Review: Emma

It’s better late than never, right? As you may have noticed, I didn’t post any book reviews on the blog during 2019. So while I’ll still be sharing short reviews on Instagram, on the blog expect to find more elaborate ramblings on the books I’m reading.

The first book I’ve finished this year was Emma. To be honest, I tried reading Emma last year but couldn’t get past the first chapter. For some odd reason, I just wasn’t feeling it. Has that ever happened to you? And as an avid reading and Jane Austen admirer, I even felt kinda guilty. But several months passed and it wasn’t until December ‘19 that I decided to give it another try. Only then did I realize that the edition I had bought had some faded pages. The print was small so it made it really hard to read. Hence, I bought another edition (hurray to hoarding books).

This time, I did get into the story. I would’ve finished sooner, but with the holidays and a small trip I took outside of the country, made it difficult to read without interruptions. Nevertheless, I finished Emma in less than two months. For some, it might be a lot of time. For me, that’s around my average. If I’m completely honest, I’m not the fastest reader. Not to mention, I have the habit of rereading certain passages as I go along, which causes me to take more time.

Well now back to the novel. Emma is about Emma (well isn’t that obvious?). She’s young and wealthy, the youngest daughter of Mr. Woodhouse and lives in Highbury. At the young age of 21, she basically considers herself an expert at identifying people’s wishes and intentions. She’s even played “cupid” and takes the credit for Ms. Taylor’s marriage — her former governess. While topics as such entertain her, she by no means has the intention of getting married.

Things start to get interesting when another character gets involved –Harriet Smith. She’s a young student at Mrs. Goddard’s academy (who is a friend of the family). When Harriet came to Highbury for a visit, the two started talking the friendship kicked off immediately. Emma was eager to have another close friend since Ms. Taylor moved out after her marriage.

Along the way, Emma realizes the consequences of her misconceptions. She filled Harriet’s head with unrealistic ideas (although she solemnly swore by them) and that eventually causes Harriet to get her feelings hurt — twice. Another notable character was Mr. Knightley, who is the brother of her sister’s husband. He’s more centered and doesn’t approve of Emma’s stubborn and overactive imagination. He’s actually the only character that confronts and criticizes her ways, still she ignore his warnings.

The recurring theme of this novel is marriage: from couples that everyone was hoping would get married to those unexpected and hidden ties. But the real question is, will Emma ever change her mind and have a wedding herself?

You’ll have to find out, I really don’t like giving out spoilers for those who haven’t read it yet.

This is the fifth Jane Austen novel I read (only have Mansfield Park left). I’ve enjoyed it as much as I have enjoyed the others, but I’d say it’s a bit more comical than the rest. Definitely worth the read.

“Seldom, very seldom, does complete truth belong to any human disclosure; seldom can it happen that something is not a little disguised or a little mistaken.” – Emma, Jane Austen

That’d be all for now. ‘Til next time!