Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Book 4 of '10 Emma by Jane Austen


I've owned Emma for three years, and I had never picked it up! I thought it would be a good idea to start the year by reading a book that has a protagonist with my name!

Dust Jacket Description:

'I have never been in love; it is not my way, or my nature; and I do not think I ever shall'

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 protegee Harriet Smith, her carefully laid plans soon unravel andhave 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.

Characters: I loved Emma. I know many people her despised her oblivious, idiotic, conscending ways, but despite all this, I loved Emma. I didn't like Emma because she was clever and pretty, although she was, I liked her because I completely understood her character. She is someone who is virtually impossible not to relate to unless you're lying to yourself. She finds kind Jane Fairfax and Miss Bates dull and manipulates Harriet to refuse Mr. Martin's marriage proposal in the subtlest of ways. I laughed multiple times reading these passages, because these are the sort of things I would think but never act on. And Emma does act on them because of her class. Her main downfall is that she is completely inept at empathy, and sees everything through her own eyes. She is such an unreliable narrator, which is so different to the norm these days, that it's somewhat shocking. I would never like Emma if I were to met her in real life, but living inside her head is another story. She's lovable not in spite of her faults, but because of them. And I haven't even gotten to the other characters yet! There is not one character in this novel that isn't well written. I loved seeing Harriet, who reminded me of the girl in high school who is desparate to fit in, who remains sweet and kind in the worst of times. Mr. Woodhouse was great comic relief, and do not even get me started on Mr. Knightley. He's direct, sharp and just in general very much a man. He's also the only person who calls Emma on her faults. He walks the line between the arrogant love interest and the best friend love interest so well that you don't know which side to put him on, and that's truly the brillance of his character. Mr Darcy who? 5 flowers.

Writing: Jane Austen is a genius. The class questions addressed in this novel were so subtle that unless you were looking for them you wouldn't find them. It's a fun, fluffy novel that's clever and witty, written in a way that only Austen knows how to pull off. 5 flowers.

Plot: The pacing was quite slow, but enough happened in between to keep me interested, although I already knew all of the surprises. 4 flowers.

Originality: Originality isn't really an issue, is it? It's an Austen novel. Although Mr. Knightley certainly isn't the usual love interest, and Emma is definitely not the average protagonist. 4 and a half flowers.

Ending: Satisfying. 5 flowers.

Dust Jacket Description: More mention of Frank Churchill, please! 4 flowers.

Cover: Despise this picture. This is not Emma at all. 4 flowers.

Overall: 5 flowers.

Emma Out!


  1. Jane Austen is my favorite author, and I do love Emma, although I'd have to say Persuasion is my favorite of hers. Have you read any other Austen books?

  2. Fantastic review. I really must read this some time.

  3. I've only read Pride and Prejudice besides Emma. I adore Austen, she had a real gift as a writer.

    Juju: Thank you! It's wonderful. Please read it and then tell me what you think!