The girl followed the Alchemist from the time she was a child, her only wish was to please him and make him proud. She studied, she learned, she could speak and read several languages. She knew the Latin names of all the plants, trees and animals on the estate. She knew the properties of water and fire. She was Emilie Selden, the Alchemists daughter. He wrote of her each night in the Emilie Notebooks. She was his most interesting experiment, his crowning achievement and he loved her dearly. Her mother was a mystery to her. Her only inheritance from her mother, a bit of ribbon and the stark, isolated room in one of the unused portions of the manor. The region of England they lived in was very isolated and she was so naïve. Falling in love too easily, giving herself too freely, she found herself with child by a man she loved. His power over her was sensual and easily bought. Her father turned her away, banishing Emilie, her husband and her future child from Selden. She traveled to London where she strived to be the great lady her husband wished her to be. She loved him, trusted him, and was betrayed. The story is of her journey from childhood to woman she was to become. This is not the sort of book I usually read. To be honest, I saw it more as a high level romance novel. Though I enjoyed it, it didnt grab me and hold my attention like I thought it would. The blurb on the back cover talked of how she and her father were attempting to breathe live into dead matter. That was the story line that caught my attention. It was a great disappointment to me that so little of the book was actually about the experiment unless you see it in the symbolic sense.
I like this writer's style and will definately try another book by her but I felt the story never developed fully. Almost as if it was leading up to something but never got there. A decent read but not one of my favorites.
a woman sheltered since birth learns that knowledge is no substitute for experience. very well written