Emma Retold: Emmeline by Sarah Holman (Review)

emmeline3d

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

My Review of…

Emmeline by Sarah Holman

5starrating

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™‚

I Love Austen Week Tag + #VintageJaneAusten Project

I wouldn’t say I’m the biggest Jane Austen fan in the world (being more of a fantasy person) but I do enjoy her books and characters rather a lot when I do read them! πŸ™‚

So when I saw that it’s “I Love Austen Week” over at Hamlette’s Soliliquy, I thought it was the perfect excuse to do this neat tag she has, talk about some Jane Austen favorites, and to mention a Jane-Austen-related project I’m really excited about which I’ve been looking forward to sharing with y’all! πŸ˜€

vjagraphic

The Vintage Jane Asuten is an upcoming series, by six different awesome authors, of retellings of Jane Austen’s novels, with a twist… they’re are set in 1930s America.

I adore retellings of any kind, and I’d never read an Austen retelling before… so although I don’t read a lot of historical fiction, I really enjoyed the ones in this series that I’ve beta-read so far! If you enjoy Jane Austen at all, you’re going to want to make sure to check these out. πŸ™‚

Fun side-note: I designed the website for the series! (Because I’ve recently discovered that webdesign is so. fun.) So pop over there if you’d like to see more about the series!

www.vintagejaneausten.com

Even more fun: the first book, Emmeline by Sarah Holman, is actually releasing tomorrow (February 18)!

It’s a retelling of Emma and it’s delightful. ❀ (I’ll be reviewing it next week, so stay tuned. :))

16684170_1827307804201224_928028948115550417_n

Today (Feb 17) is the last day to preorder Emmeline (here) — if you do, you can enter a giveaway for an Amazon giftcard (details here). You can also add it on Goodreads… because I am Goodreads-obsessed. πŸ˜‰

Okay, now on to the tag… because tags are fun!

austen-week-5

(I ❀ this picture)

I Love Austen Week Tag

1.Β  Which did you experience first, a Jane Austen book or a movie based on one?

Book. I read Pride and Prejudice a very long time ago, on something of a whim, and greatly enjoyed it. I then proceeded to neglect reading the rest, until a couple of bookclub reads a few years ago got me into them, and I’m at long last finishing up all her books with Mansfield Park, which I’m currently reading.

2.Β  What is your favorite Austen book?

Pride and Prejudice and Emma.

P&P was my first, and to me is still the most classic (plus Darcy is in it, which is reason enough; and he and Elizabeth are awesome).

Emma is a recent addition to my Jane Austen knowledge (I only read it last year) and I enjoyed it immensely because it’s unexpectedly brilliant (and because Mr. Knightley, of course).

jabook

3.Β  Favorite heroine?Β  Why do you like her best?

Um… not sure… I guess I’ll go with Elizabeth Bennet. I’m not sure why I liked her (possibly because she was the first I met and because she has spirit) but she’s great. πŸ™‚

4.Β  Favorite hero?Β  Why do you like him best?

Mr. Darcy and Mr. Knightley.

Mr. Knightley is so… Mr. Knightley. *can’t describe* He just… IS.

Mr. Darcy is rather antisocial and such but he’s a really great guy deep down, and that’s my favorite. He’s just awesome. πŸ™‚

5.Β  Do you have a favorite film adaptation of Austen’s work?

I’m fond of both Pride and Prejudice versions I’ve seen (Kiera Knightley’s and BBC), and of Emma Thompson’s Sense and Sensibility (which I feel is an excellent adaption in general), and I did really enjoy the Persuasion I’ve seen, as well as the Emmas… I don’t know if I have a favorite. I still prefer the books to the film versions, in general. πŸ™‚

6.Β  Have your Austen tastes changed over the years?Β  (Did you start out liking one story best, but now like another better?Β  Did you think she was boring at first, then changed your mind?Β  Etc.)

I’m not sure… I do think that I’m glad I only read Emma recently, because I don’t know if I would have appreciated it as much, several years ago.

7.Β  Do you have any cool Austen-themed things (mugs, t-shirts, etc)?Β  (Feel free to share photos if you want.)

Um… not really? I have a hardcover all-in-one collection of all the novels, and I also have a few of the movies, but nothing particular other than that… unless the website I made for the Vintage Jane Austen book project counts as a “cool Austen-themed thing” that I have. πŸ˜›

vjascreenshot

8.Β  If you could ask Jane Austen one question, what would you ask her?

I’d ask her what she thinks of the continued fascination and remaking of her novels, 200 years later, and for her thoughts on if people are missing the point of her jabs at society and only focusing on the romance aspect. πŸ˜›

9.Β  Imagine someone is making a new film of any Jane Austen story you choose, and you get to cast the leads.Β  What story do you want filmed, and who would you choose to act in it?

Pride and Prejudice with Richard Armitage as Mr. Darcy. (Actually, he’d make a good Mr. Knightley too…) Not sure who else to cast, though.

ra

Because obviously.

10.Β  Share up to five favorite Jane Austen quotations!

Mr. Darcy is very quotable, so most of what he said… But I’ll just put one down of his for now.

“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”

Pride and Prejudice (Mr. Darcy)

“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”

Northanger Abbey (Henry Tilney)

“We do not look in great cities for our best morality.”

Mansfield Park (Edmund Bertram)

Poor Edward muttered something; but what it was, nobody knew, not even himself.

Sense and Sensibility

…Everything Mr. Knightley said in Emma. XD

(I’m also rather fond of the lengthy quote in Emma from Mr. Knightley’s brother about having to go see people for a dull event through the cold when he’d rather be comfortably at home; it appeals to my introvert-ish nature. :P)

So there you are! Do you enjoy Jane Austen? Which is your favorite story or character? Have you read the books (they’re better than the movies! *almost always the case*) and which is your favorite movie? Feel free to do the tag if you like, or answer the questions in the comments!