I have confession to make; I never read Jane Austen Emma. I know, it sad is not it, especially since I have read her Pride and Prejudice multiple time. When I saw this in the library, I decide to read it and along with original version of Emma.
How I feel about this book, it well written but not a very good book. For starters, I like the first half of the book, the second half of the book I was disgusted with it; I was committed and wanted to see how it turned
And Emma. What is she? Austen's Emma is young, and has been spoiled, but has a good heart. Here, Emma is older and college-educated, but none-the-wiser (and no more self-aware), selfish, sneaky, unrelentingly manipulative even in a tale about that very thing, and apparently asexual. The only erotic interest she shows is in Harriet, and she isn't even sure of herself in that regard.
That being said, this story is one of my least favorite retelling classics. It was definitely enjoyable throughout, but overall I felt like the storyline was rather weak and uninspiring. I needed more complex problems and I needed to really feel for and root for the characters.
Alexander McCall Smith is a good writer was not enough to save this update, and his lack of awareness of modernity actually hurt it. Technology barely appears in this book. Texting, apps, smart phones, computers -- there is scant reference to something that has taken over the lives of teens, 20-somethings and the other people populating this book.
In short, I want to love this book, I liked the first half well enough, but by the time we join the "present" time, and Emma as an adult, the book ceases to be enjoyable. I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone unless they are a big fan of Alexander McCall Smith.