Emma, Paperback Book
2.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


Beloved and bestselling author Alexander McCall Smith lends his delightful touch to the Austen classic, Emma.`It's comfort reading at its most soothing' IndependentSometimes it takes time to discover who you really are. And for Emma Woodhouse the journey is only just beginning.

After graduating, Emma returns home to Norfolk, where she plans to set up a design business.

But that summer, as Emma begins to match-make various friends and neighbours, some important lessons about life and relationships await her...


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'Everybody can be happier than they are.' {Emma} said. 'They may not know it – yes, I accept that – but that doesn't mean to say that they can't be made happier. Other people can make them happier; other people can arrange happiness for them.'She was sure that she was right...And just as she worked out what she thought about this, she realized, too, that this was something she could do with her life. She could make people happier by helping them to find happiness. It was very simple, really; all that was required was a willingness to take the initiative and show people where they should look.Emma Woodhouse is a privileged young woman. She has no interest in men or marriage. She has plans to start an interior design business when she returns home after completing a university degree, but those plans are put on hold when she adopts a mission to make other people happy. Happy as defined by Emma, of course. She is opinionated and believes that she knows better than the individuals involved what is best for them. She'll learn just how little she really knows about people and relationships.Readers unfamiliar with Jane Austen's Emma may enjoy this book more than Austen's fans will. It's typical McCall Smith, with a moral tone reminiscent of his Isabel Dalhousie series. McCall Smith's Emma is even less likeable than Austen's Emma. Austen's Emma is thoughtless, but rarely intentionally rude or dishonest. McCall Smith's Emma is arrogant, lying, and sometimes cruel. He gives readers little evidence of any change in Emma's character that would make her more attractive to a good man like George Knightly.McCall Smith begins his story earlier than Austen's. Most Austen fans will view this as a weakness since the back story is developed at the expense of familiar plot elements from Austen's Emma. Readers see very little of George Knightly either on his own or with Emma. McCall Smith leaves out the misunderstanding between Emma and Knightly over her feelings for Frank Churchill and his feelings for Harriet Smith that adds so much emotion and tension to the love scene in Austen's Emma. I'm a fan of McCall Smith's writing, but I'm afraid this one is badly done.