By Jane Austen
Release Date: 1815
Source: Own CopySummary: 'I never have been in love; it is not my way, or my nature; and I do not think I ever shall.'
Beautiful, clever, rich - and single - Emma Woodhouse is perfectly content with her life and sees no need for either love or marriage. Nothing, however, delights her more than interfering in the romantic lives of others. But when she ignores the warnings of her good friend Mr Knightley and attempts to arrange a suitable match for her protegee Harriet Smith, her carefully laid plans soon unravel and have consequences that she never expected. With its imperfect but charming heroine and its witty and subtle exploration of relationships, Emma is often seen as Jane Austen's most flawless work.
Emma Woodhouse is perfect; she's rich, pretty, smart, and has loving friends and family. She also fancies herself a matchmaker, and enjoys trying to put people together, even though she claims love has no affect on her own heart. What Emma soon discovers though, is that not everything is at it seems. While Mr. Knightly, a friend of Emma's since she was born, warns Emma about the repercussions of meddling in the love lives of others, Emma can't help but try to put her hand in everything. Little does Emma know, she's in for more than she bargained for and soon learns more about herself and the nature of love and relationships than she ever thought possible.
I'm so perplexed over this novel. How can I dislike and love a character as much as I do with Emma? Honestly, Emma is exasperating, but you can't help but love her as she makes mistake after mistake when it comes to her "matchmaking." The way the relationships and story lines play out in this novel are so entertaining and I was certainly kept on my toes throughout the entire novel.
One of the main reasons why I think Emma was so likable along with her unlikable qualities, is her relationship with Mr. Knightly. He is definitely not afraid to put Emma in her place, and the way they continuously butt heads is so refreshing and fascinating in this Austen novel. Knightly always calls Emma out on her faults and mistakes, and the way she reacts to his comments in such a headstrong way makes their relationship a lot more complex and real than most of the relationships in this novel.
Like I said, this story is so entertaining. There are so many relationships and plots going on, that it's pretty much impossible not to be entirely immersed in what's happening to the characters. While this book was quite long (over 400 pages), so much happens and there are times when my eyes literally bugged out because I was shocked by certain plot twists. And boy were there plot twists! Jane Austen is the most phenomenal writer I've ever read, and Emma is one of the most complex, unnerving, lovable characters i've ever read about.
Surprise, surprise, I loved this book. I loved the story, the characters, and the romance. While, like every single Austen novel, most of the actually resolving of relationships doesn't occur until the last 50 pages of the novel, the story in the rest of the book was definitely fun to read and become immersed into. Emma is definitely one of the best Austen novels I've read and, if you haven't already, I'd definitely recommend you go pick it up right now! You're missing out on one of the best classics and classic characters ever written.