by Catherine Karp
Category: Fiction / Historical
312 pages; ISBN: 0-9716790-0-2
Rating: 9/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Denise M. Clark
By Catherine Karp
Coachlight Press – Nov. 2002
1704 Craig’s Store Rd.
Afton, VA 22920
312 pps. $14.95
Reviewed by Denise M. Clark 2/03
Denise’s Pieces Author Site & Book Reviews
This turn-of-the-century novel is a combination romance/suspense, but not in the terms many have come to expect. It’s the tale of one woman’s struggle against a male-dominated society, spousal abuse, and the growing movement for women’s rights.
Emma Brandenberg is married to a much older man, Philip, mayor of their town of Hollybrook, Massachusetts in 1897. She’s desperately unhappy with her marriage, but is at a loss what she can do about it… until the arrival of a woman’s hat maker named Freddy Ash. It is his arrival in town and the opening of Ash’s Fine Parisian Millinery that sets the town on its ear and shows not only Emily but the other women in town, that times are changing and the men folk better just get used to it.
Ms. Karp has written an exquisitely plotted tale of female angst with her portrayal of Victorian expectations and morals, and sometimes-backward logic. In Emma, Ms. Karp has put her finger on the pulse of every woman’s desire since the beginning of time to be cherished and respected. Her characterizations jump off the page and become real, three-dimensional friends who dwell in the mind for days after the last page is turned and illustrates that women have indeed come a long way.