Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Emma, vol. 5

The story: The circumstances behind William's parents first meeting and how they came to be married are revealed in this fifth volume, and all is explained behind why William's mother lives separately from the Jones family. While Emma and William begin corresponding, it seems that everyone is against their pairing, and are constantly encouraging them to cut off their relationship with one another. Meanwhile, Eleanor is wondering what happened to her fiancé and her parents are beginning to wonder, too.

Reaction: I was a little surprised to see the circumstances under which the Joneses had built their relationship and, later, their family. In many ways, it was sad, especially seeing the attachment between the younger Martha, a servant, and her mistress, Mrs. Jones. I also felt a little bad for Hans, one of the German servants in the Meredith household, who seems to have developed an unrequited crush of some sort on Emma.

Deep thoughts: During the flashback to the Joneses early relationship, it seemed that Mrs. Jones suffered from post-partum depression following the birth of her youngest child, Colin. She has a hard time concentrating, cries for no reason and suffers from other matters related to her "constitution." Of course, there's no definitive diagnosis, as the term wasn't coined until recently. Despite how hard she tries, it seems that she can't seem to get healthier. Because of this, Mr. Jones suggests "climatotherapy," the permanent or temporary relocation of a person to a more favorable climate. This treatment was used for a variety of ailments, including tuberculosis and asthma.

Artwork: I enjoyed the artwork in the flashbacks between the Joneses. Since it was a bit earlier in the Industrial Revolution, there are fewer modern technologies, such as the telephone. The character design is also beginning to grow on me a bit more, especially with the cast of characters in the Meredith household. I especially have a soft spot for the tall, dark and handsome Hans. While he seems to simply quietly brood, his interest in Emma is intriguing.

The verdict: Highly recommended. Now that there seems to be some kind of path that Emma and William are traveling along, I'm wondering if it will all work out or not. The romance between the two of them is not only beautiful in content, but also in design. Here's to hoping that everything works out between the unlikely pair. Emma is available in the U.S. from CMX.

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