Emma and Knightley – Book Review


by Rachel Billington


What happened to Emma and her Mr Knightley after Jane Austen put down her pen?  Rachel Billington has written a lovely sequel to the much adored Austen classic Emma.

After only one year, Emma and Mr Knightley’s marriage isn’t as carefree as they each would have liked.  Tragic news reaches Hartfield that the lovely Jane Churchill (nee Fairfax) has died after giving birth to a boy and her distraught husband Frank is missing.  Frank’s father, Mr Westen, cannot leave his wife who is about to give birth herself and askes Mr Knightley to travel to London to try to find the broken Frank Churchil and bring him home to Highbury.

Mr Knightley lodges with his brother John and his wife Isabelle, Emma’s sister, whilst in London.  He isn’t able to find Frank but writes to Emma saying that business holds him town for a little longer.  Emma and Mr Knightley had not been apart since their wedding and Emma finds the separation difficult.  She is made more uncomfortable by the feeling that her husband isn’t telling her everything.  She senses that something is wrong but he will not confide in his wife.

Over the past year Emma has felt more and more unsteady about the way her husband treats her like a child.  She wishes he would trust her and consult with her on more serious matters than the dinner menu.

Jane Austen once discribed Emma as the heroine that you would despise and then come to love.  Rachel Billington has kept with Jane’s vision of Emma.  She is full of her own self-importance and position in the community and blinded from seeing the value of the people around her.  Emma’s foibles are frustrating but as promised by Jane, she has capacity for goodness and is shamed into correcting herself.

Rachel Billington has been faithful to our Jane and I enjoyed Emma and Knightley very much.

Posted on 22 November '09 by , under Historical Fiction, Jane Austen & Austen Inspired, Reviews.

2 Comments to “Emma and Knightley – Book Review”

#1 Posted by Maria Grazia (27.11.09 at 00:38 )

You’re becoming an expert in JAne Austen’s sequels, I see! This must be really nice. It sounds great from what you say! Thanks for sharing , Michelle.

#2 Posted by Shannon (30.11.09 at 11:54 )

I recently purchased this one. Have yet to read it, though. But after reading your review, I think I’ll have to bump this one to next in line!