cover image All About Emily

All About Emily

Connie Willis. Subterranean (, $20 (96p) ISBN 978-1-59606-452-2

Willis (Blackout/All Clear) works sweet, sentimental magic in this charming novella. Broadway star Claire Havilland realizes that her best youthful roles are behind her and being called a “legend” is career killing. Enter perky teen whirlwind Emily, an avid fan of Claire’s with startlingly perfect recall for movie details. Claire wants nothing to do with Emily after realizing her true and potentially sinister nature, fearing that Emily, like the ruthless actress Eve Harrington in All About Eve, will replace Claire despite the girl’s protests to the contrary. But eventually Claire succumbs to Emily’s wide-eyed charm, and she decides to try to help Emily achieve her heart’s greatest desire. This low-key paean to intergenerational collaboration and passionate ambition, stuffed with film and theater references, will appeal to Willis fans, drama buffs, and anyone who likes having their heartstrings tugged. (Jan.)