Overview (No Spoilers): Back in high school when I went through my initial classical literature phase I cannot believe I managed to avoid reading Emma. Pride and Prejudice is one of my all time favorite books, as such I’m not sure why I was so averse to picking up another one of Austen’s classics. Maybe there was an Emma that was quite a bully in my childhood I can’t seem to recall? Regardless, I have finally picked up Emma and am enthralled. After only a few scenes into this classic I had a strange sense of deja vu involving the movie Clueless, and upon looking up the aforementioned 90s flick I was surprised to find out that the comedy was indeed based on Emma. Unfortunately, this revelation made the rest of the book predictable, however did not deter from my enjoyment of this drama filled storyline. Several times I found myself literally laughing out loud in response to one of Emma’s clever retorts or physically cringing listing to one of Miss Bates’ run on dialogues. Overall, filled with witty banter and coy flirting, Emma is a delightfully fun, lighthearted read that should be on everyone’s must read list.
Additional Insight (Spoilers Abound):
- Poor Harriet Smith. By Emma taking her under her aristocratic, though well meaning wing she had to endure several heart aches before she ended up right where she would have sans Emma. I was rather frustrated with Emma with regard for her treatment of Harriet after it came to light that the latter was infatuated with Mr. Knightly.
- Oh Mr. Knightly, melt my modern heart. I absolutely loved his scenes with Emma, even before they finally confessed their hearts’ desires. !
- Mrs. Elton was just the absolute worst. I could hardly handle her meddling in Jane Fairfax’s affairs, even though poor Jane was absolutely and adamantly against finding any immediate employment.
- I was a bit caught off guard by Frank and Jane being secretly engaged. I guessed the piano had come from Frank after he rushed out for a rather suspicious ‘hair cut’ in London, however I didn’t see the extent of their affections until it was officially announced to the community.
- There are several very tedious, trying, frankly annoying character filled in Emma’s pages, e.g., Mr. Woodhouse, Miss Bates, Mrs. Elton. Initially, their tiresome monologues were a trial for the readers, nonetheless by the end I would listen affectionately to Miss Bates lengthy word vomits and Mr. Woodhouse’s constant worrying. Alas, there was no warmth geared toward Mrs. Elton, other than the knowledge that all of her selfish scheming was for naught.