Cover image for Emma's gift : a novel
Emma's gift : a novel
Kelly, Leisha.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Grand Rapids, Mich. : F.H. Revell, [2003]

Physical Description:
314 pages ; 22 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Adult Fiction Christian
X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
X Adult Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



In this sequel to Julia's Hope, two families discover the depth of God's faithfulness as together they face loss and grief in the midst of the Great Depression.

Author Notes

Prior to her untimely death in 2011, Leisha Kelly was the author of several bestselling historical fiction books, including Julia's Hope , Emma's Gift , and Katie's Dream . She served many years on her local library board and was active in the ministries of her church.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

In her sequel to Julia's Hope, Kelly once again offers a compellingly simple tale of faith, hardship and community during the Great Depression. Using two points of view-those of Julia Wortham and her husband, Samuel-Kelly unfolds a series of events that will leave Julia with more questions about her faith than answers. As her neighbor Wilametta Hammond draws her last breaths, Julia despairs of understanding how a God of love could allow Wilametta to die. More unexpected chaos follows. With Wilametta's 10 children motherless and George Hammond deranged with grief, Julia and Samuel try to pick up the pieces, caring for the children as best they can. But, "We were all broken. Beyond repair, it seemed," muses Julia. "And about to face God's own Christmas without a reason to rejoice." God is in the details in Kelly's novel-from the depictions of how a Depression-era rural Illinois community handles death to her competent regional dialogue. Her characters are multifaceted, including a non-Christian who is particularly endearing (although an expected conversion scene promptly follows). A few didactic passages at the end of the book summarize the message for readers, rather than letting them draw their own conclusions ("I found it's not so hard to love the unlovable..."). However, Kelly's warm descriptions of how friends prop each other up in the midst of devastating circumstances strike just the right note of redemption and hope, which should endear this novel to CBA fiction fans. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

On a bitter winter evening in 1931, Julia Wortham and Emma Graham, introduced in Julia's Hope, are called to help their deathly ill neighbor, a woman with ten children to raise. Unable to save Wilametta and staggering under the blow of another great loss, Julia finds her faith challenged and her will tested. She struggles to understand why God would allow Wilametta's ten children to become motherless, and is tormented by "a darkness clouding over me like I'd never known before, a deep, searing hurt that soaked through me like oil." Narrated by Julia and her husband, Samuel Wortham, in alternating chapters, Kelly's second novel features a gritty, authentic realism as well as a haunting, beautiful mood that enables readers to feel the characters' pain and rejoice when they overcome life's heartaches. Although it would be helpful to have read the first book, Emma's Gift can stand on its own. This title will have crossover appeal, and is highly recommended for most public libraries. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.