Redesigning Emma is set in turn of the century (1899) New York and is the story of Emma Ludwig, milliner extraordinaire. The backdrop is created with actual events and characters from this era for which the author did a lot of research. This sets Redesigning Emma apart from the run of the mill romances you might come across otherwise.
Emma makes hats. Along with her friend Addie, she has a shop in the Ladies’ Mile and struggles to make it to the big league. She sells some hats to Emily Post and is confident this will make her famous in New York’s four hundred. Emma runs into Guy Rogers on the Staten Island ferry, a ‘meet-cute’ if ever there was one. Guy wants to go to the Wild West and stake out some land. He asks for Emma’s hand and heads to Oregon.
Meanwhile, Emma’s brother is in trouble. Paul Kelly, a local gang leader, bails him out. He also pays attention to Emma. Kid Blink is gathering the news boys to protest against the big wigs. And Emma is all for it. Events transpire such that Emma sees her dreams realized only to find them dashed to the ground. Do either of the men wooing her really love her?
I loved reading about New York in 1899 – the famous people, the places they went to, the things they ate and the clothes they wore! Redesigning Emma is a sweet romance, but the background sets it apart and makes it a fantastic turn of century tale worth reading. Fully recommended!