Author: Jane Austen (1815)
jusco’s Rating: ★★★1/2
Emma Woodhouse is described in the first sentence as “handsome, clever, and rich” – not the typical heroine one would expect from Jane Austen. The story follows her adventurous attempts at matchmaking, which often ends terribly for her poor, chosen victims. Ultimately, she who had initially swore she would never marry (for she found it unnecessary), discovers love herself. Though she does share the same wittiness and independence of both action and thought with Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice, she is unlike many Austen characters in the fact that she is at the top of society in terms of class and wealth. This, in turn, often leads to her inferior viewing of her acquaintances; it is in line with her status but can be rather obnoxious. Though she is spoiled and thinks highly of herself, it does not mean that she is not likable. By the end, you do manage to sympathise with her as she realises her prideful mistakes, and even admire her courage and confidence (ironically, those were her biggest pitfalls in the beginning). Be warned, Emma is rather long-drawn and at times, with very little happening other than Emma’s personal thoughts, can be quite tedious. But you will find Ms. Austen’s writing at her best; an obvious maturity and improvement from her previous novels are apparent from her beautifully crafted sentences and paragraphs. If you can get past the draggy passages, you will be able to find a humourous story with a very happy ending.