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Summary

What if Jane Austen's Emma lived in America in the year 1930?

The talk of stock market crashes and depression isn't going to keep Emmeline Wellington down. Born to wealth and privilege, Emmeline wants nothing more than to help her new friend, Catarina, find a husband. Emmeline sets her sights on one of the town's most eligible bachelors, but nothing seems to go right. Even her friend and neighbor Fredrick Knight seems to question her at every turn.

Will she help Catarina find the man of her dreams? Why is her father acting so strangely? Will the downturn affect her life, despite her best efforts?

©2018 Sarah Holman (P)2018 Sarah Holman

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  • JenniferKbooks
  • 15-06-21

Entertaining

J Grace Pennington did a great job narrating this retelling of Jane Austen’s, Emma. Her voice was very pleasant to listen to as she reflected this entertaining and enjoyable story. I think that Austen fans will like it. I’d be interested in listening to more from this narrator. I was given a copy of this audiobook by the author. All opinions are my own.

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  • Ellen Oceanside
  • 02-10-20

Excellent

Taking an old classic and into it weave a new story that was well done, and keeping to the Jane Austen that we know. The narration was excellent by Pennington and added to this, it was clear and enjoyable. Given audio for my voluntary review

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Profile Image for 🐺 SCARLET PIMPERNEL 🐺
  • 🐺 SCARLET PIMPERNEL 🐺
  • 24-02-20

EMMELINE

J. GRACE PENNINGTON DID A WONDERFUL JOB WITH THE NARRATION OF THE STORY.
THE STORY FLOWS WELL, AND THE BOOK WAS GOOD.

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  • E.F.B.
  • 22-01-20

Well-executed Jane Austen retelling

FTC DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. A positive review was not required. These are my honest thoughts and opinions.


I have long been a big Jane Austen and have read nearly all of her novels at this point, but I wasn't sure if I'd like a retelling of one of her books. Well, I'm glad to say that I did. This retelling is set in America in 1930, during the Great Depression. This is a very different setting than Regency Era England, and yet it works. It works really well. And I'd say this is largely because of the author's skill in picking up the major points of the story of Emma and tweaking them to make them work in this setting. For example, I really liked what the author did with the character of Catarina. Catarina is the replacement in this retelling for Harriet Smith in the original. Catarina is also German in a time when people were having trouble forgiving Germany for their part in the recent world war. I loved that Catarina's nationality wasn't just a throw away addition to the character and that the author used it to address the prejudice that was going on against German immigrants at the time. The way she handled shifting the other characters into the 1930's setting was also handled skillfully.

In addition, I thought the writing style was perfect for the story. It had a very Jane Austen flow to it while having enough of Sarah Holman's touch that it didn't feel like a copy-cat style.

Overall, I thought this was a very skillfully handled retelling that I enjoyed very much and I plan to check out the other Jane Austen retellings in this series in the future.

I thought the narrator did an excellent job as well.

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  • Angie
  • 29-10-19

Very Well Done

This was a very, very well done retelling! It kept all the essential parts that made it Emma, but it was absolutely its own story, too. The setting wasn't just a new backdrop thrown over the old set; it was woven into the plot and the characters in a way that made it really integral to the story. The plot took most of the expected turns but several unexpected ones also, and the new and old plot points were integrated so well that it would have been hard to separate them. And while the characters were easily recognizable, they were also fresh and interesting in their own way--for example, the awkwardly prim and stiff Miss Carter in place of the awkwardly clueless and over-talkative Miss Bates.

Emmeline played her role to perfection--sweet and good-hearted at the core, but so full of little vanities, large blind spots, and glaring inconsistencies that I seriously just wanted to shake her. Which is also my reaction to the original Emma, so...yep, nicely done. :) Also, I loved the use of "Emma" for the nickname she can't stand and that's only used by Frederick when he's scolding her. And Frederick was absolutely marvelous in the boy-next-door role. At least as good as the original--*whispers* maybe better in some ways? *pretends I didn't say that* That one scene where Emmeline comes in and finds him on the couch--not saying why or what, but...heart. Melting. Everywhere. <3<3<3<3<3

I can't go deep into the plot without spoilers, but I loved the tweaks with Catarina's character, the twists with Emmeline's father, and the way that the early-Depression setting both affected the plot and emphasized how out of touch our heroine was with certain things. There was also a strong spiritual focus, which I appreciated. Also, I want to know how difficult it is for a reader/writer to write a main character who dislikes books so much! XD

The only thing I really didn't like was the way the subplot with Morgan ended up. *spoiler*Totally my personal preference, but I really wanted him to have a worse comeuppance. And the way things ended for Evelyn made me really sad. :( I really would have preferred either to have him reform or for her to break things off with him. Also, the fact that everyone's main concern was whether Emma had had her heart broken and not the rest of what he had done...it made sense for Frank in the original, but not so much for Morgan's additional crimes in this one. Again, totally my personal preference. ;) *end spoiler*

Overall, an excellent retelling and a great story!

I received a free copy of this audiobook from the author. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.

Content--some insults and rudeness (not condoned); a few instances of Germans called "Huns"; period-appropriate references to "colored" people; mentions of flirting with engaged/married people; mentions of modesty and appropriate behavior in regard to dress, dancing, etc.; one kiss by a married couple

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Profile Image for Maria
  • Maria
  • 25-09-19

sweet, charming story!

** I am reviewing the audio version of this book**

I really enjoyed this story.

It has been a long time since I’ve read the original Emma. From what I can remember though, this was true to the story. It was also original and very charming.
It was wonderful to watch Emmeline learn and grow in her faith and as a person. Even though at times I wanted to shake her.

Frederick was also a great illustration of unconditional love.
The Narration was wonderful. The Narrator’s voice was perfect for Emmeline, but she also did the other characters well.
All in all, a charming read.

I look forward to other books from this author.

I was given this free review copy audio book and have voluntarily left an honest review.