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Reviewed by Kayleigh Perumal for Readers' Favorite
Emma (Heritage Series) by Susan Diane Black Blackmon tells the story of a family marred by grief. When Emma’s mother, Jane, dies during her nineteenth childbirth, Emma’s father, Ben, is left numb. He blames Jane’s mother and the doctor for not being able to save Jane’s life. Emma, who was three at the time, can only remember the songs that her mother used to sing to her and a vague memory of her face. Ben realizes that the children need someone to care for them and he decides to marry Matilda. But Matilda is cruel and selfish – only caring about wealth and status. She abuses the children (including her daughters), and Ben turns to drink to drown out Matilda’s voice. When Ben sends Emma away to live with her sisters, she is deeply concerned about what will happen to the farm under her stepmother’s supervision.
Susan Diane Black Blackmon’s Emma (Heritage Series) is a historical novel based on the life of her great-grandmother. The author expertly weaves fact with fiction, leaving readers with an intriguing tale in which it is easy to become immersed. Emma’s romance with Charlie also parallels her father and mother’s love story, adding an element of symmetry. One of the key themes of the book is how the past is intertwined with the present. If Ben does not confront his sorrow, he is doomed to lose the farm to Matilda, and with it, the memories that he most cherishes This is an apt choice if you enjoy pastoral period pieces.