“Emily, Alone’’ is an honest, moving portrayal about what it’s like for a woman to grow old and feel forgotten. Author Stuart O’Nan first introduced readers to Emily Maxwell in his 2002 book, “Wish You Were Here,’’ which takes a microscopic view of three generations during their annual vacation at the family lake house. In this first book, Emily, who was recently widowed, deals with her grief as well as disappointment in her two grown children.
Seven years later, O’Nan revisits Emily, now in her 70s, in “Emily, Alone’’. She still lives in her Pittsburgh home where she and her husband raised their family. She rues the changes in her neighborhood, now that she is the only one left of the old gang. She longs for more visits from her family, but regretfully knows her opinionated personality over the years has built a wall that keeps her son and daughter at a distance, except for rare obligatory holiday gatherings. She grows weary of having to go to funerals of old friends.
Despite her loneliness, Emily surprises herself with new-found strength to face life head on. She takes care of her ailing, chain-smoking sister-in-law, Arlene, who used to chauffeur Emily around. She buys her first car on her own while getting over her trepidation of driving. She braves the snow to walk her beloved, elderly dog, Rufus. O’Nan has an uncanny talent of writing about the minute details of a single day from the character’s perspective. Readers will want to cheer Emily on, wanting her to keep making the most of her twilight years. Check our catalog