Harriet: A Jane Austen Variation


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HARRIET is an intriguing and original "take" on Jane Austen's immortal EMMA, by Publishers Weekly’s 2021 BookLife Prize quarterfinalist, Alice McVeigh.

THE BLURB: Emma, a privileged young heiress, decides to mentor Harriet Smith, a pretty boarding-school pupil, and to matchmake her as eligibly as she can… But how is she to guess that Harriet has a secret?

Meanwhile, the brilliant, penniless Jane Fairfax consents to a clandestine engagement with Frank Churchill – though not daring to confess, even to him, that she is being relentlessly pursued by her best friend’s husband.

HARRIET sidelines Emma herself in favour of the ingenious Harriet and the fascinating Jane Fairfax. It is EMMA – but an EMMA with a surprisingly believable twist in its tail.

“A dynamic take on a revered classic. This is still Austen’s EMMA—but the story that unfolds through the recollections of these two “side” characters feels remarkably fresh… With or without an understanding of EMMA, HARRIET contains a fully-formed narrative that should satisfy even the choosiest Austen fans… Readers will rarely find the words ‘page-turner’ and 'Jane Austen' in the same sentence, but McVeigh’s impeccably written HARRIET certainly fits the bill.” (IndieReader)

Harriet Smith boldly catapults herself into the delicate world of high society in HARRIET: A Jane Austen Variation, another masterfully penned homage by Alice McVeigh. Swirling rumors, sardonic asides and complex romantic geometry make for a saucy read, but there are also profound commentaries on gender roles, friendship and heartbreak laced within the prose… McVeigh delivers a remarkably engaging tale of love, loss, and learning from one’s mistakes, skillfully capturing the essence of Austen’s world, but adding fresh dimensions for a new generation of readers of historical romance. (Self-Publishing Review)

“A highly engrossing novel that captures the spirit of Austen and celebrates all the best qualities of her work from new and innovative angles… The characters are vibrant and full of life – McVeigh hits the mark spot-on.” (Readers Favorite editorial review)