Publisher: Yen Press
Publication Date: April 26, 2016
Emma volume 4 picks up where we left off – Emma has been abducted and now finds herself in a perilous situation. Readers should know just how vulnerable a Victorian woman was without the protection of a male relative or husband. Our favorite servant is taken far away to prevent her from seeing Mr. Jones again. She finds herself on a train and then a boat – with the last stop being America. Can our heroine find a source of income and survive in this new place? Will she ever get to see Mr. Jones again?
I would love to go into detail about the depth of the characters in this volume, but their development is so closely linked to the story that it is impossible for me to talk in detail about the individual characters without revealing major spoilers. Although…. since this book did publish in April, you did have plenty of time to read it!
A lot happens in Volume 4 so let’s go in chronological order.
Obviously, we get to follow the upset in the Jones’s household. Countess Mildrake, dressed in Indian garb, returns to let Mr. Jones know exactly how she feels about him hurting Eleanor. Hakim, our favorite Prince is back because things have become interesting enough for him to have an interest in visiting Mr. Jones.
Mr. Jones begins the most thorough search for Emma possible in Victorian England without creating an upset among his family or alerting the responsible parties that someone is looking for her. Eventually he is reunited with Emma and ensures her safety. They return to Europe together and go directly to the Molders household, where Mr. Jones and Emma expect to find sympathy and allies. Indeed they find exactly what they are looking for and more.
Eleanor, as expected, is depressed from the turn of events between her and William. She goes through some serious growth in this volume and realizes that she was childish and misinterpreted William’s good manners and kindness. When she accepts full accountability for the mishaps with her engagement, she finally feels relief. Despite being only twenty(considered old for an unmarried woman), her father sends her off to a health resort in Bath to keep her away from the family indefinitely. Knowing what Bath is about, I’d have to say Eleanor got off pretty well considering that her father is tyrannical and oppresses the feelings and opinions of the women in his household.
A huge bulk of the book focuses on Emma’s study of Victorian etiquette handbooks – which were quite popular in the era this story takes place. Of course, nothing the books say makes any sense to Emma who has always lived a humble life. Despite this, she is determined to turn herself into a lady so that she could be a proper suitor for William Jones.
Volume 4 leaves off on a beautiful, theatrical cliff-hanger that I’m not even going to mention here because I want you to experience it for yourself.
As expected, I loved this volume. Emma is a truly wonderful series that accurately portrays Victorian life. It’s romantic and can be appreciated by anyone who likes a love story. It’s publication in the US couldn’t be more appropriate than a time when people are interested in shows like Downton Abbey.
This series is also loaded with suspense for those who have a deep, scholastic understanding of Victorian England. I will disclose that any knowledge of the period is not necessary for the enjoyment of this series since Kaoru Mori does a great job of guiding the reader.
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**This item was provided for review.