Now that I have all my computer business sorted out (and at home sick today) I’m going to try to get moving on my Jane Austen reviews. Emma was the second Jane Austen book I read, and the only one I read for school. I was 15 at the time and actually wasn’t all that fond of the book. It was funny, yes, but I found Emma herself absolutely insufferable and the relationship between her and Mr. Knightley kind of squicky (fell in love with her at 13???) but watched the Gwyneth Paltrow movie and liked it. A couple years later, I gave it another try and loved it!
It’s probably second or third favorite of all Jane Austen’s novels. I still find Emma to be very irritating at times but she is a very amusing character to read about. Like Elizabeth Bennet in a way, she is so sure of herself and her impressions of people and turns out to be totally wrong at just about everything. I like how she learns her lesson when some of her matchmaking attempts go awry. And I realized that Mr. Knightley wasn’t serious about falling for Emma when she was only 13, thank heavens. I like that Frank Churchill, the “bad guy” of the book, isn’t exactly a villain per se, but still a total cad.
Most of all, I like the element of mystery. Who sent Jane Fairfax the piano? What secrets are the characters hiding? It wasn’t a crime novel or anything, “only” a romance, but throughout there was a sense that things weren’t what they seemed, which I enjoyed. Of course, now there’s no surprise to learn of Jane and Frank’s engagement but it’s fun to pick out the all the hints or “clues” that Mr. Knightley picks up on but Emma is totally oblivious to.
I like Mr. Knightley as a character, but he’s not exactly my type. Emma needs someone to keep her on the right track, but I’d be afraid he’d be nagging me all the time. I guess it’s of no importance, since he’s a fictional character and all, but it’s still fun to think about.
My Rating: 10/10