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Emma : A Modern Retelling
by Alexander Mccall Smith


Overview -

The best-selling author of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series deftly escorts Jane Austen s beloved, meddlesome heroine into the twenty-first century in this delightfully inventive retelling.
The summer after university, Emma Woodhouse returns home to the village of Highbury to prepare for the launch of her interior design business.  Read more...


 
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More About Emma by Alexander Mccall Smith
 
 
 
Overview

The best-selling author of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series deftly escorts Jane Austen s beloved, meddlesome heroine into the twenty-first century in this delightfully inventive retelling.
The summer after university, Emma Woodhouse returns home to the village of Highbury to prepare for the launch of her interior design business. As she cultivates grand plans for the future, she re-enters the household of her hypochondriac father, who has been living alone on a steady diet of vegetables and vitamin supplements. Soon Emma befriends Harriet Smith, the naive but charming young teacher s assistant at an English-language school run by the hippie-ish Mrs. Goddard. Harriet is Emma s inspiration to do the two things she does best: offer guidance to those less wise in the ways of the world and put her matchmaking skills to good use.
Happily, this summer presents abundant opportunities for her to do just that, as many friends, both old and new, are drawn into the sphere of Emma s occasionally injudicious counsel: Frank Churchill, the attractive stepson of Emma s former governess; George Knightley, Emma s brother-in-law and dear friend; the charming yet self-important Philip Elton; and, of course, the perfect (and perfectly vexing) Jane Fairfax.
Alexander McCall Smith s gentle satire and cozy, old-fashioned sensibility prove to be the perfect match for Jane Austen s wit and characters. Though carriages have been replaced by Mini Coopers and cups of tea with cappuccinos, Emma s story is wonderfully timeless.

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Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780804197953
  • ISBN-10: 0804197954
  • Publisher: Pantheon Books
  • Publish Date: April 2015
  • Page Count: 368


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Contemporary Women
Books > Fiction > Romance - Contemporary
Books > Fiction > Classics

 
BookPage Reviews

A modern British master's modern Austen

The Jane Austen we know is delicious enough on her own, but Austen filtered through the mind of Scottish author Alexander McCall Smith (The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency) could be the best of both possible worlds.

Smith’s Emma: A Modern Retelling is the latest installment in “The Austen Project,” which drafted six contemporary authors to retell Austen’s complete works. Here, he co-opts Austen’s titular heroine and introduces her to a modern setting, complete with the same plot turns and many of the same characters present in one form or another. Certainly unmistakable is Emma, Austen’s heroine, a born controller who believes (with unshakable certainty in both books) that other people’s happiness can be arranged for them and that she is just the one to do it.

Smith assumes some of Austen’s tone here, and his fans might miss his singular voice. Still, the plot is surefire (and tested), and somewhere along the way, the reader embraces the concept in its own right. This rewarding read is a fascinating pastiche of two of the most enjoyable writers in the British tradition.

 

This article was originally published in the April 2015 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
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