Liz (Consumed by Books)'s Reviews > Emma

Emma by Jane Austen
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Jun 07, 11

bookshelves: 4-star, classics, own, jane-in-june-and-austen-in-august
Read from May 07 to 24, 2011

Moreso than some of Austen’s other works, it seems, Emma gets a lot of mixed reviews. With this being my fourth Jane Austen novel and being somewhat different from her other work, it was almost a shock to the system. Yet much like with every other Austen novel I’ve read, I loved it. Austen’s wit may be more subtle in this one, and the humor sometimes mean, but the more serious subject matter made me both sympathetic and empathetic towards the characters and their situations.

Emma focuses heavily on how other people treat each other, on what kindness is and how to be kind. I started of this novel with a mixture of like and dislike for Emma. It was undeniable that she was a little snobby, and perhaps her matchmaking advice wasn’t always the best, but I could tell that her intentions were to make other people happy. There is still humor throughout this book, but Austen also makes us think about humor and its context. When is humor more hurtful than funny? How does one’s use of humor affect how others judge that person? Even without as much witty banter or parodying as some of Austen’s other novel, I still found myself chuckling at some of the characters.

As this is my fourth Austen novel, some aspects of the romance were a tiny bit predictable for me, in the sense that right away I could tell who scumbag guy would turn out to be and who might later end up with whom. However, this didn’t make the book any less enjoyable for me. In fact, it may have even made me like it more. What is it that made this guy bad? I must say that even moreso than other Austen novels, this one had me guessing how everyone was paired off, especially because there were two characters I was dying to see together.

Like many of the Austen heroes I meet, I adored Mr. Knightley. He was a very gracious and generous character, but he also stuck me as gentle. He teaches Emma a good deal about how to be a more compassionate person, but was never too harsh in his reprimands.

Austen is often known for her wit, and I think Emma showcases a more reflective side of her writing. I admit that this was a slower read my first time around, but I know that it’s a book which I will grow to love. Emma satisfied my need for some more Jane Austen on every level.
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Reading Progress

05/12/2011 page 56
12.0% "Finally starting to get into this one. So good!"
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Melissa Great review. I loved this book of Austen's as well. ^^

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