Courting Emma Howe

Margaret Robinson, Author Adler & Adler Publishers $16.95 (203p) ISBN 978-0-917561-44-3
In her first novel, Robinson tells an appealing, old-fashioned love story. Nobody in her corner of Vermont believes that Emma Howe, with her great horse teeth and her dimity demeanor, will ever catch a beau, but out in North Falls, Wash., the homesteader Arthur Smollett is making plans with marriage in mind. His eye caught by her poem about bloodroot in the magazine Nature's Friends, he sends Emma a fan letter (""You should see the bloodroot out here''), their correspondence flowers, and soon he is suggesting that she travel West. Over the stony resistance of her familyespecially her beloved fathershe makes the arduous, turn-of-the-century train trip only to discover at journey's end that Arthur has not come to meet her. When Arthur, late and apologetic, tracks her down, they are distant with each other, Emma disappointed in Arthur's appearance and style, Arthur uncertain how to make amends: ardor, so long nurtured, cools. Spunky, capable Emma makes a place for herself in the community, occasionally walking out with Arthur and slowly learning to love him. They do indeed marry, but sexual ineptitude estranges them. This plainspoken, robust and engaging narrative relates the way in which Emma and Arthur finally achieve marital harmony. (December 9)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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