Sep 152017

A Thoughtful and Reverent Retelling of Emma

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Author

While she may be “handsome, clever, and rich,” Emma Woodhouse finds herself living a life not entirely of her own choosing. In 1973 she left the university that was her mother’s alma mater to come home and live with and care for her father who suffered from a debilitating stroke. And even though she is soon to be graduating, she doesn’t have the ability to up and go live a new city or begin a full-time career. But Emma isn’t one to complain. Her family is her world and she would happily sacrifice her freedom to take care of them and be what they need – no questions about it! However, sometimes, Emma cannot help but feel a little envious towards those that are able to lead a different life – whether it be moving away from their hometown, having a noble profession, or just following their dreams…

Even though Emma keeps herself pretty busy with her course work, managing her father’s house, and tending to her father’s care, she has time to lend assistance and guidance to those in her circle of dear friends and family. She touts herself as a “born matchmaker,” but as Emma will soon learn the game of love is often more complex and risky than it seems…

For years, I’ve admired the celebrated and praiseworthy Austenesque retellings that came from Karen M. Cox’s pen – I cannot tell you how thrilled I am she decided to create a retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma! (Confession: I adore Emma, think Mr. Knightley gives Mr. Darcy a good run for his money, and find Emma Woodhouse likable!) And not only that, she chooses to set her story in a new time period and setting. Having read and loved 1932, Undeceived, or At the Edge of the Sea, I already knew Ms. Cox had a talent for transplanting our beloved stories that take place in Regency, England to some very creative and clever settings. I am so very pleased that she chose Kentucky horse country and the 1970’s as her setting for this retelling. With horse farms, ancestral homes, southern charm, and friendly neighbors – I felt the quiet, hamlet of Highbury, Kentucky beautifully captured the essences of Jane Austen’s bucolic and charming fictional village in Surrey.

Aside from the unique setting, one of the aspects I loved most about this story is our dear heroine, Emma. From the very first page Karen Cox displays her understanding and sympathy for Emma. And since she often shares Emma’s inner-most thoughts and feelings, Ms. Cox fosters a growing sense of compassion and comprehension for a heroine that many may not initially like. I thoroughly appreciated how adeptly Karen Cox provided glimpses into Emma’s heart and mind. And I thought Emma’s conflicted feelings about her future were well-portrayed and relevant to the time period. With her fierce love, chagrin over her own errors, and reflective introspection this Emma Woodhouse is one I think many readers will admire.

Not only did I love Emma in this retelling, I loved George Knightley as well, and this paragraph is devoted entirely to him! I loved this mixture of George Knightley’s character in this update – he isn’t all seriousness and responsibility. I enjoyed his banters, teasing, and the glimpses we had of his past and more youthful years. I love how Emma had a nickname for him and his “club” as well. 😉 But what truly was my favorite was seeing his affection and admiration for Emma grow and evolve. From family friend and practically older brother, to loyal protector and ardent admirer. I very much appreciated seeing some scenes from George’s perspective in this tale, especially the latter ones. I wouldn’t have minded a few more, such as the double date at the Carriage House and his conversation with Julianne…

Perceptive and compelling, I Could Write a Book is a wonderful and worthy retelling of Jane Austen’s timeless tale. With eloquent style, grace, and insight Karen Cox has proven, once again, she can indeed ‘write a book!’ (Please continue to write many more, Karen!)

Note: Due to some brief intimate scenes later in the book, I’d recommend this book for Mature Audiences only.

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*Available for Pre-order Now.  Release Date September 19th!



In conjunction with her blog tour, Karen is generously giving away two lovely prize baskets – The Tea Prize Basket and The Pretty Things Basket!

Tea Prize Basket includes: A signed copy of I Could Write a Book, Mr. Knightley’s Reserve and Emma’s Perfect Match teas from Bingley’s Teas, a set of Jane Austen Book Coasters, and a Jane Austen Quotes mug.

Pretty Things Basket includes: A signed copy of I Could Write a Book, an “Emma” quote pendant, an Emma bangle bracelet, Regency cameo earrings, and a jewelry roll.

Commenting and entering through the rafflecopter widget on this blog enters you in a chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • These giveaways are open worldwide.  Thank you, Karen!
  • These giveaways will end October 6th.

I Could Write a Book Blog Tour!

Thank you to Claudine Pepe and Karen Cox for making this blog tour possible! 

