Jan 30, 2015

Book Beginning: AMHERST by William Nicholson

The Friday 56: *Grab a book, any book. *Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader  *Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you. *Post it. *Add your (url) post in Linky at Freda's Voice. Also visit Book Beginnings at Rose City Reader.
Amherst by William Nicholson, bo be published February 10, 2015 by Simon and Schuster.

Book beginning:
The screen is black. The sound of a pen nib scratching on paper, the sound amplified, echoing in the dark room A soft light flickers, revealing ink tracking over paper. Follow the forming letters to read: 
I've none to tell me to but thee 
The area of light expands. A small maplewood desk, on which the paper lies. A hand holding the pen.
My hand, my pen, my words. My gift of love, ungiven. 

page 56:
"It's so like you to want to build a graveyard," his wife said to him. "Why are we to be always thinking about death?"
Book description:... a novel about two love affairs set in Amherst—one in the present, one in the past, and both presided over by Emily Dickinson.

Alice Dickinson, a young advertising executive in London, decides to take time off work to research her idea for a screenplay: the true story of the scandalous, adulterous love affair that took place between a young, Amherst college faculty wife, Mabel Loomis Todd, and the college’s treasurer, Austin Dickinson, in the 1880s. Austin, twenty-four years Mabel’s senior and married, was the brother of the reclusive poet Emily Dickinson, whose house provided the setting for Austin and Mabel’s trysts.

Alice travels to Amherst, staying in the house of Nick Crocker, a married English academic in his fifties. As Alice researches Austin and Mabel’s story and Emily’s role in their affair, she embarks on her own affair with Nick, an affair that, of course, they both know echoes the affair that she’s writing about in her screenplay.

Interspersed with Alice’s complicated love story is the story of Austin and Mabel, historically accurate and meticulously recreated from their voluminous letters and diaries. Using the poems of Emily Dickinson throughout, Amherst is an exploration of the nature of passionate love, its delusions, and its glories. This novel is playful and scholarly, sexy and smart, and reminds us that the games we play when we fall in love have not changed that much over the years.

What do you think? Is this a novel for you, as a reader?


  1. This does not look like a book I would like but thanks for sharing.

  2. I have a love for Emily Dickinson that sometimes flares up unexpectedly so I'd love to read this book since you've rekindled it with this post! I absolutely love the beginning so I'm definitely putting this one on my TBR list! Thanks for sharing :) I hope you enjoy your weekend!
    My Friday memes post
    Juli @ Universe in Words

  3. Oh, I love books set in different time periods...and that cover, as well as the Emily Dickinson references, sold me. Thanks for sharing...and here's mine: “JUBILEE’S JOURNEY”

  4. I sounds like a book that I would love. I love historical fiction and when you use historical people intermingled with modern people to create a story, that is my kind of book!

  5. I enjoy books where two stories intertwine, especially if the stories are from different eras, so this sounds like a book I'd like. I'll be watching for its release.
    My Friday post features A DARK & STORMY KNIGHT.

  6. Amherst sounds very engaging, Harvee. It's an interesting way to bring in the poems of Emily Dickinson. I'm enjoying the new colors of your blog.

  7. I'm not a huge Emily Dickinson fan but I love the sounds of all the intertwined plots and mysteries of the past. I look forward to seeing your review of it but just based on this it's definitely a book I would look for.

  8. The two stories concept sounds interesting but I don't think this is for me. Then again, catch me in the right mood and I'd pick it up.

    Ny 56 - http://fuonlyknew.com/2015/01/30/the-friday-56-50-strings/

  9. A little morbid, but suspenseful. Sounds good.
    Happy weekend!

  10. I love the opening of this book. It is so well written and it draws the reader in.

    I do also like the fact that the narrative is integrated with with Dickinson's poems.

  11. It sounds good. I love the cover.

    I hope it is enjoyable.

    Have a great reading week.

    Silver's Reviews
    My Book Beginnings


I love getting comments and your thoughts...