Amherst – William Nicholson

AmherstEmily Dickinson never left her house, never saw anyone except her sister Vinnie and her brother, Austin. The townspeople referred to her as the Myth.  Vinnie cared for her daily physical needs, Austin for her emotional needs.  She lived her life through him, and so, wanted him to be happy. Unfortunately Austin was trapped in a loveless marriage.  A new young woman in town might prove to be the answer.  Mabel Todd was pretty, vivacious and Austin soon came to love her.  That they were both married caused great difficulties but Emily sought to ease things by encouraging the lovers to meet in her house.

Alice Dickinson (no relation) is doing research about the affair in order to write a screenplay.  Coming from England, she needed a contact in Amherst and Nick Crocker, a professor at Amherst College, is suggested.  He’s older, very sexy and  Alice is attracted to him.

The stories of the 19th century love affair and the 21st century love affair are told in alternating chapters.  The historical part was well researched and stayed true to the period.  I could relate to these people, could care about their lives.  The book is sprinkled with Emily’s poetry which gave some insight into her feelings.  I enjoyed that part of the book.  The contemporary part, not so much.  The characters seemed to be just paper cutouts.  I really couldn’t care about what happened to them.   That said, the historical part is good enough for me to recommend the book.

eGalley review        Publication date 02.10.15

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