Published: May 6th 2003 (first published 1815)
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 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.
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Page Count: 474
My thoughts on this were pretty conflicted after finishing it; on one hand the main character really bugged me, but on the other hand I liked the story and once I got past Emma’s flaws, liked her as well. Which is why I rated this 4 stars in the end, although at first I might’ve gone with a 3.5 or 3 star rating. Read on for a full review! 🙂
Emma Woodhouse had never been interested in her own marriage. She has no need for it, after all, she is well cared for without the help of a man’s fortune. She does, however, take pride in her matchmaking skills and spends a lot of time in
interfering aiding the love lives of others, which she finds throughout the book to have severe consequences. A story of social status and matchmaking troubles, Emma
I did like the plot, although I suppose it didn’t blow me away. There was nothing wrong with it, I guess it just didn’t interest me as much as, say, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice’s plot. But don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed it, and it’s one of the reasons I gave this book 4 stars. The plot was tactfully created, I just kind of flowed with it all and enjoyed it. Does that make sense? Point being, I liked the plot.
This is where most readers have issues. Emma is a very flawed character. I will tell you that right off the bat, and I’m sure most of you know that, if you’ve heard even a bit about this book. She’s naive, meddlesome, stubborn, and is quite vain; all in all, not very likeable. That being said, it was refreshing and interesting to see through the mind of such a character, despite the fact that I often felt like shaking Emma or slapping her so she would awaken and smarten up. I am happy to say, however, that even though Emma was hard to like, I still enjoyed the book. Sure, she got on my nerves, but she was still an enjoyable character, if that can be said about a person like Emma. After all, Emma isn’t a bad person, simply… needs to be more educated and less of a vain, stubborn and meddlesome character. She did have her good qualities though; I appreciated her compassion and patience with her father, she was relatively good-humoured, and she is in some ways, mature (as she should be). By the end of the book I appreciated the development her character goes through, so all’s good. 🙂
Like with Pride and Prejudice, I like the writing style, but it does take some time to get used to. If you’re new to classics, I wouldn’t say I completely recommend this one as the writing style can be hard to decipher sometimes, but if you think you can understand the writing style, and enjoy the writing style, you should be able to enjoy the story overall. Otherwise you kind of might just skim stuff, or read and not understand fully what you’re reading. 😉
I haven’t watched any adaptations of Emma, but here’s a movie trailer of the 1996 one!
I really liked this book! I honestly wasn’t expecting to, especially with Emma as the protagonist, but I ended up liking this. I praise Jane Austen for creating a not-so-likeable character, it was at the very least a good portrayal that humans are flawed. If you tend to dislike annoying, stubborn and meddlesome characters, then Emma will most certainly get on your nerves, but if you can look past all that, and understand the writing style, then this novel truly isn’t that bad.
Want to have a taste? Then go! Emma is waiting.