When fifteen-year-old Heather Jane Bell is diagnosed with alopecia and her hair starts falling out in clumps, she wants nothing more than to escape her home in London and disappear off the face of the earth.
Heather gets her wish when her concerned parents send her to stay with a great-aunt in West Yorkshire. But shortly after she arrives, Heather becomes lost on the moors and is swept through the mist back to the year 1833. There she encounters fifteen-year-old Emily Bronte and is given refuge in the Bronte Parsonage.
Unaware of her host family's genius and future fame, Heather struggles to cope with alopecia amongst strangers in a world foreign to her. While Heather finds comfort and strength in her growing friendship with Emily and in the embrace of the close-knit Bronte family, her emotions are stretched to the limit when she falls for Emily's brilliant but troubled brother, Branwell.
Will Heather find her way back to the comforts and conveniences of the twenty-first century? Or will destiny keep her in the harsh world of nineteenth-century Haworth?
I really love a good time travel book, especially if it is written well. This book does that and a bit more. Heather arrives in the 19th century with her 21st century clothes and look. Her relationship with Emily is sweet but complicated too as Emily Bronte is portrayed as a free spirit preferring to live among nature than among human companionship. However, her self sacrificing to spare her family hardshipsd is surprising too.
Heather's struggle with her disease of alopecia and her torment of it is relatable for anyone who has medical issue. I like how the author was able to write this problem into the story line as it is different than what many book authors would have chosen. Her struggle to keep it secret from a time period that would not understand is fantastic. What is even more interesting is how the Bronte's just accepted her weirdness to wear her beanie all the time. Considering this was set in a time period when women were expected to where bonnets, this was remarkable and a nice liberty on the author's part.
Heather's relationship with Branwell made for interesting fodder too. It was beautiful that he accepted and loved Heather the way he did but in the same sense, disappointing that they ultimately could not be together. As a reader, I felt sorry for Heather's loss of him but more so, what historically actually became of him.
One of the best things about this book was the author's use of Emily Bronte's actual words to begin each chapter. I loved the historical references and tie to those pieces.
Overall, a short novel but well written piece. A book well worth the read again and again. This book is a 5 star for sure!
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