Study Guide

Emmaline Wilson in Dancing on the Edge

By Han Nolan

Emmaline Wilson

An aging newspaper deliveryman and a young gospel singer don't exactly scream love story to us, but there's no denying that Emmaline Wilson is Granddaddy Opal's girlfriend—and when she comes into his life, Miracle scores the presence of another sane adult in hers.

According to Miracle, Emmaline has "a voice so rich and strong she could topple the National Geographic towers without moving anything but her mouth" (10.19). This is cool when she's singing, but it doesn't exactly work in social situations—she talks way too loudly, and she isn't even "good at whispering" (18.8), which is how Miracle finds out about Granddaddy Opal's additional heart attack while Emmaline visits her in the hospital.

But while Emmaline might be kind of a loudmouth, one thing's for sure—she has a good heart. In the chaos during the tornado, she's the only person who can bring Miracle peace. When she begins to sing, "The whole room felt charged with her high-voltage voice" (10.44), and she gives Miracle the courage to dance, even if it means revealing her secret to Gigi. She also throws herself on top of Miracle to protect her when the tornado hits, giving Miracle a taste of affection in a world where she doesn't have much.

Uncle Toole may not be too thrilled about Emmaline's relationship with Granddaddy Opal, but Uncle Toole's kind of a tool, and we can totally see why Granddaddy Opal and Miracle would be taken with Emmaline's kindhearted personality.