Sunday, 29 August 2010
Emma by Jane Austen
In the summer, I always try to read some classics, because I have the time to concentrate and read them properly. My sister is a Jane Austen nerd (she did a module called 'Reading the Romance' at university) and gave me an extra copy of Emma a few weeks ago, so I decided to give it a whirl.
Synopsis: Emma fancies herself as a bit of a matchmaker and tries to set up all of her friends, although things don't quite go as she plans.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
I liked this book well enough. The character of Emma was engaging (I loved that she wasn't perfect) and easy to relate to. Austen used the trick of letting the reader know what Emma didn't, meaning that we could easily see what was going to go wrong and sometimes it was funny (though probably would have been funnier when it was published). Some of the more minor characters were really well done too, especially Harriet and Mr Elton.
I just didn't love the book though, like I loved 'Pride and Prejudice'. It seemed very long and not much actually happened. All the comic plays on class distinctions were not as relevant or sharp as they would have been when it was written. And Mr Knightley seemed too perfect, not like a real person at all. If he really was that perfect, why did he like Emma?
All in all, a good read but not as good as I hoped it would be.