And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard
Emily Beam is in a Boarding School for girls in Massachusetts. It is probably due to the fact that her once boyfriend Paul came into the school with a stolen gun and threatened Emily and then took his own life. It is probably due to the pregnancy.
Now Emily, left with the guilt of ending the relationship and the anger for feeling guilty. She is not quick to make friends with her dark personality but soon finds that a couple of the girls just won’t shake off so easy. While Emily is not sharing her tragic story with anyone, it slowly comes out in her writing and her poetry. As Emily seeks for solace in the once home of Emily Dickinson that is open for tours just down the street from the boarding school… together it seems the two Emily’s – one in flesh and one in spirit heal together in this strange and uncertain world.
I chose this book initially for two reasons. One, I love that Emily Dickinson is part of the story and that they put the home that she wrote in close to where Emily Beam stays. Two, I adore this cover… a cover like this – could go many directions but I see a closed off, angry and uncertain girl who at the same time is trying hard to look like she is holding it all together.
I can not say I loved this book. The topics are heavy from teen pregnancy, to suicide, to abortion. I listened to this book on audio and at a little under 6 hours, it just felt too heavy for my liking. Emily was not a character I felt for, most of the characters fell flat, to the point that other than the main character and the boyfriend Paul, I could not name another character int he book right now if I needed to.
This book may be a better fit for young adults, but I question if even they too would find it heavy and not of the quality and engagement of much on today’s YA reads. The book had potential but never quite found it.
Narration by Erin Spenser was very good.
- Listening Length: 5 hours and 53 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Listening Library
- Audible.com Release Date: July 8, 2014