Emily Starr is a happy child, living with her father and playing with her cats, content with the company of trees and her imagination, as well as her dear, dear father. However, that all changes when her father dies, and the orphaned Emily is sent to live with her mother’s relatives at New Moon. Cold, austere Aunt Elizabeth is very difficult to please and seems not to want Emily there at all, only taking the girl in because she feels it is her duty to her late sister, who incurred the wrath of the Murray clan by marrying Emily’s father against their wishes. Under her strict rule Emily is sure that she will have a miserable time until she is reasonably old enough to make her own way in the world. Yet with the help of sweet Aunt Laura, cheerful Cousin Jimmy, as well as for the first time making real friends her own age, Emily begins to love New Moon, and eventually call it home.
I enjoyed this book quite a bit. At first I found it rather hard to fall into - Anne of Green Gables is my favorite book in the world, and I must admit that for the first part of Emily, I kept looking for a glimpse of Anne, to my detriment. Eventually, however, I found myself caught up in Emily’s story – in the mystery of Ilse’s mother, as well as Emily’s struggles with Miss Brownell and the snobbish girls at her school. Once I stopped trying to find Anne, I found Emily charming enough that I am very eager to get on to the next book in the series, wanting to know what happens in Emily’s life. I am extremely curious to find out if she will end up paired with Teddy, Perry, or perhaps Dean Priest – I don’t know why I think that the last might be a romantic interest, as he is so much older, but I feel in my bones that he is, and oddly, he is the one that I am rooting for, despite the age difference and the Mr. Knightly/Emma vibes that I get from him. The relationship reads to me as half nearly skeevy, half intriguing as hell. Plus, I don’t want an Anne/Gilbert redux, which I have to admit I feel Emily/Teddy would be, despite their not starting off on the wrong foot the way that Anne and Gilbert did. *shrugs* I suppose I will just have to wait and see…