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Emma by Alexander McCall Smith
  

Emma

Family Drama   Books of the Month   Literary Fiction   Relationship Stories   eBook Favourites   

RRP £18.99

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Sarah Broadhurst's view...

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.

If you like Alexander McCall Smith you might also like to read books by Tony Hillerman, Tarquin Hall and Nicholas Drayson.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst

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>

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Synopsis

Emma by Alexander McCall Smith

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.

Reviews

Praise for Alexander McCall Smith:

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

'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.'
-GUARDIAN

About the Author

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 of books translated into forty-six languages and become bestsellers through the world. These include the Scotland Street novels, first published as a serial novel in the Scotsman newspaper, the Isabel Dalhousie novels, the von Igelfeld series, and the Corduroy Mansions series, novels which started life as a delightful (but challenging to write) cross-media serial, written on the website of the Telegraph Media Group. This series won two major cross-media awards - Association of Online Publishers Digital Publishing Award 2009 for a Cross Media Project and the New Media Age award. Alexander is also the author of collections of short stories, academic works, and over thirty books for children. He has received numerous awards for his writing, including the British Book Awards Author of the Year Award in 2004 and a CBE for service to literature in 2007. He holds honorary doctorates from nine universities in Europe and North America. In March 2011 he received an award from the President of Botswana for his services through literature to that country. Alexander McCall Smith lives in Edinburgh. He is married to a doctor and has two daughters.

Click here to read an exclusive interview with Alexander McCall Smith by Mary Hogarth.

A Lovereading guide to the works of Alexander McCall Smith...

The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency was first published in 1998 and then, suddenly, it took off in America to the extent that no less than11 reprints were required in 2003.

Since then, so prolific has been his output, and so has his popularity soared, that there was a time when the sheer multitude of McCall Smith's books led to confusion as to which book fitted into each of the various series under which he writes. One has hardly been able to keep up with the sheer abundance of books published - we reckon at least thirty in less than a decade.

Now, thankfully, things have settled down and the legions of McCall Smiths avid fans can compartmentalise his new books into the four main series under which they sit - The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency Series, The Isabel Dalhousie Novels, The 44 Scotland Street Series and The Corduroy Mansions Series with a few more on top!

There are constant features across the whole panoply of McCall Smith's output. Wry and witty observations about the day-to-day lives of normal people. An innocence and delight in the human condition. And, always, a twinkle on the eye shared by writer and reader. He is a happy writer and that makes for happy readers.

He is best known for the following 4 series of novels (they are shown below in the order they were published) :-

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series: The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Tears of the Giraffe, Morality for Beautiful Girls, The Kalahari Typing School for Men, The Full Cupboard of Life, In the Company of Cheerful Ladies, Blue Shoes and Happiness, The Good Husband of Zebra Drive, The Miracle at Speedy Motors, Tea Time for the Traditionally Built, The Double Comfort Safari Club, The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party, The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection, The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon, The Handsome Man's De Luxe Cafe, The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine, Precious and Grace.

Isabel Dalhousie series: The Sunday Philosophy Club,Friends, Lovers, Chocolate, The Right Attitude to Rain, The Careful Use of Compliments, The Comfort of Saturdays, The Lost Art of Gratitude, The Charming Quirks of Others, The Forgotten Affairs of Youth, The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds, The Novel Habits of Happiness.

44 Scotland Street series: 44 Scotland Street, Espresso Tales, Love Over Scotland, The World According to Bertie, The Unbearable Lightness of Scones, The Importance of Being Seven, Bertie Plays the Blues, Sunshine on Scotland Street, Bertie's Guide to Life and Mothers, The Revolving Door of Life, The Bertie Project, A Time of Love and Tartan.

Corduroy Mansions Series: Corduroy Mansions, The Dog Who Came in from the Cold, A Conspiracy of Friends.

Author Photo © Graham Clark

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Book Info

Publication date

6th November 2014

Author

Alexander McCall Smith

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Author's Website

www.alexandermccallsmith.co...

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Publisher

The Borough Press an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Format

Hardback

Categories

Family Drama
Books of the Month
Literary Fiction
Relationship Stories
eBook Favourites


ISBN

9780007553853

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