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LoveReading View on Emma

November 2014 Book of the Month.

This is a strange series where famous authors have been asked to give a modern version of Austen’s classics so Joanna Trollope did Pride and Prejudice, Val McDermid Northanger Abbey and now Alexander McCall Smith does interfering Emma.  She is exactly as she is in the original, giving dinner parties and picnics, attempting matchmaking and generally meddling in other people’s affairs.  It is non-taxing, pleasant, easy reading which I believe works so much better in the original.

The third in The Austen project, a reworking of Emma written by Alexander McCall Smith, is published in November 2014. The first two in this project are already published and include Sense and Sensibility by Joanna Trollope and Northanger Abbey by Val McDermid. A reworking of Pride and Prejudice by Curtis Sittenfeld is scheduled for 2015.

Sarah Broadhurst

Emma Synopsis

Prepare to meet a young woman who thinks she knows everything Fresh from university, Emma Woodhouse arrives home in Norfolk ready to embark on adult life with a splash. Not only has her sister, Isabella, been whisked away on a motorbike to London, but her astute governess, Miss Taylor is at a loose end watching as Mr. Woodhouse worries about his girls. Someone is needed to rule the roost and young Emma is more than happy to oblige. At the helm of her own dinner parties, and often found either rearranging the furniture at the family home of Hartfield, or instructing her new protegee, Harriet Smith, Emma is in charge. You don't have to be in London to go to parties, find amusement or make trouble. Not if you're Emma, the very big fish in the rather small pond. But for someone who knows everything, Emma doesn't know her own heart. And there is only one person who can play with Emma's indestructible confidence, her friend and inscrutable neighbour George Knightly - this time has Emma finally met her match? Ever alive to the social comedy of village life, beloved author Alexander McCall Smith's Emma is the busybody we all know and love, and a true modern delight.

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Closing date: 23/02/2020

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Emma Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

  • Maxine Broadbent - 'This is a 'curl up in an armchair and forget everything else' kind of book.  I enjoyed it enormously.  A wonderful retelling of Emma but it really does stand alone.' Read full review>
  • Barbara Goldie - 'A great combination, a great classic, reworked by a great author! I would recommend it for your Christmas list or an early Christmas present for the cold winter evenings.  A great read!' Read full review>
  • Julie Bickerdyke - 'Alexander McCall Smith has done a wonderful job of updating the lovely story of Emma, the well-meaning but interfering and meddling young woman.' Read full review>
  • Helen Treadwell - 'I think the main problem with this book is that the characters and storyline just don’t work in 2014; they are very much of their time. Read the original instead!' Read full review>
  • Julie Collins - 'True to the original, Emma can't seem to stop interfering in other peoples' affairs but despite the problems she causes for others, the reader cannot help hoping for a happy ending.' Read full review>
  • Sandra Makower - 'If you love McCall Smith's writing, it's more of his pleasurable style. If you love Austen, it's a near-perfect update of one of her best loved novels. And if you're both, well like me you'll be in heaven!' Read full review>
  • Jenny Grange - 'I shall recommend it as the Christmas book for my book circle to enjoy the delights of Mini Coopers, Global warming, drunk driving, feigning gay-ness and Cannabis cake. Enjoy!' Read full review>
  • Tina - 'Excellent reworking of a classic, mainly amusing but also poignant at times.' Read full review>
  • Sarah Musk - 'A really enjoyable modern version of Jane Austen's Emma.  It stays true to the original story and to Emma's very original nature.' Read full review>
  • Rebecca Whymark - 'An easy sedate read, perfect beach read.' Read full review>
  • Nikki Whitmore - 'A witty, easy to read update of a classic novel.' Read full review>
  • Julie Wragg - 'A fun and entertaining re-working of a classic.' Read full review>
  • Lynne Rapson - 'An interesting update on the classic story by Jane Austen told in his unmistakable style.' Read full review>
  • Elaine Simpson-Long - 'This is a book I read one Sunday afternoon with a cup of tea to hand and a biscuit. I enjoyed it in a mild way and it passed a relaxed hour or two.' Read full review>
  • Charlie Pritchard-Williams - 'I did really enjoy it, I found myself looking forward to the main plot twists and turns that were coming.' Read full review>

Emma Press Reviews

Praise for Alexander McCall Smith:

'Witty, elegant, gentle, compassionate and exotic.'

'The kind of simplicity one finds in the best children's stories and a fluency which reflects his practice of writing 4,000 words a day in a stint of four hours... A talent for traditional story telling.'

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780007553884
Publication date: 04/06/2015
Publisher: The Borough Press an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9780007553853
Publication date: 06/11/2014
Publisher: The Borough Press an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780007553853
Publication date: 6th November 2014
Author: Alexander McCall Smith
Publisher: The Borough Press an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Hardback
Genres: Books of the Month, Reader Reviewed Books, eBook Favourites, Family Drama, Literary Fiction, Relationship Stories,

About Alexander McCall Smith

Alexander McCall Smith was our Guest Editor in July 2011 - click here - to see the books that inspired his writing. Alexander McCall Smith is one of the world’s most prolific and most popular authors. His career has been a varied one: for many years he was a professor of Medical Law and worked in universities in the United Kingdom and abroad. Then, after the publication of his highly successful No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, which has sold over twenty-five million copies, he devoted his time to the writing of fiction and has seen his various series ...

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