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Reviewed in the United States on November 17, 2012
Having been a fan of D. E. Stevenson since the 1960s, and repeatedly enjoyed every available word, I was thrilled to find this 'new' novel, found by her granddaughter among her personal effects. For whatever reason she never offered this for publication, it is the genuine article. I would love to see this made available to a wider audience on Kindle. There was not a disappointing moment, from suspense to sincerity and romance.
3.0 out of 5 starsUnpublished manuscript published
Reviewed in the United States on October 16, 2017
Very simply written. Not as fleshed out as her other stories. Decent plot. Perhaps the best part of the book was the glimpse from a granddaughter into the life of the Peploe family in real life in the introduction.
5.0 out of 5 starsIt's D.E. Stevenson, so you know it's good!
Reviewed in the United States on August 17, 2013
I love D.E. Stevenson! So I was thrilled to find one that I hadn't read before. While this is a simpler storyline, it has elements that appear in her later works. And it's an enjoyable read - which is redundant because I've already said it's D.E. Stevenson.
The manuscript of this novel was recently found in a large cardboard box by one of Ms. Stevenson's grand-daughters. It seems to date from before her first published novel, PETER WEST (1923), there is no evidence it was ever submitted to publishers, and I think it is best viewed as a kind of preliminary exercise in the writing of romance fiction. It is far more conventional and cliche-ridden than her later works, and yet there are still many characteristic touches. Dysfunctional family, check. Woman who escapes the horrors of that family by establishing a successful career as an author, check. Character who knows nothing about his parents, check. Loving descriptions of the Scottish landscape, check. Shallow, vain female characters who create endless misery for everyone else, check. Bohemian painter, check.
Ms. Stevenson herself in her later novels invented a fictitious author of conventional romances, Janetta Walters. Her books are frequently mentioned by other characters in a number of Stevenson's novels, who usually either hate them or love them. The less educated or intelligent characters love them, the more educated and intelligent characters despise them. I found the best way to appreciate EMILY DENNISTOUN was to imagine it was written by Janetta Walters, rather than by D. E. Stevenson.
By the way, it is easy to find a new copy of this attractively printed and bound trade paperback, at the original price, by doing just a bit of searching on the internet.
I am a long time fan of D. E. Stevenson, and I am delighted that this and other books not published during her life time have been found and published. While not her very best, it is still a delightful and interesting read. A look into life in England/Scotland in the 1930's.
I am sorry one can't buy them directly from Amazon at a reasonable price, try direct from the publisher or from other on line book sellers, who sell Anglophile Books.