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Emily Hudson: A Novel Hardcover – September 2, 2010

4.1 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Sinister events conspire to defeat spirited 19-year-old Emily Hudson in Jones's (Cold in Earth) successful historical. Orphaned and kicked out of boarding school in Rochester, N.Y., for dubious behavior, Emily is sent to her joyless uncle and his equally somber family; only the solicitous attentions of her cousin William, an aspiring novelist, salvage her spirit. While the Civil War rages, Emily hopes for a marriage to wealthy Capt. James Lindsay, but must settle for William's offer to take her to London, where he plans to become a man of letters. The intricacies of navigating English social mores leave the carefree Emily at a loss. Her American ways attract the attention of the charismatic but married Lord Firle, whose reputation is likely to ruin Emily's and William's standing in society. Forbidden to see Lord Firle, Emily withers under William's increasing disapproval and soon becomes seriously ill with consumption. Emily's interactions with William are creepy fun as they toe the line between familial and incestuous affection. Jones skillfully moves her heroine from freewheeling and childlike to cautious and deceptive and back again, and when the happy ending comes, it feels organic and hard-won.
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Review

No ordinary piece of Victoriana ... Jones (sister of the equally talent Sadie) has taken a novelist's liberties with the life of [Henry] James's cousin Minny Temple, who died at 24 ... She was passionate and ambitious ... In this novel she is given the life she deserved Times The psychological tension subtly takes hold of the reader and does not let go. This is a wonderful book and it will not disappoint Independent A beguiling erotic read ...written in the vein of a classic novel and inspired by the life and writing of Henry James, it follows the bright life of orphan Emily Hudson, whose unconventional spirit sits uneasily with society' Glamour 'Historical pleasure .a rich, romantic novel' Woman and Home 'Literary and romantic by turns ... a fine read for fans of well-written historical fiction' Waterstone's Books Quarterly --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books; Reprint edition (September 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670021806
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670021802
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,539,834 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The heroine of "Emily Hudson," by Melissa Jones, is a nineteen-year old orphan forced by tragic circumstances to live in Newport with her stern, condescending, and verbally abusive uncle, distant aunt, and two cousins, William and Mary. The year is 1861, just before the outbreak of the Civil War. Emily is immature, high-spirited, and moody, with a tendency to blurt out whatever she thinks, regardless of the consequences. Since she has no fortune and her relatives care little for her, it would seem that Emily's future will be bleak. However, William, an aspiring writer loosely modeled on Henry James, decides to finance art lessons and a stay in Europe for his cousin. Before she leaves, Emily has a brief relationship with a kind and agreeable gentleman soldier named Captain Lindsay.

This work of historical fiction traces Emily's intellectual and emotional evolution from a flighty and insecure girl to a self-confident adult. She makes new friends, corresponds with Augusta, a beloved companion from school, and pursues her passionate interest in drawing. She struggles with an illness that could prove fatal and is tempted by a roué to give up her virtue. Emily eventually travels to Italy, where she basks in unfamiliar sights, sounds, and experiences. William remains a bit of a cipher. Although he claims to care for Emily and does a great deal to help her realize her dreams, he can be cold, critical, selfish, and manipulative.

Although Emily is a heroine whom readers will easily take to their hearts, this novel has a rambling quality that is somewhat off-putting. There is a great deal of shifting from first-person narrative to letters between Emily and various correspondents.
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Format: Hardcover
Emily Hudson
By Melissa Jones
Published by Pamela Dorman Books - Viking

Written in a combination of narrative and personal correspondence, Emily Hudson is the tale of a beautiful young woman filled with spirit and creativity, who finds herself the dependent of a strict and oppressive uncle after being tragically orphaned. Brought to live at the family's beach house in Newport she is permitted limited freedom, yet dreams of traveling abroad and exploring her talent for art. Encouraged by her cousin William, she finds a certain amount of contentment and happiness on the Newport shore, especially after meeting the handsome Captain Lindsay.

Emily's happiness in Newport is shattered when the threat of consumption presents itself and she feels the responsibility to decline Captain Lindsay's heartfelt petition of marriage. After caring for and witnessing the death of her mother, father, sisters and brother to the terrible disease, Emily can not bare the thought of putting another through such a bitter and tragic experience or risk their health in so doing.

William, ever her champion, brings her to London to study art and improve her health. Yet William's controlling and demanding persona begins to become too much for Emily and she finds that they are often at odds. Increasingly ill with the effects of consumption and tired of her cousin's constant tantrums, Emily runs away to Rome where she can surround herself with art and make a life of her own. Fearing her end is near, Emily contemplates her life, her missed opportunity with the man she loved, and an uncertain future.

A sweeping tale of dreams, lies, love and manipulation, Emily Hudson is a highly captivating novel. Jones' deeply introspective writing style endears you to Emily in a profound way, carrying you through the story as if with a friend.
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Format: Hardcover
At first I had a hard time getting past the author's exuberant use of colons, semi colons and commas. One I forced myself to ignore them and focus on the story, I really enjoyed it. Emily Hudson finds herself forced upon her uncle after the rest of her family dies of consumption. The story is told through letter exchanged between Emily and her acquantices and through direct recollections of Emily. Emily's conflict between independence and dependence, society and her spirit, is an entertaining story about the life of a young, single American woman around the time of the Civil War. **Note, I was reading an advanced reader copy, so I don't know if all of the excessive punctuation remained in the final product.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book because the main character, Emily was so upbeat in the face of many obstacles. She was able to deal with her disfunctional family with grace and wit. Her cousin, William was a complex character whose true identity remained a mystery until close to the end of this fascinating novel.
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