Jane Austen’s Emma is not an easy book to like, especially the protagonist who comes across as a little too full of herself. I also tried to read one modern adaptation of it before and abandoned it halfway because it was so boring. So, I am really not sure why I decided to read another adaptation. But I am really glad I did. This is a really well written book and the setting of 70s Kentucky horse country felt perfect for the plot.
All the major characters are obviously the same, just that some of them have professions suited to the time period. There is also diversity in the cast which was quite surprising but so subtly integrated that it didn’t feel forced at all. Emma is still trying to play matchmaker for her friends, but her character in this book is much more defined. We get a much better back story for her, she is shown as quite intellectual and smart and a little naive, and we see how confident she is of her choices and not just make them out of obligation. We also get to know much more about George, his string of girlfriends, his concern and affection for Emma and also his emotional side. All the other characters also have original plots which make them quite enjoyable and distinct from Austen’s Emma.
I especially loved reading the inner thoughts of Emma and George as it gave a special insight into their character. I also thought their conversations were well written and reflected their true friendship. The ending had a modern twist which made me quite excited. Also, my eternal wish of knowing what happens to them after the original ending, was fulfilled and I loved it – especially Emma’s life story. On the whole, a thoroughly enjoyable read and I recommend it to all lovers of romance novels but especially Austen fans.
Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
PS: I heartily thank the good people at Adalia Street Press and Netgalley for providing me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.