About the Book:
The talk of the 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 as 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?”
(from books description on Amazon)
What I Liked: There was sooo much I loved and appreciated about this book—or more specifically, the way the author breathed life into it—that I don’t know where to begin! Actually, I will start right there! Sarah did a fantastic job of learning her depression-era details and of knowing Jane Austen’s Emma. The setting felt very authentic, not as though we were inserted into a time period for just yet another JA spin-off. Detials were explained well without feeling as though they were. I loved the way the Ford/Chevrolet bit was brought into play and how dancing and the flapper era was touched on but not exploited. I loved Emma’s heart and her relationship with her father also <3.
The thing I reeeaaaalllyy loved and appreciated about this adaptation though was this: Sarah apparently knows her JA, and was able to craft a completely flawed but still loveable Emma. As I read through this story, I was amazed, time and time again, at how perfectly irrationally meddlesome, unintentionally thoughtless, genuinely friendly, and fiercely loyal Sarah crafted Emma to be. I often went from completely agreeing with the Mr. Knightly character (who was flawlessly chivalrous, sassy, grounded, and adorable) to completely siding with Emma in the space of two lines. Sarah was able to capture a hopelessly-flawed-but-still-lovable Emma in a way second only to Austen that left me genuinely geeked. The era (language, history, behavioral) updating and sub-plot revamping was all done so, so well. (I know I am gushing, but I do so unapologetically. I did so verbally to my sisters on more than one occasion while still reading the story—you can ask them ;) ). For a Jane Austen lover, I sincerely appreciated this retelling. It wasn’t thrown together—it was done. well.
What I Didn’t Like: The only critique I have for this fabulous retelling is that I wish the ending had been a little longer, given us as readers a little more time to enjoy what we spent several chapters building up to. It was still a good ending, but I wanted a little more time to revel in it ;)
“She realized that when Catarina spoke about something she was passionate about, she looked like royalty.”
“Well, I agree with her, but one doesn’t need a man to have love.”
“You’ve so much imagination when it comes to parties and matchmaking. Put that same effort into your books and you’ll see them for what they were meant to be.”
“But I think that while some things might not turn out the way originally intended, they can still be admired and enjoyed.
“If you read your Bible perhaps you would have more true friends and realize that you don’t have to put people down to prove that you’re worth something!” Fredrick shouted…“You have so much to offer the world, but you are misapplying your wit and your charm. Instead of using it to build these people up, you are tearing them apart and making them feel as if they are beneath you. One day, I hope you see the damage you’re doing and bitterly regret the havoc you have caused in their lives.”
“Never stop talking to Him, even when your heart hurts, promise?
Final Thoughts:Bottom line? This retelling of Emma was fantastically done and as a picky Jane-ite I absolutely loved it. I completely recommend it and cannot wait for the rest of the series!!!!
About the Author: Sarah Holman is a not so typical mid-twenties girl: A homeschool graduate, sister to six awesome siblings. If there is anything adventuresome about her life, it is because she serves a God with a destiny bigger than anything she could have imagined. You can find out more about her at her website www.thedestinyofone.com