Laughing with Lizzie ~ September 6 ~ Launch Post & Giveaway

So little time… ~ September 7 ~ Book Excerpt & Giveaway

Book Lover in Florida ~ September 8 ~ Guest Post & Giveaway

~ Austenesque Reviews ~ September 15 ~ Book Review & Giveaway ~

My Love for Jane Austen ~ September 16 ~ Guest Post  & Giveaway

Granny Loves to Read  ~ September 17 ~ Book Review & Giveaway

My Jane Austen Book Club ~ September 18 ~ Guest Post & Giveaway

Just Jane 1813 ~ September 19 ~ Video Interview with Karen M Cox & Giveaway

Sophia’s Sofa Chat ~ September 21 ~ An Interview with Karen M Cox on Goodreads 

Babblings of a Bookworm ~ September 22 ~ Book Review & Giveaway

Silver Petticoat Review ~ September 23 ~ Guest Post & Giveaway

From Pemberley to Milton ~ September 25 ~ Book Excerpt & Giveaway

Margie’s Must Reads ~ September 27 ~ Book Review & Giveaway

Obsessed with Mr Darcy ~ September 28 ~ Book Review

My Vices and Weaknesses ~ September 30 ~ Book Review & Giveaway

Diary of an Eccentric ~ October 2 ~ Book Review & Giveaway

More Agreeably Engaged ~ October 4 ~ Book Excerpt & Giveaway

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  37 Responses to “I Could Write a Book – Karen M. Cox”


    This is an amazing review, Meredith! You truly capture the essence and strengths of this story with your review. I connected with so many of your points, including your love for Mr. Knightley and your admiration of Emma. I hope lots of JAFF readers pick this book up because it’s such a tribute to Austen’s “Emma,” but charming and engaging on its own merits!!

    Thank you for all of your support with this release!!


    “Perceptive and compelling, ‘I Could Write a Book’ is a wonderful and worthy retelling of Jane Austen’s timeless tale. With eloquent style, grace, and insight Karen Cox has proven, once again, she can indeed ‘write a book!’ (Please continue to write many more, Karen!)”

    I love it when a reader REALLY gets the author — and enjoyed it in the affectionate manner the story was written. Wonderful review of a gorgeous book!


    So excited. Cannot wait to read this book. “Emma” is one of my favorite Austen novels. While everyone writes P&P retellings, there are never enough Emmas. Meredith’s fantastic review has me looking forward to getting my hands on a copy.
    Thanks for hosting the giveaway.


    I love the cover of this book. I, too, have liked Karen Cox’s previous books. Thank you for an excellent review which has peaked my curiosity and for the giveaway.


    This book sounds great , the ’70s are excited years & I love the cover aswell 😀


    Well, I think I’ve said this before, but Mr. Knightley is my favorite. Mr. Darcy comes in third. LOL I know, I hear the gasp. LOL 1973 was a good year (ahem) as well so I’m really looking forward to reading this one! Thanks for sharing your thought Meredith!


      LOL! I knew this about you, so it doesn’t astonish me! 😉 I do have to say there are times when I state Mr. Knightley is my favorite Austen hero over Mr. Darcy…it all depends on my mood! 😉


    loved this story. have already left a review on GR.



    Ah yes, I was in love with this story, too. Well articulated about the details. I swooned over George Knightley the minute he took her over to visit her mother. 🙂 Great review, Meredith!


    Meredith – wow! What an amazing review! I’m, of course, thrilled that you enjoyed the book, but, aside from that, this “perceptive and compelling” review (to toss your own words back at you) was wonderful. Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful words for “I Could Write a Book” 🙂


    Fantastic review, Meredith. I’ve just finished reading it too and I totally agree with everything you’ve said. You just say it so much better than I ever could! One of the many things I enjoyed about it was the alternating POVs; Emma’s in the first person and George’s in the third person.


    Love your review! Can’t wait to read this story!


    What a great premise for a modern retelling of Emma! Could have been snatched from my own life–minus the horse country. I’ll look forward to reading this one.


    Thank you so much for the great review. I am really interested in this book and your review made me excited! 🙂


    Meredith,such an enthusiastic response to this fantastic retelling of Emma!

    I’m so glad that you enjoyed it so much!
    I think the dual perspectives were a great idea as it made us,the reader,privy to the characters’ thoughts and feelings.

    I read and loved this book and having posted my meandering thoughts on GR,I highly recommend this one!


      Thank you, Mary! I just read your love review on GR and am so glad toy loved this one as much as I did! 😉 I agree, I love being privy to what both characters were thinking, feeling, interpreting everything!


    I loved this story. Being from KY was especially nice as I could see perfectly the scenes the author was describing. Although, Emma is not my favorite among Austen’s work, this re-imagining was well done.


      Oh lovely, Jeanne! I’m glad you were able to appreciate this story even though Emma stories aren’t your favorite and connect with it on a different level being from Kentucky yourself!


    I’m not much of an Emma fan; the only version of her story I’ve ever enjoyed was the movie Clueless. 😉 But this variation/retelling sounds quite intriguing, as do the other books Karen has written. I look forward to exploring all of them in the future!!

    Thank you for this lovely review, Meredith, and thank you, Karen, for this all-too-tempting give-away! 🙂

    Susanne 🙂


    I LOVED this book! I was privileged to take part in the book launch party and it was a blast! Emma has never been my favorite of Jane Austen’s work, but this book was perfect! What a wonderful portrayal of a classic story. It certainly gave me a new appreciation for the story of Emma!


    wonderful review Meredith. 🙂 I loved this book as well.


    Loved your review! I too just loved George in this adaptation. Karen did an amazing job!


    I am late to the party, but I just wanted to tell you know much I enjoyed your review. I agree that the parts from Emma and George’s points of view really help the reader connect with them. I am so glad that you enjoyed the book as much as I did 🙂

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