Ask Morgana 222: ‘An Air That Kills’ – killer review!
The following review recently appeared on the Readers’ Favourite review site. Thank you, Chris-Jean Clarke:
An Air that Kills by Morgana Somerville is told from Emma Hendry, a lowly chamber maid’s point of view. The story initially shows the class divide between Emma and her young Edwardian mistress, Miss Alicia, and accurately portrays each in their given roles. However, this is not an everyday tale of life in Edwardian times. Instead Morgana Somerville chooses to create a little controversy for her readers by having Emma and Miss Alicia gradually beginning to enjoy each other’s company and slowly letting their facades slip. It is at this point that Morgana Somerville is able to draw the reader in and make them believe that it would not only be feasible for Alicia and Emma to develop feelings of intimacy for each other, but to accept without question when the girls decide to take their relationship to the next level sexually.
I applaud Morgana Somerville that she did not just wrap the story up at this point, but continued to explore how other factors could affect the girls’ relationship with each other, and, albeit a short read, I believe An Air That Kills is still very profound as it spans many topics which could generate further discussion or debate. For example, the book explores how each of the girls would react when it came time for them to meet other partners (male and female) from their own social class and whether their relationship could withstand the test of time, including Miss Alicia’s long term illness caused by the effect of the London Blitz and Emma’s rape. I would recommend An Air That Kills to readers 18+ as Morgana Somerville depicts in detail the sexual acts between Alicia and Emma, and Emma and her lover on the island of Lesbos. However, I would also hasten to add that these scenes add depth to the story and its characters, rather than distract from it.