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Emma’s Tapestry is the latest novel to be checked off my always growing to be read list. Historical fiction is always something that interests me, so I was very excited to start reading this and see where it took me.
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Have you read Emma’s Tapestry from author Isobel Blackthorn? Come on in and let me tell you about it!
About Emma’s Tapestry
At the dawn of World War Two, German-born nurse Emma Taylor sits by the bedside of a Jewish heiress in London as she reminisces over her dear friend, Oscar Wilde.
As the story of Wilde unravels, so does Emma’s past. What really happened to her husband?
She’s taken back to her days in Singapore on the eve of World War One. To her disappointing marriage to a British export agent, her struggle to fit into colonial life and the need to hide her true identity.
Emma is caught up in history, the highs, the lows, the adventures. A deadly mutiny, terrifying rice riots and a confrontation with the Ku Klux Klan bring home, for all migrants, the fragility of belonging.
Emma’s Tapestry is an imaginative retelling of the remarkable life of the author’s great-grandmother.
Thoughts on Emma’s Tapestry
In Emma’s Tapestry, we meet Emma Taylor, a nurse taking care of a patient. Then the story weaves backwards in time as we learn more about Emma’s life and what led her to where she is now.
Emma is very conservative in sharing any details of her life with her patient, and instead tries desperately to avoid many questions. She spends more time than not trying to hide everything about herself. She doesn’t develop a new identity or persona, just hides things in the shadows, even from her husband.
The problem I had with this novel was simply that I didn’t like Emma, the main character. I had just finished reading Catalyst and Heart Beats Your Name, both of which pulled me straight into the stories, and I loved the characters.
Here, Emma is extremely unhappy with her life. Unhappy equals boring in terms of a story. She was obviously a strong woman to have endured all the things that she did. But that didn’t make for the fabulous story I was expecting.
The word square comes to mind when I think about Emma. Because the only things memorable about her are her religion and being a nurse. That’s the basis of her entire identity. There is nothing fun, scandalous, or even memorable about her as I read this. Just unhappiness, and it felt depressing to me.
Final Thoughts on Emma’s Tapestry
Emma’s Tapestry is a good book. The problem was that I expected it to be a great book, and that expectation wasn’t met. It was a very slow and tedious read for me.
I looked at reviews once I was done, just to see if I was the only one who felt this way, and many others enjoyed it far more than I did. It seems I am very much the odd one out in my thoughts about Emma’s Tapestry. But my expectations may have simply been high because I absolutely loved the last two books I read, and this one just didn’t match that level of enjoyment.
Have you read Emma’s Tapestry or any other writing from author Isobel Blackthorn? Have you ever read a book that wasn’t bad, it just didn’t meet your level of expectations? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
About the Author
Isobel Blackthorn is a prolific novelist of unique and engaging fiction. She writes across a range of genres, including gripping mysteries and dark psychological thrillers.
The Unlikely Occultist: A biographical novel of Alice A. Bailey received an Honorable Mention in the 2021 Readers Favorite book awards. A Prison in the Sun was shortlisted in the LGBTQ category of the 2021 International Book Awards and the 2020 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards. Her short story ‘Nothing to Declare’ was shortlisted for the Ada Cambridge Prose Prize 2019. Her dark thriller A Legacy of Old Gran Parks won a Raven Award in 2019. The Cabin Sessions was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award 2018 and the Ditmar Awards 2018.
Isobel holds a PhD in Western Esotericism from the University of Western Sydney for her ground-breaking study of the texts of Theosophist Alice A. Bailey. Her engagement with Alice Bailey’s life and works has culminated in the biographical novel The Unlikely Occultist and the full biography Alice A. Bailey: Life and Legacy.
Isobel carries a lifelong passion for the Canary Islands, Spain, her former home. Five of her novels are set on the islands of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura. These standalone mystery novels are rich and fall into the broad genre of travel fiction.
Isobel has led a rich and interesting life and her stories are as diverse as her experiences, the highs and lows, and the dramas. A life-long campaigner for social justice, Isobel has written, protested and leant her weight to a range of issues including asylum seekers and family violence. A Londoner originally, Isobel currently lives in rural Victoria, Australia.
Purchasing Emma’s Tapestry
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