Thursday, 30 May 2013

''Emma''- Book review

Author: Jane Austen
Published: 1815

Genres: Novel, Romance

Rating: 5 out of 5


I had been thinking of reading Jane Austen's Emma  since 2010, but never quite started reading it. This vacation, however, I firmly decided to read it, and so have I; I've just finished reading it. And the very first thing I'd like to say that I not only LOVED Emma, but I suppose it will absolutely become one of my favorite novels.

Emma started as a light, rather comedic read, but as it progressed, it became very deep and had excellent characterization, dialogues, and story.

In Jane Austen novels, we meet very memorable heroines, for example, the headstrong Elizabeth Bennet and the timid Anne Elliot. In Emma, our heroine is Emma Woodhouse, a ''handsome, clever and rich'' young woman. The novel starts as Emma's governess, Miss Taylor, is married to Mr Weston. Now, Emma thinks that she had contributed to make the feelings between Miss Taylor and Mr Weston stronger, and she thinks that she is quite excellent in matchmaking. And she loves doing it (matchmaking).

Before long, she is acquainted with Harriet Smith, a young boarder at Mrs Goddard's school for girls.  Emma decides that she will educate Harriet and polish her mind, and will make her as lady-like as possible. Emma and Harriet become close friends despite the difference in their social position. Emma thinks that Harriet is a perfect match for Mr Elton, who is the local vicar. Harriet gets a wedding proposal from Robert Martin, a gentlemanly and educated farmer, and though she (Harriet) wants to accept the proposal, Emma makes her deny it. Emma has firmly decided that Harriet must marry Mr Elton.

But how can Emma decide the future of two people? How can Emma completely control the feelings of two people? Things take a different turn, and nothing goes according to Emma's plan. And these wrong decisions and judgements will make Emma remorse and repent in the future; her interference into other people's feelings results negatively...

This is actually a rather short summary; there are MANY wonderful characters in this novel. Mr Knightley, who is a neighbor and brother of Emma's brother-in-law, plays an important role in the novel. He is the only person who can find faults in Emma, and openly disapproves Emma's hobby of matchmaking. Ultimately, he plays a vital role in this novel.

Of course, Emma is a flawed heroine. Her opinion that she is excellent in matchmaking completely backfires at her, and her being extremely decided leads her to misinterpret many things, and ultimately, it is inevitable to feel disapproval of Emma's thoughts and actions at times, but I also, near the end of the novel, felt sympathy the character quite much, especially after she becomes filled with regret and guilt about her bad behavior with Miss Bates and Jane Fairfax. And of course, her quick decision makes her feel guilty at future; but let's not talk about that in detail.

Oh, I haven't even mentioned the important characters in this novel! Well, there is Mr Woodhouse, a tender old man who is always worried about the health of the people he loves; there is Mr Weston, the wonderful man who marries Miss Taylor, Emma's governess; and there is Frank Churcill, Mr Weston's son from a previous marriage. Mr Weston's first wife had died when Frank was little;  and Frank was raised by his uncle and aunt. Now, Frank pays visit to his father and the present Mrs Weston (who had once been Emma's governess), and Emma becomes close with him, and his relation with several of the characters is also an important aspect of the story...

The novel is also humorous at times. For example, Mr Woodhouse's complete dependence and extreme trust for Mr Perry, the local doctor, sometimes seems ridiculous. The talkative Miss Bates also contributes to the funny parts of the novel. 

And then also, Emma is also a quite serious novel. It was quite a light novel at the beginning, but as the story progressed, it became deep and thought-provoking. It is a VERY enjoyable novel, I absolutely loved it. 

5 out of 5


  1. I have not read Emma, although I've seen a film version of it, but having read your review, I feel that I should read it now. Very nice, enthusiastic review!

    1. Thank you so much! :) I hope you enjoy reading the novel ''Emma''! Happy reading