Among the literary set, Emily Bronte is a giant among giants. Her sole novel, Wuthering Heights, is equally one of the most romantic novels ever written while exposing to hypocrisy of life in Victorian England.
In 2010, Denise Giardina published Emily’s Ghost. Taking the reader into the head of one of the most reclusive writers, we see the world through Emily’s eyes. Disdaining proper society, Emily Bronte is an outsider who has no pretensions to fit in. She wears outdated fashion, rarely speaks to anyone outside of her family, is happiest walking on moors with her pets and writes poetry that is fiercely contradictory to the image that most see of her.
Enter William Weightman. Patrick Bronte is not a young man anymore. Mr. Weightman is hired to take on the duties that Reverend Bronte cannot. Young, open-hearted and idealistic, William Weightman is sought after by several young women as a prospective husband. Surprisingly, he slowly falls in love with Patrick Bronte’s second to youngest daughter, who is anything but conventional. Despite her misgivings about living a conventional life and all that it entails (marriage included), Emily is equally in love. While I keep hoping that Emily Bronte will have a happy ending, history would dictate otherwise.
This book is nothing short of amazing. Seeing the world through the eyes of one of the greatest writers of the English language was thrilling. As a writer and a woman, I find Emily Bronte (and her sisters by extension), to be nothing short of heroes. They defied the idea of what it was not just to be a writer and a woman, but to be a woman writer. In breaking the mold, they paved the way for the rest of us.
I absolutely recommend this book.