Review: Emily and Einstein: A Novel of Second Chances by Linda Francis Lee
Set in the famous Dakota apartment building on New York’s Upper West Side, Emily and Einstein by Linda Francis Lee is a surprisingly good novel which could have easily derailed into just so much fluff. What saves this book are the deeper meanings and significance the author imparts to the two main characters, Emily and her dog Einstein.
Emily Barlow is a feisty, hardworking young lady who experiences tragedy early in her married life. Emily’s husband, Sandy Portman, was a privileged young man whose family’s wealth and status landed him in the Dakota. We learn about his personality and background through the eyes of his wife and her dog, Einstein, which is rather strange. As the story progresses, Sandy turns out not to be a very good person.
After her husband’s sudden death, Emily picks up Einstein at the local animal shelter where she volunteers. Of course she is at a loss and grieving, but Einstein apparently senses her neediness and facilitates her eventual return to a new and improved outlook on life.
Out of necessity, I am leaving out key information that would be in the spoiler category. As I was saying…Not only does Emily have to deal with the loss of her husband, but she is being evicted by her mother-in-law from the fabulous apartment because Sandy never bothered to change the deed. Her work at a publishing firm is suffering, and her long lost sister Jordan descends and is basically no help.
The reader needs to suspend disbelief when reading Emily and Einstein, but the issues that arise about second chances, self-worth, and lots of karma are reality-based. A great sense of humor doesn’t hurt, either. I could have done without all the running scenes in Central Park where Emily is training for the New York Marathon, but it was something her husband had always wanted to do, so it did fit into the story line.
Lastly, thanks to the library patron who recommended this book. I owe you one.
I give Emily and Einstein 3 ½ Milk Bones.
Happy reading from Beverly!