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.
*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!
- 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