Short review: Being Emily by Anne Donovan

Being Emily Being Emily by Anne Donovan

Being Emily is all about one Scots girl, Fiona, who is obsessed with Emily Bronte. Fiona has been living the normal life, with mum, da, lezzie aunt, brother Patrick (later gay Patric)and the two terrible twins, until mum suddenly died at childbirth and Fiona's life takes a turn for the worse.

Da breaks down, takes to drinking. One day he nearly burns all alive in their tenement house, if Fiona hasn't the sense to wake from the smoke and, remembering her fire training, guide everyone out of the burning building.

At school she's a couple with Jas Singh, who is into photography. He influences her decision to go with Art studies after school. Amrik, the older brother, comes into the picture. Fiona simply falls for his beauty - simple pure lust, I say.

She never had sex with Jas but she's willing and gagging for it with Amrik, and getting preggers into the bargain. Luckily (or unluckiy for her, as she really wanted Amrik's baby, as she realises in retrospect) she has a miscarriage. Nobody in the family knows.

From this experience she finds herself frightened for one of the twins, who gets preggers by the 2-syllable boyfriend. Fiona and Amrik split, because he can't stay on in Scotland and wants to go play his sitar in London.

Later they accidentally met up again, when she is staying in London with now successful Patric, while she's putting up her student art exhibition. Back home in Scotland she finds out Amrik is bi, and with Patric. Will Amrik break Patric's heart, like he did hers?

Throughout the book we watch Fiona grow up, fall in love, learn about relationships and life. Like Emily Bronte's heroine, Fiona has to learn and find out who her real love is. Quite an absorbing and easy read, even with all the weird Scots slang and words like 'maire' for 'more', 'inteddy' for 'into the'.

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