Tuesday, July 30
Book Review: Emma
Author: Jane Austen
Summary: The Most perfect of Jane Austen’s novels centers around twenty-one-year-old Emma Woodhouse comfortably dominating the social order in the village of Highbury, convinced that she has both the understanding and the right to manage other people’s lives - for their own good of course. Her well-meant interfering beginnings with the aloof Jane Fairfax, the dangerously attractive Frank Churchill, the foolish yet appealing Harriet Smith, and the ambitious young vicar Mr. Elton - and ends with Emma’s own complacency shattered, her mind awakened to some of life’s more intractable dilemmas, and her happiness assured. Jane Austen’s comic imagination is so deft and beautifully fluent that her stories probe the deepest human ironies while setting before us dazzling gallery of characters - some pretentious or ridiculous, some admirable and moving, but all utterly true.
My Rating: 7.5/10
What I liked/disliked about the book: I enjoyed the writing, the overall story was fine, but the characters were a bit of a flop for me, as I never warmed up to them and I could never completely get into the story, because of I could never appreciate the characters. I will always love the writing style and narrative of Jane Austen, the writing is just lovely, and I always find I enjoy her books to some extent, even if the story doesn't work, because of the writing alone draw you in to the book.
The story was okay, and there were times I was interested in it, and times were I didn't want to put the book down, but that was mainly due to the writing. There were many times, I found I just didn't like the characters enough to be interested in the book enough to keep reading. Since the book is heavily character based, liking the characters is somewhat essential. I found they were all a bit frivolous and they weren't very likeable, I thought Emma would be a bit entertaining, as I expected her to be a little more eccentric, but she came off somewhat bland. The other characters were also a bit bland, and I felt that because there was such a large cast of characters, there was little development for any of them. I also found the book to drag out and it to be a bit repetitive in the day to day conversations on who is courting who, the opinions of character x and z.
Although sometimes I did get a laugh out of the cattiness of some of the characters towards each other, along with some of their inner thoughts of some of characters, which shows the author's wit, the overall story wasn't exactly what I expected. I really hoped Emma would be a character I would enjoy, but she was just lacking that pull to make me love the book.
Would I recommend it to read: I would, it's not my favourite by the author, but well worth reading.
What to read next: Anything by Jane Austen, the Bronte Sisters, George Eliot
Challenges: 100 Books Challenge, 2013 Category Challenge, Mount TBR Challenge