When tragedy strikes, Emma graciously welcomes the needy to her boarding house. But when two of these guests prove cantankerous, Emma wonders how she and the others will manage. Compounding the turmoil are legal problems that threaten her future. And after her lawyer makes a troubling announcement, Emma must rediscover the true source of her strength.
Now that I've been introduced to Emma and her little community of Candlewood in book one, I really enjoyed the return visit. Since all the ground work of characterization was laid so well, more time could be devoted to the story moving forward. This installment seemed to have a bit deeper meaning, as well. From learning to love the unloveable, facing fears and finding new purpose all in the midst of tragedy, Refining Emma shared poignant moments and gentle, thought-provoking lessons. Although Jan Karon's Mitford series still holds first place in my favorite book list, Delia Parr will now join this illustrious group of favorite authors. I don't want to give away a spoiler, but it was a relief and surprise to finally learn who the legal owner of Hill House was in this book. Also look for a new twist in Widow Garrett's relationship with her lawyer, Mr. Breckenwith. All in all, Refining Emma is a sweet story.