The line between historical and fictional is murky in this nineteenth-century tale of love among the Transcendentalists. Lydia is a strong, independent woman in her thirties, sworn to remain single. Then she meets the brilliant Ralph Waldo Emerson and is swept off her feet by his promises of a new kind of egalitarian marriage. Once married though, Lydia discovers her husband's secret obsession with his dead wife. Lonely and disillusioned, Lydia falls in love with her husband's dashing young protege, the manly and odd Henry David Thoreau. As a romance novel, this is an excellent, engaging story. Readers will feel sympathy and affection for all of the characters. However, since this is a first-person narrative, the lack of a historical note explaining what in the novel is fact, what is conjecture, and what is fiction dulls the overall impression. Still, a good book-club or beach read, for it is a substantive page-turner. Marta SegalCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
"Amy Belding Brown's novel is a beautiful work that renders effortlessly the sentiments and sensuousness of a woman who is, to use Ms. Brown's own terms, "at war with herself, a woman of opposites who yearns to reconcile her mental acuity with her emotional sensitivity." The spiritual, emotional and intellectual lives she is after illuminating for us are wonderfully ambitious, and it is quite refreshing to see that ambition backed up with a quality of writing that bears up to the weight of its subject matter."
- Bret Lott, author of A Song I Knew by Heart