Title: Emma Vol 5
Author: Kaori Mori
May Contain Spoilers
Emma returns to take us on another lyrical, evocative journey through Victorian England, exposing its hypocrisies and rigid social boundaries. Before returning to Haworth, Emma and William are gently cautioned that their relationship, should they decide to pursue it, will be difficult and they will never win the approval of society. As Emma returns to her every day drudgery at the mansion, she’s become more animated, and finally opens herself to friendship with Tasha. The rest of the staff notes the change in her, and begin to wonder about her adventures in London. However, not everyone seems pleased with her transformation.
Kaori Mori has such a way of weaving a spell around her readers as her tale of a troubled love slowly unwinds, gaining depth with every release. Through short, episodic chapters, she has defined her characters, stoking life into them and making them breathe. She deftly nudges an emotional response as William and Emma slowly begin to defy the dictates of those around them. As they exchange letters, at first painfully polite, then growing more passionate and familiar as the missives continue, their longing to be together is acutely felt.
In this volume, the back story of William’s mother was fleshed out. A young girl never fitting in with her peers, she accepted the marriage proposal of a young upstart who also remained on the fringes of society. However, as Richard strives to gain acceptance and expand his business contacts, Aurelia, the dutiful wife, gives her all to support her husband in his ventures. Every misstep she makes in polite society is magnified and gossiped about, and eventually, the pressures of trying to be someone that she’s not take their toll on her. I thought this was a fantastic sub-plot, and I’ve come to really like William’s eccentric mother. I still think his father is a snake.
Emma is such a treat, both visually stunning and emotionally wrenching, that it moves to the top of the reading pile whenever a new volume arrives. Its gentle pacing and moving story is always a treat.
Rated for Teen+
Review copy provided by CMX