Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Eagland, Jane. The World Within.

Eagland, Jane.  The World Within.  Scholastic/Arthur Levine  2015  329p  $18.99  ISBN 978-0-545-49295-9  ms  Historical fiction  VG

Not much is known about Emily Bronte, the author of Wuthering Heights. Eagland takes the meager historical record and combines it with clues from the Brontes’ written works to create a window into the life of the Bronte siblings when they were teens.

Emily, Charlotte, Anne and Bram were raised in isolation at the edge of the moors near the village of Haworth.
  Theirs was an unconventional upbringing, with the girls receiving an education very similar to their brother’s.  Emily is ill-prepared to cope with boarding school.  She is socially awkward and resents the rules that dictate her behavior in every aspect of her life, after a childhood of relative freedom.

When Emily returns home, she struggles with changing family dynamics.
 Charlotte is teaching at school and Anne wants her chance to attend.  Bram indulges in reckless behavior, drinking and gambling while squandering precious opportunities for advancement.  Father is gravely ill.  Emily’s safe haven is eroding and she cannot escape into her imaginary world to write.  Slowly, she emerges from her sheltered world to make a new friend (Mary), discover that a neighbor’s son finds her as attractive as she finds his (irresistible) library, and raise a puppy into a faithful canine companion.

agland does not stray far from what is known about the Brontes, so the action is a little flat and the characters are not completely rounded out.  However, for fans of Wuthering Heights, this volume will provide some background about the book’s author.    

Summary: A fictionalized account of Emily Bronte’s childhood.          

Literature-Fiction, Bronte, Emily-Fiction                   --Hilary Welliver

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