Beloved and best-selling author Alexander McCall Smith lends his delightful touch to EMMA, the next book in The Austen Project. Prepare to meet a young woman who thinks she knows everything.
Fresh from university, Emma Woodhouse triumphantly arrives home in Norfolk ready to embark on adult life with a splash. Not only has her sister, Isabella, been whisked away on a motorcycle up to London, but her astute governess, Miss Taylor is at a loose end, abandoned in the giant family pile, Hartfield, alongside Emma's anxiety-ridden father. Someone is needed to rule the roost and young Emma is more than happy to oblige.
As she gets her fledging design business off the ground, there is plenty to delight her in the buzzing little village of Highbury. At the helm of her own dinner parties and instructing her new little protégée, Harriet Smith, Emma reigns forth. But there is only one person who can play with Emma's indestructible confidence, her old friend and inscrutable neighbour George Knightly - this time has Emma finally met her match?
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 a young woman who knows everything, Emma has a lot to learn about herself.
Ever alive to the uproarious nuances of human behaviour, and both the pleasures and pitfalls of village life, beloved author Alexander McCall Smith's Emma is the busybody we all know and love, and a true modern delight.
©2014 Alexander McCall Smith (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers Limited
I'm a fan of Alexander McCall Smith and listened to all his Precious Ramotswe and Scotland Street series. I'm also a Jane Austen fan and so looked forward to this rewrite. It is, unfortunately, total garbage.
The narration is only slightly better than the story. The list of mispronunciations grows hourly and is proving really irksome.
I have a huge list of audio titles that I have enjoyed but it is a measure of how poor this book is that this is the first review I have been prompted to write and that only to warn others not to waste their time or money. What a great shame.
I love Jane Austen and generally enjoy Alexander McCall Smith's books and so I thought this would be an enjoyable book. But I found it disappointing. At first I wasn't sure I could be bothered to listen to the end, but I did. There is so much about Jane Austen's world that doesn't translate easily into our world (for instance governesses, people who don't need to earn their living) and so it felt contrived and I was only able to feel sympathy for the characters because I knew them from the original book. McCall Smith often seems to over-explain what people are thinking, which made me appreciate all the more how subtle and understated Jane Austen's writing is.
The reading was generally good, except for mispronounciations of quite a few words; I am surprised that this wasn't picked up by an editor.
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