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Emma - Alexander McCall Smith

Emma – Alexander McCall Smith

This is the third in the Austen Project. As Emma is my favourite Austen novel, I had high hopes for this adaptation.

Here is the blurb …

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 amotorbike 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 protégée, 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.

I have to say I was a bit disappointed. As I wrote in a previous post, it is probably quite difficult to update Austen’s work (although Clueless is a fabulous modern re-telling of Emma). I liked the way Mr Woodhouse made his fortune (through an invention). We don’t see much of Mr Knightley and what we do see isn’t very compelling (or sexy) – I think if you didn’t know the original story, you would be surprised they ended up together. And finally, I didn’t like Emma. I thought she was mean-spirited. Austen’s Emma might have been a snob, but she was fundamentally good at heart.

More reviews …

http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/books/book-review-emma-by-alexander-mccall-smith-20141110-11ih95.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/bookreviews/11228318/Emma-a-Modern-Retelling-by-Alexander-McCall-Smith.html

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