Set in the bleak landscape of the Yorkshire moors in the 1840s, Emily’s Ghost is the story of the Bronte sisters, but especially Emily. The girls’ father hires a curate named William Weightman, a young man with radical beliefs who becomes very popular with the ladies of Haworth village. Although it is Charlotte who becomes infatuated with the curate, Weightman forms a strong attachment to the unconventional Emily.
Often, with historical fiction, a strong “unconventional” woman equals “modern.” Not so with Emily Bronte in this novel. She’d rather be out roaming the moors, or writing her stories, than flirt or talk about men like other young women her age. Emily’s not conventional at all, but she proves herself to be strong and brave, even during an unthinkable tragedy.
The reader should be forewarned that the author takes a number of liberties with the Brontes’ biographies. Sometimes it helps with the story; at other times, it hinders. And Charlotte Bronte fans may be disappointed with the author’s portrayal of her; she comes off as a bit foolish and flighty, falling in love with every eligible (and ineligible) man who comes her way.
But for the most part, I enjoyed this novel, about love and faith, and how someone’s legacy can live well beyond the grave. It’s a pretty strong statement, too, that Charlotte makes with her decision at the end of the book.
Also reviewed by: Becky's Book Reviews