Taken from a Christian point of view, it was somewhat miserable to read. Just as movies today portray Christians as superstitious and sentimental and mentally deficient, Emma Darwin is shown as a woman swayed primarily by emotion and feeling who, later in life, largely casts off her Christian faith. From the beginning, her theology was riddled with faulty doctrine – she rejected the Trinity, knowingly married a man who was not a believer, and based her faith almost solely on the hope that she would be reunited in the afterlife with a beloved sister who died young. However, it was Emma's Christianity and Charles' theories rejecting a Creator God which this book's conflict centered on.
Even knowing that her husband's theories rejected the God she believed in, Emma supported and encouraged Darwin throughout their lives. They had a strong marriage and were very devoted to each other, and Emma gave herself to caring for her home and family, and keeping a joyful spirit and a warm heart. The Darwin home was very unlike the typical Victorian family, as the many rambunctious children were very close with their parents and never restricted to the nursery.
I wasn't sorry to read this book for its historical value (which, having never explored Darwin's past before, I can only assume is accurate.) However, with its purported focus on how Christianity and godless evolution coexisted (with one finally taking the upper hand), the book utterly failed to acknowledge Christianity as anything more than a collection of nice stories for quiet people. Should I have expected more? Perhaps not, but it would have been nice.