Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Emma by Jane Austen [1815]

I like the chipper expression on the
girl's face, but what's with the
 random dog?
I started reading this back in November, but my school reading got so overwhelming that I had to drop it for a while. But luckily, a few months later I tracked down my copy of it and started anew. And omigosh, it is a brilliant book. When I was younger (get your pitchforks and torches ready, well-read people of the earth) I thought Jane Austen was synonymous with sappy romances dripping with love-y goo. Of course, I couldn't have been further from the truth because Emma is probably the best executed romance novel I've ever read! Not like I've read that many romance novels, but this one was really good. Emma is a character I really connected to (especially in that we both sometimes need to be taken down a notch or two) and I find it funny that in any other story she would be the bratty rich girl. Yeah, the book says that the worst evil of her circumstances is that the always got her way, but if you think Emma is a spoiled twit, just wait until a certain Augusta Hawkins enters the scene. Ugh.
The characters are very believable and vivid. I've read some books where you know the main characters, but keep losing track of the others. I loved Bleak House, but I kept having to backtrack and review some of the supporting characters. But in Emma I knew who everyone was, and it even felt like I was actually at Hartfield. Not only the characters were familiar and real, so were the settings.
Emma is one of my favorite literary characters now, and despite her faults and troublesome meddling, she is a genuinely good person. All in all she's a very well-rounded character and I found her development through the story quite engaging. I also really liked Mr. Knightley, he's a gallant man, but he doesn't sugar-coat things, or hesitate to put his opinion on the table just because it might be offensive to somebody. He says exactly what he thinks, and stands by his position.
Other characters I really liked were Mr. Woodhouse, Poor Miss Taylor, and I actually came to like Jane Fairfax. All the characters were well-rounded, even the talkative bore Miss Bates has a moment or two of depth.
It wasn't completely flawless. There's no plot holes or anything like that, I just thought that the romantic complications got a little crazy at the end. Emma thought Harriet was in love with Frank Churchill! But she was actually in love with Mr. Knightely! Emma realizes she is in love with Mr. Knightley! All is lost! Oh wait, Mr. Robert Martin is still in love with Harriet, and turns out Mr. Knightley loves Emma. Looks like everyone is happily paired off!
It's not that bad though, and it wasn't one of those book situations that made me roll my eyes. No, the only times I rolled my eyes was when Mr. Elton was being an old married jerk, or Frank Churchill was being a flake. And that had nothing to do with the quality of the plot, it's just because those guys were being frustrating. :)

The Verdict: A+
Witty, interesting, and heartfelt, Emma quickly zipped near the top of my favorite book list. I suppose it's not perfect, I mean, nothing is truly perfect, but so far as a good read goes, it was perfecto. So yeah! I suppose I could have just reduced this post to one word and that word would be HUZZAH!!
Stay frosty, my friends!


  1. Hi!
    So I was just curious, would you have preferred that Mr. Martin married someone else while Harriet was busy dabbling in higher society?

    1. Heya ;)
      No, I wouldn't change anything about the story, I just thought it got a little complicated towards the end.
      Oh, and staaaaarrrzzz! (and no, I will never let that go XD)


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