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First of all I have to say that I am a fan of Jane Austen and especially like Emma and Pride & Prejudice but I also love modern romance. When I was looking on Amazon's website for a new book to read I came across The Importance of Being Emma by Juliet Archer. This book is a retelling of the novel Emma but updated to modern times.
I downloaded this book to my Kindle and it is priced at £1.79 and the file size is 498KB or 416 pages.
Brief Plot Description:
Emma Woodhouse loves being a matchmaker and after a successful match she believes she can do it again. However this time round things don't go according to plan and Emma finds herself in all sorts of situations. Then the arrival of her childhood crush Mark Knightley begins to add to her troubles.
I really like Jane Austen's Emma and I was a little wary about buying this book and then being disappointed but I read through the reviews and the book was very well thought of. I was interested in how the author would modernise the storyline and make it relevant in the modern world.
The plot of the book does have quite a few similarities to the plot of Emma however there are some differences that help bring the book up to date. The storyline flows really well with no boring bits and the story doesn't veer off course too much and sticks pretty much with the characters of Emma and Mark.
I found that once I started this book I couldn't put it down and ended up finishing this in one day. Even though the story is Emma by Jane Austen I think that the author managed to inject some of her own ideas into this book. Making this retelling of Emma her own and putting her stamp on it without me thinking it was an exact copy.
I liked how certain chapters were given from either Emma's point of view of Mark's this made the book even better as you got the story from two different angles. The only downside was that if you forgot to read which point of view the chapter was coming from you could get a little confused and then have to look back and see who it was.
Emma - This character could be annoying, manipulative and at times a little on the mean side but this is all down to how she was brought up. However at other points in the book she can be likeable and kind with a fun attitude. For the most part you are on her side and even though she can be manipulative she believes she is doing it for all the right reasons. To be honest I don't think this character is ever supposed to be completely liked but is supposed to have flaws. The story is based on her growing up and through the choices she makes she has to then cope with the fall out of her actions.
Mark - This character is one of my favourites and along with Emma has a few character flaws but his main one is that he holds Emma to a high standard. He sometimes expects too much of her especially given the fact that she is a little spoilt due to her upbringing. The struggle you see Mark go through with his feelings makes the story really interesting.
Flynn - I liked how his character wasn't changed too much and that he still came across as selfish but at the same time playful. This character works well at putting a spanner in Mark's plans and also to bring a bit of competition for Emma's affections.
I was surprised by how much I really enjoyed this book it was a lovely change to reading the original Emma. The story was just different enough to keep my attention and there were a few twists that helped to separate this story from the original. The characters were all good and all helped to make this story really readable. I liked how Juliet Archer integrated the original characters from Emma into this book so that they all fit in to the storyline perfectly.