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July 07, 2010



I just finished this book last night. OH! WOW! I am a big fan of Emily and have read all the recent bios about her (starting with Sewell.) I 'knew' about the affair and have often wondered WHY someone did not dissect the effects it must have had on her legacy. My daughter attended Mount Holyoke which sent me on a four year Emily Dickinson hunt. It began the weekend we dropped her off, we casually went to visit the Homestead and I WAS ROCKED by the Evergreens. (I wrote a blog post about the Evergreens) I became fascinated and started reading everything I could about her. Like you, I came to her with the "myth" in mind, 'sweet little thing flitting in white dress." But, nothing could be further from the truth. What an amazingly jaw dropping story and also, how devastating to the family members caught up in the love affair. Little Gib's room in the EVergreens was sealed up for years and they have installed an observation window for visitors to peer into - it is the spookiest, most heart wrenching museum in America. I once stayed at the Inn across the street from the houses and wandered about in the snowy dark. The presence of the families lingers to those with an imagination. This book does read like a fast paced novel. I enjoyed the part AFTER the trial because I had no idea, NO IDEA it went on and on and that ultimately, the Todd camp shaped Sue's depiction. I can tell that the docents at the museum (Homestead and Evergreens) are now working this out in their tours, Sue is being rehabilitated. I am going to re-read the Sewell bio because I feel as if I am one of those who were tainted by my opinion of Sue. Great review here - thanks.


Thanks, Courtney. It's one of those fascinating books you never want to end. Until the final chapter or so, that is. But before that, YOWZA! What an eye-opener.


what a stellar review! I've never been a huge Dickinson fan but you make me really want to read this!

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  • Writer and book reviewer, editor, columnist, blogger, author interviewer and book event roadie. I read. I write. I take pictures. And I am a librarian.

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    • Lisa's books

      The Graveyard Book
      How I Live Now
      The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon
      Dreaming in Hindi: Coming Awake in Another Language
      Vanessa and Virginia
      The Little Stranger
      The Cry of the Sloth
      Firmin: Adventures of a Metropolitan Lowlife
      Père Goriot
      Why We Make Mistakes: How We Look Without Seeing, Forget Things in Seconds, and Are All Pretty Sure We Are Way Above Average
      Sons and Lovers
      The Blind Assassin
      A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail
      Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
      Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
      Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
      Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
      The Pickwick Papers

      Lisa Guidarini's favorite books »


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