Emma Retold: Emmeline by Sarah Holman (Review)


Hey, everyone! πŸ™‚ As promised, I’m here today with:

My Review of…

Emmeline by Sarah Holman


I beta-read this book awhile back, and I’m so delighted that it’s released to the world now! Seriously, if you like Jane Austen or the book Emma (or films!) at all, you’re going to want to try this one out! πŸ™‚

Emmeline is a retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma, set in the 1930s during the Great Depression. This book is the first of a series of such retellings, The Vintage Jane Austen.

Now, as a disclaimer, I’d like to say that I don’t read a lot of historical fiction, that I’ve never (to my knowledge) read a book set in the ’30s, and that before this I hadn’t read any retellings of Jane Austen’s novels… Yet even though it was not my usual reading fare, I enjoyed it immensely!

I read Emma for the first time not long before reading Emmeline, so the original story was fresh in my mind when I read the retelling, which only added to the delight I found in reading it. Retellings have always intrigued me, and I adored this one. πŸ™‚ It was fun connecting the parallels of events and characters in this retelling to the older tale, their similarities and differences and twists, and seeing how well the story translated into the new time period.

It was well written and engaging (possibly Sarah Holman’s best work yet!) and I was impressed with so much about it, including how well put together it was, as a retelling and as a book in general. It’s a fairly short read (I read it in two days), which left me impressed also that it fit in all the important Emma-type things, in far less space than the original book, without feeling condensed.

Fredrick Knight (the Mr. Knightley of this version) is so awesome! His character was pretty much my favorite thing about the book — well, him and his relationship with Emmeline. πŸ˜‰ He’s like a mix of the original Mr. Knightley, and some sort of Hardy-Boys-type character (thinking of the time period), though more grown up, of course, and so very REAL. Fredrick was just an amazing character — so good and kind and firm, not afraid to tell Emmeline when she’s wrong about something (which is often. XD) but also willing to have fun. HE’S THE BEST.

Another thing I loved was the relationship and banter of Fredrick and Emmeline — their dialog was priceless! And the thing about the hat. XD Their interactions were just SO well written!! BASICALLY THEY’RE THE BEST THING ABOUT THIS BOOK AND I LOVE THEM AND THEIR STORY SO MUCH! ^_^ ❀

The ending was a little quick (but I loved it so much anyway!), and a circumstance about Morgan’s ending surprised me a little, so I’m not sure if I liked that, but otherwise I have no complaints and just really enjoyed it. πŸ™‚

Other fun things:

  • The details like the food they ate (yum!)
  • Literary references (the Rover Boys! <3)
  • All the little feelings of the ’30s which felt authentic and pulled me directly into the time period.
  • A Christian theme runs through the book which I really liked and felt was done well.
  • Humor and drama and banter, which I loved! πŸ™‚

Overall, a very enjoyable read — I loved it! Recommended to any fan of Jane Austen, or Christian historical fiction with a dash of romance, or the ’30s… or just a good clean enjoyable read!

(Also, can we talk about how absolutely GORGEOUS the stunning cover my dear friend Hannah designed? Just. Just. Yes. <3)

I can’t wait for the rest of the Vintage Jane Austen series of retellings in the ’30s (each by different authors) to come out, and I’m very much looking forward to re-reading Emmeline!

About the Book

img_3447What if Jane Austen’s Emma lived in America in the year 1930?

The talk of stock market crashes and depression isn’t going to keep Emmeline Wellington down. Born to wealth and privilege, Emmeline wants nothing more than to help her new friend, Catarina, find a husband. Emmeline sets her sights on one of the town’s most eligible bachelors, but nothing seems to go right. Even her friend and neighbor Fredrick Knight seems to question her at every turn.

Will she help Catarina find the man of her dreams? Why is her father acting so strangely? Will the downturn affect her life, despite her best efforts?

Find the Book

AmazonΒ β€’ Goodreads

You can find out more about the author of Emmeline, Sarah Holman, at her blog, www.thedestinyofone.com, and more about The Vintage Jane Austen series at www.vintagejaneausten.com.

Give me your thoughts, dearest Roadlings! Is or is not Mr. Knightley the best? (The correct answer is YES! ;)) Does Emmeline intrigue you? Have you read any retellings of Austen’s novels that you can recommend to me? Tell me all! πŸ™‚

15 thoughts on “Emma Retold: Emmeline by Sarah Holman (Review)

  1. I have never read a Jane Austen retelling myself, but I love the idea! I just love the idea of ANY retellings! AND THIS IS AN EMMA ONE! SET IN THE 30s! πŸ˜€ I wants it, preciousss!

    This Mr. Knightley sounds simply amazing. But, duh, because MR. KNIGHTLEY. How could he not be? (The answer to your questions is obviously YES, he is the best!)

    If I ever get around to actually READING Emma, I may have to pick this book up afterwards. (Because retellings are 10000x more enjoyable if you read the originals first.) It sounds so fun! AND DAT COVER. I could stare at it for days. It’s pure gorgeousness. O_O

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, this was my first Austen retelling… but YES, retellings of any kind are awesome!

      MR. KNIGHTLEEEEYY! Of course you must read Emma sometime! ❀ It's amazing! And if you do, then you might enjoy this version. ^_^ (Yep, retellings are definitely funner if one has read the original. *nods*) *stares at cover for days with you* <333


  2. I am so incredibly impressed with how you write reviews. They always flow so well and are fun and engaging to read. πŸ˜€

    This sounds like a really interesting story. o.O I’ve read a few of Sarah’s books in the past, so maybe it’s time to read another one. Sometimes I wonder how authors think up story ideas like this, because it’s so random but yet it just works. xD

    katie grace
    a writer’s faith

    Liked by 1 person

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