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Emily Franklin

Author of Jenna & Jonah's Fauxmance

24+ Works 1,088 Members 66 Reviews

About the Author

Includes the name: Emily Franklin, editor


Works by Emily Franklin

Jenna & Jonah's Fauxmance (2011) — Author — 141 copies
The Half-life of Planets (2010) 117 copies
The Principles of Love (2005) 98 copies
The Lioness of Boston (2023) 70 copies
The Other Half of Me (2007) 62 copies
Liner Notes (2003) 60 copies
Piece, Love, and Happiness (2005) 54 copies
At Face Value (2008) 52 copies
Love From London (2006) 46 copies
Summer of Love (2007) 33 copies
Labor of Love (2007) 32 copies
The Girls' Almanac (2006) 30 copies
All You Need is Love (2006) 24 copies
Lessons in Love (2008) 23 copies
Balancing Acts (2007) 17 copies
Slippery Slopes (2007) 11 copies
Off the Trails (2008) 10 copies
Tell Me How You Got Here (2021) 2 copies

Associated Works

Crush: 26 Real-lifeTales of First Love (2011) — Contributor — 22 copies
Because I Love Her (2009) — Contributor — 14 copies
Walking the Edge: A Southern Gothic Anthology (2016) — Contributor — 8 copies


Common Knowledge



Isabella Stewart Gardner moves to Boston as a young wife with her husband, Jack, and attempts to make her way in the social milieu. She is a opinionated woman who doesn't always fit in, and as written by Franklin, struggles with feeling left out and less than quite a bit before she begins to make her own group of friends and find her way of making her mark through collecting.

This biographical fiction covers the years 1861 to 1903 when the now-famous Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum was open to the public. Interspersed is the Prologue and "Intermezzos" written by Isabella in 1924 to an unnamed friend with instructions to burn letters and leave everything in the museum untouched, as well as reflecting on events from a more mature perspective. The beginning chapters, focusing on only four years, are the most detailed and cohesive; after that, I began to feel like I was just reading vignettes in each chapter, glimpses of a life and imagined letters rather than a whole, complete story. I suppose that's part of the difficulty in writing about Isabella herself - she did indeed burn letters, but left the museum as she had curated it to the city of Boston as her legacy.

Franklin chooses to focus a lot on Isabella's imagined desires, whether for a child, or friendship, or in an affair, and I found myself impatient in the repetition of her feelings of lacking when she seems to me such a bold figure who didn't really care what other people thought. Because less time is spent on her later years, this woman is less clear than the youthful one unsure of her place in society. There's also no mention of her husband Jack's paying someone to fight the Civil War in his place, the fact that some of the art she acquired was smuggled, or the moral questions of whether national treasures should become part of a personal collection (indeed, the actual accumulation of the art is described mostly in letters, without a lot of details given). These, to me, would have made much more interesting reading.
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bell7 | 2 other reviews | Feb 19, 2024 |
This is an indepth look at high society in Boston and how Isabella Stewart Gardner did not fit it. She bet out the snobs. In the end, she had her own very impressive museum that stands today!

A wonderful story of snobs that looked down on her. She didn't fit in, and while originally it bothered her, she decised to live her own life on her own terms.

Sadly, her only child, a little boy, died at age two. Her grief was sever. She travled to Asia and throughout Europe, where she became froms with Henry Janes, John Singer Sargent and Oscar Wilde as well as a host of other notables.

She was quite eccentric and lived life as she saw it. She was indeed a trailablaizer, particularly in the art world where she began to collect many incredible paitings for her museum, still standing today in Boston, MA. She was painted by Sargent. Skipping the pinkies in the air society, after knowing she was not going to, nor did she want to belong to them, as the author notes, she was so interesting that she once walked a pair of lions in the Boston Public Garden!

Tragically in 1990, theives portraying as police entered her beautiful museum and took away with paintings that could never be replaced.

I very much liked this book, but felt it seemed to ramble mid way. In my opinion there were too many pages of repetitive events. I would have rated the book higher if not for the tendency to rooam too much.

3.5 stars
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Whisper1 | 2 other reviews | Feb 17, 2024 |
Kind of a memoir-as-novel, built around a cross-country road trip in which a mother and adult daughter redefine their relationship via a collection of mix tapes defining different periods in the daughter’s life. It’s an interesting device, but an ultimately limiting one, as the symbolism of the various tapes will be unclear to anyone not familiar with the artists and titles. There’s a rich portrait of the evolution of a family here, but Franklin loses points for a predictable, even sappy, ending.… (more)
LyndaInOregon | 3 other reviews | Jan 15, 2024 |
This historical novel details the remarkable life of a real life woman, Isabella Stewart Gardner. Originally from New York, Isabella marries her friend's brother from Boston and finds herself isolated from the stuffy, stratified society of the city's elite. Not only is Isabella an outsider but her interests in science and nature and her eccentric tastes further isolate her. After the tragic death of her only child, and extensive travel in Europe and Asia, Isabella determines to chart her own course in Boston society. This builds up to her creating her gift to the city, a unique museum of the artwork she collected over the decades.

Isabella acquires her own coterie of friends including many intellectual luminaries of the Athens of America as well as figures known worldwide such as Henry James, John Singer Sargent, and Oscar Wilde. There's a lot of name-dropping in this book! From what I know of Gardner's life, the novel follows her basic life trajectory. The text includes a number of letters between Gardner and her correspondents and while her real correspondence exists in great quantity, author Emily Franklin made these letters up to serve her narrative. Even better is the dialogue among Gardner and her famous friends which no one could know precisely, but I believe is true to life if not strictly factual.
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1 vote
Othemts | 2 other reviews | Jul 26, 2023 |



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