Friday, June 12, 2015

Book Review: “Emma: A Modern Retelling”

   Emma: A Modern Retelling
   Alexander McCall Smith

About 10 years ago, I read Jane Austen’s complete works.  After the first novel, Sense and Sensibility, I was hooked and saw every Jane Austen made-for-television movie and motion picture.  I even read novels like The Darcys of Pemberley: The Continuing Story of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, a sequel written by a modern author; Longbourn, a parallel novel to Pride and Prejudice told from the servants’ viewpoints and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which is self explanatory.  When I saw that well-known author Alexander McCall Smith retold Emma in modern times, I had to read it.

It was fun to read an updated version of a story I already knew.  In the novel, college graduate Emma was about to embark on a career in interior design.  Her father was a germaphobe who patented an invention and was therefore independently wealthy.  The familiar characters like George Knightly, Jane Fairfax and Miss Bates are included and vital to the story.

When I read Jane Austen’s Emma, I remembered her unkind remark to Miss Bates.  However, I didn’t realize (or perhaps I forgot) the extent of her condescending behavior and sense of superiority.  Either way, I was glad to read about her redemption, especially in Emma: A Modern Retelling.  If you’re a Jane Austen fan, you’ll enjoy this novel

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