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Emma, Volume 1

Review

Emma, Volume 1

Emma is a demure lady's maid with a story that is all too familiar in Victorian London. Without any family of her own, Emma was raised by her mistress, an aging widow with a sharp tongue and a sly sense of humor. The old lady was once a governess for one of the city's richest merchant families, where she learned all the social niceties of the upper class and forged an uneasy bond with her young charge, William Jones.

When William, now a wealthy young man, stops by unannounced to visit his old teacher, he and Emma are immediately interested in each other, although Emma's training forbids her to express her feelings for a man of the upper class. Will, on the other hand, is only too wiling to let his feelings run away with him, even when friends, family, social custom and a glamorous rival for Emma's affections get in his way. Emma's equanimity is severely taxed as the young men of London shower her with gifts, visit her house astride elephants (really!) and interfere with her duties in every other possible way. Luckily, her wry and crotchety employer is keeping a sharp eye on the young lovers from the sidelines.

EMMA doesn't offer any easy answers to the charged question of forbidden love across social classes --- instead a sweet love story unfolds at a realistically slow pace. Kaoru Mori is a confessed fanatic about British history and social customs, and her love of the time period and exhaustive research really show. Emma's story is one of drawing rooms, street corners, attics and ballrooms, and each is drawn with fascinating precision and detail.

Reviewed by Alison Kotin on October 18, 2011

Emma, Volume 1
by Kaoru Mori

  • Publication Date: September 20, 2006
  • Genres: Manga
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: CMX
  • ISBN-10: 1401211321
  • ISBN-13: 9781401211325