Saturday, October 27, 2012

Emma, Jane Austen

Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her. 

This is my second attempt at reading Emma. When I got it in late August, I got about twenty pages and had to put it down. Now, I picked up where I left off, and I really enjoyed this one. I don't know why I couldn't get through it before. Maybe I was just in the mood for a different genre.

Emma is the story of Emma Woodhouse "handsome, clever, rich". She is also extremely spoiled, and her favorite pastime is making matches for all her friends; pairing them up with men. Her beloved tutor, Miss Taylor, was recently married to Mr. Weston. Now Emma's attention has fallen on Harriet Smith. She pulls Harriet away from Mr. Martin, the man she truly loves, and tries to match her up with Mr. Elton, a wealthy handsome young vicar, with disastrous consequences. That's the main plot.

There are several other side-stories: that of Jane Fairfax, an orphan taken in by a friend of her father, Frank Churchill, Mr. Weston's son who was adopted by his uncle, and of course, Emma and Mr. Knightley, a long-standing friend.

Emma is a character that you don't like; I kept wishing that she would just mind her own business. Mr. Knightley redeems her a bit; he's smart, and realizes that Emma should not be interfering. But there's not much he can do about it. But he is a great character. Austen's writing is very light and witty, which I enjoyed.

I read the Penguin Thread (Deluxe) edition, and I've got to say, it was just beautiful. Seeing the image doesn't do it justice. Penguin uses 3D imaging to scan a woven pattern. So basically, you can feel the stitches on the front of the cover and the back of the cover (and the back side too.) Beautiful, beautiful design, and I look forward to reading some of the other books from this series.

Emma was an enjoyable read; though I didn't love it as much as Pride and Prejudice, I definitely liked it more than Northanger Abbey

Read Emma:
  • if you like Jane Austen
  • if you like light romance
  • if you liked the movie/TV series
392 pages, 4.5 stars.

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