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Emma: A Modern Retelling

Book Review: Alexander McCall Smith brings Emma into the 21st century

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In her lifetime, Jane Austen gained neither great fame nor fortune from novels that today are considered some of the best in the world. This year marks 200 years since the publication of Austen’s “Emma,” the story of a well-meaning but misguided matchmaker who makes more mischief than marriages. Modern times demand modern celebrations, so what better way to honor this literary jewel than with a charming reimagining of Emma Woodhouse’s story, set in the 21st century. Scottish writer Alexander McCall Smith, beloved for creating irresistible female characters including Mma Ramotswe of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, offers, for our edification, the delicious Emma: A Modern Retelling (Pantheon, April 7, 2015). Some Janeites may consider such an endeavor an…

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