Title: Courting Mr. Emerson
Author: Melody Carlson
Release Date: March 5, 2019
When the fun-loving and spontaneous artist Willow West meets buttoned-up, retired English teacher George Emerson, it’s not exactly love at first sight. Though she does find the obsessive-compulsive man intriguing. Making it her mission to get him to loosen up and embrace life, she embarks on what seems like a lost cause–and finds herself falling for him in the process.
A confirmed bachelor, George vacillates between irritation and attraction whenever Willow is around–which to him seems like all too often. He’s not interested in expanding his horizons or making new friends; it just hurts too much when you lose them.
But as the summer progresses, George feels his defenses crumbling. The question is, will his change of heart be too late for Willow?
With her signature heart and touches of humor, fan favorite Melody Carlson pens a story of two delightfully eccentric characters who get a second chance at life and love.
The first thing you should know is that the main characters are in their fifties. Although that did not bother me, it might be a deal-breaker for some. If you’ve seen the movie with Jack Nicholson, “As Good as it Gets”, then you have a good idea of what you’ll find in this book. I was rather confused as to why George is retiring from his teaching position when he is only fifty-five. Even though he’d been teaching for thirty years, fifty-five seems young for retirement since he truly loved his job. That’s really beside the point. Let me get back on track.
George and Willow might be the stars of the show, but the secondary characters make quite an impressive appearance which helps to broaden the scope of the story. In the beginning chapters, George tells us that his students have likened him to Rowan Atkinson’s “Mr. Bean” character. Since I have been a fan of Mr. Bean for several years, the connection endeared me to George from the get-go.
Enter Willow, the sweet, quirky, widow who is determined to pull George out of his stuck-in-the-mud ways. Willow has her own problems, including a grown daughter with narcissistic tendencies. Willow’s messy life is the opposite of what George wants. With his OCD tendencies and need to escape the things that overwhelm him, George finds himself trying to keep his distance while wishing he could step closer.
It was interesting to see the interactions between Willow and George. She pushes and he runs. She apologizes and they do it all over again. Slowly, George begins to accept some changes. I have to say it, it’s been bugging me and causing a nervous tic. George is an English professor with OCD…having the title on the book written the way it is (in all lowercase) would have sent him off the rails.
Overall, I thought Courting Mr. Emerson was a very sweet read. With a simple, engaging plot and minimal romance, it kept me entertained. I had a few eyebrow lifting moments over their discussions of religion, but I’ll leave my personal feelings out of it and let you make up your own mind.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to leave a review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.