Book Review: Emma There’s No Turning Back

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Author: Linda Mitchelmore
ISBN: 978-1-78189-094-3
RRP: $16.99

Emma There’s No Turning Back is the sequel to Linda Mitchelmore’s To Turn Full Circle released in 2012, which I haven’t read, but I do think that Emma stands beautifully on its own and loses nothing by having not read the first book.

Set in England in 1911 Emma takes place as the suffragette movement is beginning and before the launch of the Titanic. Emma Le Goff is a young lady who has had quite a tumultuous couple of years that have left her orphaned and with a tainted reputation in her home town. She is engaged to Seth Jago but the vicar refuses to marry them because Seth’s family has been found to be quite unsavory and his reputation is tattered also.

Seth remained outside of the scandalous behaviour of his family so he has been left quite well off and is madly in love with Emma. The two are determined to be together and build a beautiful life for themselves in the house that Seth has bought for them – a house that holds no painful memories for either of them.

Unfortunately it seems that these two young lovers aren’t going to get the fairy tale ending they so hope for. Living together before they marry won’t do them any favours in the town but how can they be together if the vicar refuses to marry them.

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Emma is determined to see that things work out for her the way she dreams and she’s never short of a plan to get it, but sometimes those plans have consequences that were not planned for. She has an impulsive nature and often jumps into action before properly examining the outcomes. She was really quite a well drawn character and one I quite admired. The hand Emma has been dealt is not ideal, not only has she lost her whole family but she has also lost all of her possessions and is determined that the day will come that she doesn’t need to rely on anyone, she will earn financial independence. Seth has ensured the house he bought had a space they could turn into a bakery for Emma to start her own business and she is determined to make it a success.

Emma gets to work immediately baking and chasing down new customers but no business gets off the ground smoothly and as the setbacks mount up it seems that this business is not to be but Emma’s determined not to give up, she faces every challenge head on and refuses to accept defeat. These qualities are admirable in anyone but in a very young woman in 1911 who has had the deck stacked against her many a time and can now relax into life with a young man who loves her is even more so. She is stubborn and determined to follow the path that she has dreamed of for herself but she is also quite adaptable.

Seth and Emma both promise very early on that there will be no lies between them but neither partner can manage to keep their word and so we watch and wait to see whether the special bond between them can withstand  the broken promises when the truth comes to light.

The past is not ready to let them move on just yet so they are trying to come to terms with the events of their respective pasts, and move on from them without causing anyone pain which leads to more secrets, and move into their happily ever after but the past is not ready to be forgotten.

I found Emma to be an enjoyable read that drew me in to the lives of the characters and had me sitting back cheering them on. Both Emma and Seth have been through a lot in their short lives and it seems that their happily ever after may be more hard fought than even they could have imagined. I think there is a third book coming that will tell us what comes next for them and I would definitely be interested to read it.

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