Emma: A Modern Retelling
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Published:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group 2015
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Description

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 naïve 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 Though carriages have been replaced by Mini Coopers and cups of tea with cappuccinos, Emma's story is wonderfully timeless.

From the Hardcover edition.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
04/07/2015
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780804197960
ASIN:
B00N6PEOT4
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      • bioText: ALEXANDER McCALL SMITH is the author of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, the Isabel Dalhousie series, the Portuguese Irregular Verbs series, the 44 Scotland Street series, and the Corduroy Mansions series. He is professor emeritus of medical law at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and has served with many national and international organizations concerned with bioethics. He was born in what is now known as Zimbabwe and was a law professor at the University of Botswana. He lives in Scotland.
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Emma
fullDescription

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 naïve 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.



From the Hardcover edition.
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: People Magazine
      • content: "McCall Smith brings all the wit and deft characterization of his No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series to this reimagining of Jane Austen's classic. . . . The lessons and pleasures of her tale are timeless."
      • premium: False
      • source: Brigitte Weeks, The Washington Post
      • content: "With his fluent, soothing prose . . . [McCall Smith] takes Jane's characters and invites them warmly into our world. . . . We like his Emma, a contemporary small-town girl who worries over dinner parties, pours gin and tonics and drives a Mini Cooper--much to the delight of her friend Harriet. . . . Jane Austen is incomparable, but if she were still with us, I can see her hastily tucking away her handwritten notes and extending her hand to Mr. McCall Smith."
      • premium: False
      • source: BookPage
      • content: "The Jane Austen we know is delicious enough on her own, but Austen filtered through the mind of Scottish author Alexander McCall Smith could be the best of both possible worlds. . . . 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. . . . This rewarding read is a fascinating pastiche of two of the most enjoyable writers in the British tradition."
      • premium: False
      • source: Kirkus Reviews
      • content: "[McCall Smith's] latter-day Emma possesses all the youth and beauty and a good deal of the wit of Jane Austen's heroine. . . . McCall Smith has written a delightfully droll, thoughtful novel that reflects on money's enduring role in relationships as well as on the nature of this meddlesome heroine's long-lived appeal. "
      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        February 1, 2015
        In the latest installment of the Austen Project, McCall Smith (The Handsome Man's De Luxe Cafe, 2014, etc.) catapults snobbish matchmaker Emma Woodhouse into the 21st century.His latter-day Emma possesses all the youth and beauty and a good deal of the wit of Jane Austen's heroine. She also shares her predecessor's less appealing qualities. Bossy and controlling as a child, she's only more so now that she's 22 and bent on launching her own interior design consultancy. In creating Emma, Austen supposedly set about depicting a character that nobody but she would like very much. McCall Smith paints a similarly challenging if ultimately fond portrait of a young woman whose hubris causes complete chaos before she's forced to acquire some humility and self-knowledge. Devotees of the original will recognize the likes of Miss Taylor, the no-nonsense governess who all but raises Emma and her sister after they lose their mother, and George Knightley, Emma's friend and the only person brave enough to challenge her. Mr. Woodhouse, Emma's father, has evolved from a "valetudinarian" into a germaphobe crank, though to get around questions of how he manages the upkeep on their country pile, McCall Smith also makes him a retired inventor who years earlier patented a valve for the liquid-nitrogen cylinders used by dermatologists. Modernity is mischievously accommodated elsewhere, too: The flashy young vicar's nouveau riche wife is recast as a TV talent show contestant, while dim, pretty Harriet Smith, the illegitimate product of an affair in Austen's telling, here becomes the progeny of a single mother and a sperm donor. Emma even finds herself questioning her sexuality. In less capable hands, it could all seem clunky and crass. Instead, McCall Smith has written a delightfully droll, thoughtful novel that reflects on money's enduring role in relationships as well as on the nature of this meddlesome heroine's long-lived appeal.

        COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        November 1, 2014
        In this retelling of Jane Austen's "Emma" from the beloved author of the "No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency," Emma Woodhouse returns home to the village of Highbury after university to launch an interior design business. Of course, she's also full of advice for those around her, including unassuming teacher's assistant Harriet Smith, alluring Frank Churchill, and Jane Fairfax. So many Austen rewrites; whatever happens here, McCall Smith fans will be anticipating.

        Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: DOGO Books
      • content: bigmelo - Are you a meticulous reader? If so, then check this book out of the library! Emma, written by the brilliant Jane Austen, introduces you to Emma Woodhouse, an audacious young woman with aspiring plans for the future. She lives on the estate of Highbury with her father, & still hasn't had any marriage arrangements. Emma doesn't really have many friends, let alone associates, except for Mr. George Knightley, a gentleman-like neighbor who is her only critic. Seeing as she found her governess a proper husband, Emma decides that she rather enjoys matchmaking, even if she isn't married herself. But as more characters, such as the charming Frank Churchill, or the innocent Jane Fairfax come into the picture, Emma is swept up in a complicated romance feud; wondering if she can ever end what she originally started to begin with. Want to know what happens? Read this incredible novel to find out!
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shortDescription

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 naïve 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...

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