platonic, William seeks to control Emily and groom her into his ideal of a young woman. Emily eventually breaks free from William and travels to Italy for a make or break chance at supporting herself through painting and art lessons.

Correspondence is used frequently throughout the book to move along the plot or reveal thoughts of the characters. At first, I thought the letters would be distracting, but I found I enjoyed the epistolary interludes. The author captured the language and 'turns of phrase' indicative to the period. A refreshing change after reading today's emails and text messages.

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