Saturday, September 24, 2011

Emma - Charlotte Bronte and Another Lady

Synopsis from dustjacket: In the very last months before her death at age 39, at the height of her powers, Charlotte Bronte set the scene of a new novel entitled Emma...The wanton havoc wrought by Emma in the life of Mrs. Chalfont, the narrator, is not the only proof of her ruthlessness. She plays a part, too, in the sufferings of the abandoned child, Martina. The affection which grows between Mrs. Chalfont and Martina out of their mutual distress illumines this story. And Emma herself, with her inexplicable motives, her incomprehensible anger, and her darkness of soul, develops into a character of whom Charlotte Bronte woud have been proud.

Charlotte Bronte began this tale while "Another Lady" finished it. The beauty of it is that the transition from one author's thoughts to the other's is seamless. I really couldn't tell what was Bronte's from what was written by her successor.

The story was engaging and charming - even through it's depressing bits. I really grew attached to both Mrs. Chalfont and Martina. And, suprisingly, I didn't start putting the pieces of the puzzle together until close to the reveal.

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