Emma: A Modern Retelling - Alexander McCall Smith

Emma: A Modern Retelling

Author: Alexander McCall Smith

  • Publication Date: 2015-04-07
  • Category: Fiction & Literature
4 Score: 4
(From 39 Ratings)


The best-selling author of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series deftly escorts Jane Austen’s beloved, meddlesome heroine into the twenty-first century in this delightfully inventive retelling.
The summer after university, Emma Woodhouse returns home to the village of Highbury to prepare for the launch of her interior design business. As she cultivates grand plans for the future, she re-enters the household of her hypochondriac father, who has been living alone on a steady diet of vegetables and vitamin supplements. Soon Emma befriends Harriet Smith, the naïve but charming young teacher’s assistant at an English-language school run by the hippie-ish Mrs. Goddard. Harriet is Emma’s inspiration to do the two things she does best: offer guidance to those less wise in the ways of the world and put her matchmaking skills to good use.
Happily, this summer presents abundant opportunities for her to do just that, as many friends, both old and new, are drawn into the sphere of Emma’s occasionally injudicious counsel: Frank Churchill, the attractive stepson of Emma’s former governess; George Knightley, Emma’s brother-in-law and dear friend; the charming yet self-important Philip Elton; and, of course, the perfect (and perfectly vexing) Jane Fairfax.
Alexander McCall Smith’s gentle satire and cozy, old-fashioned sensibility prove to be the perfect match for Jane Austen’s wit and characters. Though carriages have been replaced by Mini Coopers and cups of tea with cappuccinos, Emma’s story is wonderfully timeless.


  • Not Austen!!

    By Kayhan35
    Not Austen but not meant to be. This is a good book with great reworkings of the characters. I thoroughly enjoyed the mix of new and old twists. I don't want to give it away, but I loved the hints of gaiety in it!! Definitely worth reading.
  • Not so good this time

    By Debbie6754
    I usually love all of his books. Not this one. There are a lot of unlikeable characters. It is a drag to read.