world within book coverReviewed by Meg Massey

Emily Bronte is a young woman who loves her sisters Charlotte and Anne and her brother Branwell. Not comfortable in the company of those outside of her family, Emily retreats to the moors that surround her home of Haworth, and the worlds and characters she creates in her poems and short stories. But when her father becomes ill, and her sister Charlotte must leave home to go to school, Emily’s world suddenly changes. Will she be forced to leave the home she loves, and the stories she loves, in order to provide for herself?

In Jane Eagland’s The World Within: A Novel of Emily Brontë, Emily is depicted as a painfully shy and withdrawn young lady. While she clearly loves her siblings, she is often driven to extreme jealousy and sometimes cruelty when she feels as if they may leave her or replace her with the friendship of others. Little is known of Emily Bronte aside from information provided by her own sister Charlotte and the anecdotes of a few that encountered her, but sometimes her behavior in this novel was a little difficult to take. That said, the author does make a point to note that her depiction of Emily is fictional, and in most instances, her characterization seems accurate considering the information that we do have about the reclusive author.

While Eagland’s tale does not investigate the later years of Emily’s too-short life, it does examine her earlier years, and helps provide readers a glimpse into Emily’s world, and the genius that would lead her to write her classic (and only) novel, Wuthering Heights. Anyone that is a fan of the Emily Bronte is sure to enjoy this novel about her experiences, and the moments that led to her creation of a work beloved by so many readers.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Meg lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, Ryan. Library professional by day, freelance writer by night, Meg writes about life, entertainment and everything in between.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Arthur A. Levine Books. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.