Emily Webster is just finishing high school and longs to go to college. She lives with her grandfather and is fully committed to staying with him to care for him. She sees all of her friends off to college and is left alone and lonely. Depression sinks in. Emily fights it. She thinks about others-especially the Syrians. She reaches out first to the Syrian children creating a Boys Club (that a girl is welcome to be part of), and then by teaching the Syrian women English! Wow...remember this was in the early 1900's!
Not only is Emily amazing in her love toward the Syrians of Deep Valley, but she also had a deep love and respect for her grandfather, as well as others of his generation. She sacrificially cares for him. At first it is hard for her, but then it becomes her joy.
Emily starts a book club as another way to keep her mind engaged and fight the depression. Friendships grow and her depression lifts.
There is also some subtle history withing Emily of Deep Valley. I learned that Memorial Day was once Decoration Day-a truly patriotic day. Emily's grandfather and his friends who fought in the Civil War marched in the Decoration Day parade and visited the local school. His generation was respected and honored, as they should be! Emily's home is also called the Hull House of Deep Valley. Jane Adams had invited the poor and lonely into her home to help them, and Jane did the same.
Emily has a deep crush on a bit of an obnoxious fellow. Slowly she realizes that his character is lacking, especially when compared to her friend Cab and the new teacher. Cab helps Emily get to know some of the Ancients-those from the class of 1910, who graduated just two years before her..
I have actually had a really hard time articulating why I love this book so much. I don't feel that I'm giving this book review justice because I was so emotionally involved. Overall, the sensitivity and compassion that Emily has is amazing. The character of Emily is so well developed, and I relate to her on so many levels. This is why I "am" Emily Webster according to the Betsy-Tacy quiz. (I wasn't surprised that Emily was followed by Tacy.)
|Which Betsy-Tacy character are you? |
Your Result: Emily Webster
|Which Betsy-Tacy character are you?|
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz
I can't recommend this book enough, especially if your personality is anything like mine! Thank you so much to Harper Perennial for providing this book for review purposes. I also want to let readers know that Library Hospital has the Maud Hart Lovelace Reading Challenge every year in October! This year when it's closer to the challenge I will have a giveaway for a couple of MHL books to encourage you to participate!