Oh, Emma. <3
It's been three years since the only other time I've read this book. This re-read has definitely pushed it more towards the top of my "Favorite Austens" list. So much to love, and all the more so because other people don't appreciate Emma enough. It's lonely at the top!Why I Love This BookEmma
is such a witty read. Each character has its place and purpose, and they make decisions I can understand instead of doing whatever will move the plot forward most conveniently. I was immersed in the story despite its lack of action (when one of the most memorable scenes is one character mildly mocking another at a picnic, you know it's Austen). The romance was a pleasant surprise. Jane's writing is as sharp as always.Why I Love This Character
Poor Emma. It seems like none of my GR friends care much for her. She's willful and slightly snobbish and blind to most things. Finally. FINALLY. A character who is just as much of a spoiled idiot as me on occasion, but also full of real compassion and a desire to do good. To all the haters: sorry she isn't Lizzy/Elinor/Anne. But my Emma is one of a kind and if she wants to have a long-term flirtation with a guy she doesn't even like, (view spoiler)[(LOVE Frank Churchill, by the way. He must have had so much fun messing with everybody's minds.) (hide spoiler)]
she's going to do it, regardless of what you think. I'm in awe of the fact that she waited until page 296 of my copy to flip her lid on Miss Bates. I think reading all of Miss Bates' dialogue actually destroyed part of my soul. Too traumatized to continue that line of thought.Other Highlights
Mrs. Elton in general was a joy. I was so delighted every time she talked about "Mr. E" or "Knightley" in particular. And the end scene with her acting like Emma didn't know about the secret engagement? Hysterical.
Mr. Knightley was also a fantastic addition. I prefer him a thousand times over to Mr. Darcy, thankyouverymuch. He was just as gracious at the beginning as he was at the end, which is always a plus.
Lastly (and I know this isn't really a reflection on the merits of the book itself), reading this makes me long to watch Clueless
again. Love the modern interpretation that movie gives.Favorite Line
"Mr. Knightley seemed to be trying not to smile; and succeeded without difficulty upon Mrs. Elton's beginning to talk to him."
Oh, the snark.