The book Embracing Emily is an autobiographical novel. The characters in the book are informed by various people living in the authors life. The following photo gallery is to introduce you—the reader, perspective reader, or other interested website visitor—to the characters living within the book; or in other words, some of the tribe and family of H Reese Scott.
Embracing Emily is first and foremost about the Morrison family.
Holly Morrison aka H Reese Scott, was raised in Pennsylvania. Holly was one of four children. But, for the sake of limiting the characters in her book, the author created a composite character to reflect all of her sibs—Jeannine, her oldest sister; Tim, her younger brother; and Heather, her baby sister, were rolled into a character known to the reader as Elizabeth. The author was able to do this in spite of the different genders of her sibs without changing the essence of her story. After graduating from boarding school, Holly (H Reese Scott) moved to Takoma Park, Maryland. where she subsequently met and married her husband, John Morrison; who while living within Embracing Emily, is known as Lucca.
Over the following twenty years, four children were born into this family. On July 26, 1973, Morgan Heather, known as Alison in her book incarnation, was born. Slightly less than four years later, on May 20th, Jonathan William—known as Paul to the reader—was born. Than after nearly a seven year span, on April 22, 1984, Jessica Britt joined the clan. Jessica has a leading role in the book, since she and her younger sister, Erin, joined their mother in leaving the United States and living in the Eastern European countries of Estonia and Latvia, after their father’s death in 1993. Jessica’s name in the book is Savannah Blue. Her nickname is Savi. This name was chosen because, in her non-book life, Jessica’s best friend’s name is Savithri; Savithri’s nickname is Savi. Erin’s name in the book is Angelina Rose. This name was chosen because Erin looks like a miniature of her grandmother, Angelina; and Grandma’s delightful older sister’s name was Rose.
After several years of living in Eastern Europe, the author met and married Egils Grikis. They created a home—restoring the upper half of a 100 year-old house—in Riga, Latvia, where they live with their family and two cats, Bianca and Michael – both of whom inform the character of Iggy. To celebrate their first year together, they took Jessica and Erin on a camping trip across Western Europe. This family survived five weeks in one tent; biking hundreds of kilometers; driving throughout a dozen countries.
Charlie, the stuffed bear that accompanied Angelina Rose on all of her journeys in Embracing Emily goes by the same name in his non-book life.
There are many people represented in the book. But the following pictures are a few of those special folks. Bette, is one of the author’s longest term friends. This friendship dates back to 1965. The character of Geneva is strongly informed by Bette—although some of this character is informed by Lynda, another close friend. Avto, one of the author’s friends in Tartu, is known as Ilia.
The life created by the author has been rich with life experiences—some joyful and others … One of those experiences: saying good bye–
A footnote: In the fall of 2002, the author and her husband rented a car and drove out of Riga to the Latvian countryside to see the turning leaves. They stopped for a late lunch at a small cafe in a 14th century castle in the town of Jaunpils. While awaiting their food, Holly thought it would be lovely to capture the stone room, in which they were dining, on camera. The room was lit by candles, so Holly decided to take two shots, without a flash, hoping to capture the golden glow of the candlelight reflecting off the stone chamber walls. She waited until the waiter was in the kitchen, to avoid any motion that might affect her focus; then carefully leaning on her elbows, she took two pictures. The room in front of her (within the eye of the camera) was absolutely empty. When they returned home that evening and viewed the photos, it appeared that they caught more than the golden glow of the candles. You decide: is the dim light in the room playing tricks; or is the upstairs maid, from centuries before, still scurrying around; perhaps preparing for guests (this was the author’s guess)?