Saturday, March 7, 2009

Emma by Jane Austen -- A Book Review

Beautiful, clever, rich - and single - Emma Woodhouse is perfectly content with her life and sees no need for either love or marriage. Nothing, however, delights her more than interfering in the romantic lives of others. But when she ignores the warnings of her good friend Mr Knightley and attempts to arrange a suitable match for her protégée Harriet Smith, her carefully laid plans soon unravel and have consequences that she never expected. With its imperfect but charming heroine and its witty and subtle exploration of relationships, Emma is often seen as Jane Austen's most flawless work.
(words and picture taken from Amazon)
My Review:
(Spoilers included)
What a great story! Austen wrote that she thought no one but her would like her heroine, Emma. I have to disagree I loved Emma. She’s a bit spoiled and thinks well of herself, but I ask myself is there anything really wrong with that? Being confident and self-assured are all qualities I look for in people. Yet being confident and self-assured can also be called arrogant or conceited. Which can easily be mis-interpreted in some people (Pride and Prejudice). What’s wrong with being happy with who you are? Being a spoiled brat is awful because one could never be satisfied--always wanting more. If you are a little spoiled it can be nice and most people deserve a little spoiling here and there. There are problems if you think you are perfect and think there is no room for improvement. Emma does not think herself perfect. She just acknowledges that she was born to privilege and plays her role of dutiful daughter and neighbor and she has someone making sure her head does not swell to the size of a watermelon…
(Spoilers Start Here)
...Enter Mr. Knightley! I think he gives Mr. Darcy a run for his money!! He is a lot older then Emma, but I think that was common for the time period. Men had to make sure they could afford a wife and home e&…so they married later in life and chose young brides. Which was suitable for the bride as they had the comfort of knowing they had a sensible man to take care of them financial. That they love each other is obvious when her friend Mrs. Weston confides to her that she thinks Mr. Knightley likes Jane Fairfax and Emma gets in a right start and starts rambling that he can’t marry and ruin her nephew’s prospects. Made me laugh. Which is another reason I like this book: it’s comical. Mr. Knightly has been patiently waiting for Emma to grow up. He does not say anything out right about Mr. Frank Churchill except for passing comments of his foolishness. When he realizes that Emma never had any real feelings for him he can’t help himself, but to confess his feelings. It's my favorite part in the book it’s what the reader has been waiting for!!
(Spoilers End Here)
Emma is a lovable character who grows and changes as the story moves on. She's caring to all around her. Except for that nasty Mrs. Elton!! The supporting characters are fun too and I dare say that you may recognize your friends and family in them! I've read it twice now and I can say I will read it again if I ever find a lull. I have tons of reading to get on with, but sometimes you want a carefree love story. Austen is wonderful and I have three more of her books to get to!!

For a full background on the story check out this link:

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