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Miss Emily by Nuala O’Connor 📚 a book review ❤️

December 21, 2015

Ever since visiting the Emily Dickinson homestead in Amherst Massachusetts in the US, I have loved the poetry of Emily Dickinson even more. Visiting her home, seeing the inspiration for her poetry, her garden, her kitchen, her real life.

I have read many books about Emily in the past, most of them quite long biographies filled with numerous facts about the great lady herself, but I couldn’t find a book which would tell me about what Emily was like as a person. Afterall she was a person with feelings, emotions, likes and dislikes. That is until I came across ‘Miss Emily by Nuala O’Connor.’


Miss Emily is a story which brings Emily Dickinson to life before our very eyes. It is a book which transports us back to Amherst in rural Massachusetts in the 1800’s. 

The Story –

Emily lives in the beautiful homestead set in the lush gardens she cares for and adores with her family. She loves to bake. 

The story is told through the eyes of eighteen year old Irish maid Ada Concannon who has just been hired by the eccentric yet highly respected Dickinson family of Amherst. 

Ada has left behind her family in her native Ireland and has traveled millions of miles to the United States to take up the role of maid to this family she knows little about. But she strikes up an unexpected friendship with the elder daughter of the house Emily. 

Emily is a spinster living at home who has an amazing way with words. Emily’s life is being overtaken by her love of words and poetry, she wears only white and will not leave her home. However when Ada’s reputation and safety are threatened it is Emily who must help her friend and face her demons.


An absolutely amazing book you will just devour. If you are a fan of Emily Dickinson’s poetry or if you have visited her home and want to make what you saw come to life. This is the book for you.

I’ve already read it twice and plan to read it again! I cannot wait to see it on the big screen one day.

Nuala O’Connor has an amazing way with words and paints a lifelike story through her writing. Not only do we learn about how Emily lived we also learn about life in the United States at that time.

I will leave you with a favourite poem of mine by the great Miss Emily –
Hope is a thing with feathers –

That perches in the soul –

And sings the tune without the words –

And never stops – at all – “

Miss Emily is available to purchase on amazon & in bookshops. Find out more about Nuala O’Connor here. Miss Emily is her third novel –


From → Book club, Books

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