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Emma A Modern Retelling by McCall Smith…
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Emma A Modern Retelling (original 2014; edition 2014)

by McCall Smith Alexander (Author)

Series: The Austen Project (3)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6514425,446 (3.24)48
"The summer after university, Emma Woodhouse returns home to the village of Highbury, where she will live with her health-conscious father until she is ready to launch her interior-design business and strike out on her own. In the meantime, she will do what she does best: offer guidance to those less wise in the ways of the world than herself. Happily, this summer brings many new faces to Highbury and into the sphere of Emma's not always perfectly felicitous council: Harriet Smith, a naive teacher's assistant at the ESL school run by the hippie-ish Mrs. Goddard; Frank Churchill, the attractive stepson of Emma's former governess; and, of course, the perfect Jane Fairfax. This Emma is wise, witty, and totally enchanting, and will appeal equally to Sandy's multitude of fans and the enormous community of wildly enthusiastic Austen aficionados"--… (more)
Member:Ruddman_and_Ratey
Title:Emma A Modern Retelling
Authors:McCall Smith Alexander (Author)
Info:The Borough Press (2014)
Collections:Your library
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Emma by Alexander McCall Smith (2014)

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» See also 48 mentions

English (43)  French (1)  All languages (44)
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
I found this to be an "ok" retelling, but not overly compelling. ( )
  chefp | Jul 26, 2020 |
I haven't read Jane Austen's "Emma" and it's been awhile since I've seen any of the movies based on it, so I didn't really have the story in mind for comparison. I'm used to the author's style from reading quite a few of his other books, so I was not surprised when he went on tangents. This was a pretty good story overall. ( )
  eliorajoy | Apr 27, 2019 |
I really like all Jane Austen's books... except Emma. I dislike the eponymous character and all her works and all her empty promises... oops, wrong allusion. So it was with curiosity and mild trepidation that I approached this book. Alexander McCall Smith, however, has done the impossible and given us an Emma whom I can like. Emma-the-rewrite is written in much the same style as the Scotland Street series. We flit from the mind of one character to another, privy to their reflections and interior monologues. Since AMS is an unusually kind and compassionate person, more so than many of us such as (for instance) Jane Austen, this approach gives us a very compassionate look at Emma's motivations and foibles and I found myself, if not totally in sympathy, at least more so than before. He also gives a great deal of backstory to Mr Woodhouse and again, I liked the character better for it. To understand all is to forgive all, or at least to forgive nearly all. ( )
  muumi | Apr 6, 2019 |
This was always going to be an interesting read for me in one sense or another. This books is a new version of Jane Austen’s Emma (a modernisation of each Austen novel was written for a Harper Collins series and this was the third of that series). Emma is not only my favourite Austen novel, but quite possibly my favourite novel of all time by any writer. I’m always intrigued by book and film remakes/reboots/reimaginings/retellings or the numerous other re-whatevers that are around so I sorted of looked forward to reading this, while also approaching with some trepidation.

Anyway…to condense the storyline for anyone who is not familiar, Emma Woodhouse is a privileged young lady who gets pleasure from trying to organise her friends lives and relationships, and fancies herself as an expert matchmaker. However, her meddling is about to result in a few life lessons learned for Emma…

Honestly, having finished this book I am not sure WHAT to make of it. I definitely didn’t hate it – McCall Smith has a gentle and genteel style of writing, which makes it easy reading, and this book more or less stays true to the original storyline. However, it never really sits well in the modern age. The characters still seem stuck in the original era, but whereas in Austen’s novel, there is sparkling wit and humour, and Emma seems quite a modern young lady, here she seems old-fashioned and something of a snob. Austen wrote that Emma was a heroine who nobody except herself would like (I actually love Emma’s character, flaws and all) and McCall Smith seems to have actually created this very Emma. There is nothing particularly warm about her, nothing to make the reader understand her or root for her, and attempts to remind us that it is set in the current day – mentions of modern technology, modern transport etc – do seem awkwardly shoehorned in, just to remind us that this is indeed a modern retelling. Thus, even if you take this as a novel on it’s own merits and try to block out thoughts of the original, it still doesn’t quite work.

I would have liked more Knightley in this one – he barely features – and less padding at the beginning; at almost 100 pages in and Harriet Smith still doesn’t warrant a mention!

So overall an interesting experience. I’m not disappointed that I read it, but I wouldn’t really recommend it to Austen lovers, unless like me, you’re curious to see how the story sits in a modern setting. ( )
  Ruth72 | Jan 27, 2019 |
Det kom ganska många böcker emellan. Den här var ganska långsam så det var lätt att välja andra före den här. Den var tvungen att hitta tillbaka till vi biblioteket för den här gången, kanske lånar jag den någon mer gång och läser klart den. Nu är den pausad på sidan 151.
  litetmonster | Jan 25, 2019 |
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alexander McCall Smithprimary authorall editionscalculated
Barsse, JocelyneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lyons, SusanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Dedication
For my daughters, Lucy and Emily
First words
Emma Woodhouse's father was brought into this world, blinking and confused, on one of those final nail-biting days of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Quotations
Was there something about her—some vaguely fragile quality—that made men fear that if they got too close to her, if they actually touched her, she would break? There were some people who gave one that impression: they were not made for the rough and tumble of ordinary life.
Disinclination to discuss a subject that needs to be discussed is never a solution: the topic merely assumes increasing prominence the longer it remains untouched.
She had felt it during their sparring, but now she felt the rawness that followed from the argument. Disagreements, even with people she knew, made her feel like that—shocked, perhaps, at the animus that can lie behind mere words.
Why should she care what he thought? Why should she bother if she had somehow fallen short of whatever standards he had mentally created for her?
"That's nothing to do with education, Pops. It's the culture. That's what happens. Isabella herself is losing her h's. When she comes here for the weekend, I find them all over the place once she leaves. Loads of them. Dropped with utter abandon."
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"The summer after university, Emma Woodhouse returns home to the village of Highbury, where she will live with her health-conscious father until she is ready to launch her interior-design business and strike out on her own. In the meantime, she will do what she does best: offer guidance to those less wise in the ways of the world than herself. Happily, this summer brings many new faces to Highbury and into the sphere of Emma's not always perfectly felicitous council: Harriet Smith, a naive teacher's assistant at the ESL school run by the hippie-ish Mrs. Goddard; Frank Churchill, the attractive stepson of Emma's former governess; and, of course, the perfect Jane Fairfax. This Emma is wise, witty, and totally enchanting, and will appeal equally to Sandy's multitude of fans and the enormous community of wildly enthusiastic Austen aficionados"--

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