Emma of Aurora by Jane Kirkpatrick is 1146 pages long; three novels in one. I wish I had read that before agreeing to review it. In spite of the length, I enjoyed it, but Emma of Aurora strayed from my expectations.
Early in my reading of this novel, I wrote a commentary on the extraordinary character of Emma here. Jane Kirkpatrick really does a great job building setting and people in all her novels, but unlike her other novels, like Where Lilacs Still Bloom and One Glorious Ambition, Emma of Aurora had an unremarkable ending. Emma is just an ordinary person who didn’t appear to make any kind of mark on the world except in the communities in which she lived. In One Glorious Ambition, Dorthea Dix made an impact on a nation. In Where Lilacs Still Bloom, Hulda Klager changed how lilies were grown. I went into this novel with higher expectations, and came away impacted by Emma, and only Emma. Emma is someone everyone who is overly independent and head strong can relate to, and fall in love with. Her mistakes are your mistakes. Her desire to impact her world is your desire, too. Emma is you and me.
In spite of its head-spinning length, Emma of Aurora is still an enjoyable reading experience. I gave this novel three and a half stars. Jane Kirkpatrick writes strong, likeable heroines based on historical record. Emma teaches us that our own stubbornness can lead us into a disaster of our own making, but God will always turn it into something good.
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