cover image Courting Mr. Emerson

Courting Mr. Emerson

Melody Carlson. Revell, $15.99 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-0-8007-3527-2

Carlson (We’ll Meet Again) illustrates how love can come at any age in her heartfelt latest. George Emerson, a language arts teacher in his mid-50s, is a creature of habit who shaves with a straight-edge razor and doesn’t own a car or computer. When Willow “Wild” West shows up at his classroom unannounced to ask for a recommendation letter for her grandson Collin, who is one of his students, George agrees and Willow invites him to an art show at her gallery. Despite their contrasting personalities, the two become friends. The adventurous and faith-filled Willow is determined to loosen up the rigid and atheistic George and bring him back to God, but George is not interested. Despite his reluctance, George accepts an invite to Collin’s graduation party, where he mediates a family feud between Willow, Collin, and Collin’s long-lost mother, Josie, who has returned home. George helps the family fix up an apartment for Josie and gives Collin advice, but his relationship with Willow is complex. George resents her intrusion in his life, and Willow dislikes George’s outsize impact on Collin’s future. The two constantly fight and then apologize, but when a new man starts vying for Willow’s interest, George is forced to vocalize his feelings. Carlson reminds readers in this enjoyable tale that love and new experiences are not only for the young. (Mar.)