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I Could Write a Book: A Modern Variation of Jane Austen's "Emma" Kindle Edition
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I always feel the need to justify Miss Austen's "Emma," as there are those who find her flippant and self-absorbed. Not so! And, not so with Karen Cox’s modern Emma.
Ms. Cox has crafted a thoroughly delightful Emma update with “I Could Write a Book.” All of the cast of Miss Austen’s small town characters have been wonderfully transported to the 1970’s. Emma Woodhouse maintains her quirks, with added introspection from Ms. Cox. Emma is searching for meaning in her life in a changing society that is touting the modern woman. She blunders, as Emma must, but has George Knightley to help her self-correct. Here is an Emma who isn't an airhead, a girl-to-woman we can all understand, sympathize with, and cheer for.
Ms. Cox doesn’t only have a story arc for Emma, she has one for our beloved Mr. Knightley. While he is always a man with integrity, he becomes a man worthy of any heroine. Readers should follow his choice in cars to see how he evolves.
“I Could Write a Book” is a satisfying read, with the truths Ms. Cox’s award winning writing is known for. Frank Churchill and Jane Fairfax finally make sense, Mr. Woodhouse is respected, and real relationships are valued. Emma-Doubters take heed: you are in danger of becoming an Emma convert.
Even though Emma keeps herself pretty busy with her course work, managing her father’s house, and tending to her father’s care, she has time to lend assistance and guidance to those in her circle of dear friends and family. She touts herself as a “born matchmaker,” but as Emma will soon learn the game of love is often more complex and risky than it seems…
For years, I’ve admired the celebrated and praiseworthy Austenesque retellings that came from Karen M. Cox’s pen – I cannot tell you how thrilled I am she decided to create a retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma! (Confession: I adore Emma, think Mr. Knightley gives Mr. Darcy a good run for his money, and find Emma Woodhouse likable!) And not only that, she chooses to set her story in a new time period and setting. Having read and loved 1932, Undeceived, or At the Edge of the Sea, I already knew Ms. Cox had a talent for transplanting our beloved stories that take place in Regency, England to some very creative and clever settings. I am so very pleased that she chose Kentucky horse country and the 1970’s as her setting for this retelling. With horse farms, ancestral homes, southern charm, and friendly neighbors – I felt the quiet, hamlet of Highbury, Kentucky beautifully captured the essences of Jane Austen’s bucolic and charming fictional village in Surrey.
Aside from the unique setting, one of the aspects I loved most about this story is our dear heroine, Emma. From the very first page Karen Cox displays her understanding and sympathy for Emma. And since she often shares Emma’s inner-most thoughts and feelings, Ms. Cox fosters a growing sense of compassion and comprehension for a heroine that many may not initially like. I thoroughly appreciated how adeptly Karen Cox provided glimpses into Emma’s heart and mind. And I thought Emma’s conflicted feelings about her future were well-portrayed and relevant to the time period. With her fierce love, chagrin over her own errors, and reflective introspection this Emma Woodhouse is one I think many readers will admire.
Not only did I love Emma in this retelling, I loved George Knightley as well, and this paragraph is devoted entirely to him! I loved this mixture of George Knightley’s character in this update – he isn’t all seriousness and responsibility. I enjoyed his banters, teasing, and the glimpses we had of his past and more youthful years. I love how Emma had a nickname for him and his “club” as well. 😉 But what truly was my favorite was seeing his affection and admiration for Emma grow and evolve. From family friend and practically older brother, to loyal protector and ardent admirer. I very much appreciated seeing some scenes from George’s perspective in this tale, especially the latter ones. I wouldn’t have minded a few more, such as the double date at the Carriage House and his conversation with Julianne…
Perceptive and compelling, I Could Write a Book is a wonderful and worthy retelling of Jane Austen’s timeless tale. With eloquent style, grace, and insight Karen Cox has proven, once again, she can indeed ‘write a book!’ (Please continue to write many more, Karen!)
Note: Due to some brief intimate scenes later in the book, I’d recommend this book for Mature Audiences only.
Most recent customer reviews
Despite the fact that I am obsessed with P&P variations, this author's writing skills have earned my respect over the years.Read more
it was amazing
I absolutely loved it! It is a novel well written and entertaining about a smart, rich and loving young lady, Emma Woodhouse...Read more