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Sonali Dev’s The Emma Project is a fresh and entertaining take on Jane Austen’s Emma.

book review the emma project by sonali dev

Who is Sonali Dev?

Sonali Dev combines her mad love for telling stories returned full force with her insights into Indian culture to conjure up stories that make a mad tangle with her life as supermom, domestic goddess, and world traveler.

the emma project by sonali dev

Sonali lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband and two teens and the world’s most perfect dog.

Sonali’s novels are listed on Library Journal, NPR, Washington Post, and Kirkus’s Best Books of the year lists.

She won the American Library Association’s award for best romance, the RT Reviewer Choice Award for best contemporary romance, multiple RT Seals of Excellence, is a RITA® finalist, and has been listed for the Dublin Literary award.

Shelf Awareness describes Sonali Dev as “Not only one of the best but one of the bravest romance novelists working today.

Official Description of The Emma Project

Emma gets a fresh Indian-American twist from award-winning author Sonali Dev in her heartwarmingly irresistible Jane Austen inspired rom com series.

No one can call Vansh Raje’s life anything but charmed. Handsome—Vogue has declared him California’s hottest single—and rich enough to spend all his time on missions to make the world a better place. Add to that a doting family and a contagiously sunny disposition and Vansh has made it halfway through his twenties without ever facing anything to throw him off his admittedly spectacular game.

A couple years from turning forty, Knightlina (Naina) Kohli has just gotten out of a ten-year-long fake relationship with Vansh’s brother and wants only one thing from her life…fine, two things. One, to have nothing to do with the unfairly blessed Raje family ever again. Two, to bring economic independence to millions of women in South Asia through her microfinance foundation and prove her father wrong about, well, everything.

Just when Naina’s dream is about to come to fruition, Vansh Raje shows up with his misguided Emma Project… And suddenly she’s fighting him for funding and wondering if a friends-with-benefits arrangement that’s as toe-curlingly hot as it is fun is worth risking her life’s work for.

Review of The Emma Project

Fans of the Raje family will be surprised and curious to see how Naina Kohli, a secondary character from Incense and Sensibility, makes for a sympathetic heroine. Due to her dealings with India and Nash in the previous book, some readers might have been left with a negative impression. However, I am delighted to share that this was a terrific turn of events. And we are given many reasons to see Naina in a different and more sympathetic light.

The Emma Project is a fun finale to The Rajes series. It is not only fast paced but also delightfully entertaining as we have come to expect from Sonali Dev‘s writings.

A fun tidbit about the book is that Sonali employs gender swapping for her two leads. Vansh Raje, the youngest of the Raje children, is given the Emma role and Naina Kohli is put in the role typically thought of as Mr. Knightley’s.

While I enjoyed the fast pace of the story, I do find it necessary to explain that the story is but only loosely based on Jane Austen’s book. There are many storylines and subplots in both stories that do not cross over. And the climax many readers will likely be looking for ends up happening off the page which is somewhat disappointing to say the least.

But no spoilers. I will leave it there in hopes you will enjoy taking a week to read The Emma Project for yourself when it is released on May 17, 2022.

Many thanks to Sonali Dev and NetGalley for the review copy. All opinions are my own.

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