The Masters Review Blog

Aug 29

August Book Review: Learned by Heart by Emma Donoghue

In our final book review of August, reviewer Lauren Finkle digs into Emma Donoghue’s new Learned by Heart, a novel based on the true story of Anne Lister and Eliza Raine. “To give [Raine] a voice, in the absence of a large historical record or a personal diary like Anne’s, is one of Learned by Heart’s biggest successes,” Finkle writes. “Learned by Heart is a brilliant novel, and one that’s especially resonant as the LGBTQ+ community is being increasingly attacked and endangered.” Read the full review at the link below.

“And I ask myself why the present tense is the only one that matters. Can’t the past be a sort of present too, if I plunge into memory and swim like a fish? Since every moment is fleeting, gone as soon as noted, so perhaps past, present, and future are all thin slices of reality, all flickering, all equally (in some sense) true.”

Learned by Heart by Emma Donoghue is a novel based on the real relationship between Eliza Raine, an orphaned heiress sent to England from India to live with strangers, and Anne Lister, an diarist who is known today for her five-million-word coded journals that frankly depict her romantic relationships with women.

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