I just finished Emma last week and I’ve been so excited to review this book, because I loved it so much. This was my third Jane Austen read, but my first in a while. I read Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility in high school and haven’t read new Austen since. That meaning, I’ve reread Pride and Prejudice SO many times but Emma was proof that Jane Austen knew what she was doing and could give the same quality storytelling in all her writing. Although I knew that Emma is a beloved story. All my watching of Clueless and Gwyneth Paltrow’s Emma made me relatively familiar with the story and the announcement of the Emma Approved webseries convinced me that I needed to read this for myself. Also, can we just appreciate this beautiful cover? The Penguin Threads covers are gorgeous and I have been eyeing this cover for the last year so I knew that I wasn’t spending money on the cheap BN cover and giving my money to this one.
Emma is about Emma Woodhouse, younger daughter of Woodhouse family, who lives with her father and acts as woman of the house. Her mother died when Emma was young and her sister, Isabella, got married some years ago. Since then Emma’s closest companion has been her governess, Anne Taylor. At the beginning of the story Miss Taylor has gotten married and moved out of the house, much to the dismay of both Woodhouses. Emma takes credit for the new Mrs. Weston meeting and eventually marrying Mr. Weston and therefore sees herself as a 5-star matchmaker. She decides to help a young girl named Harriet Smith find a suitable husband. Emma is twenty in the story and many find she is mature for her age and follow her lead for opinions on everything. Emma, is actually quite naive and believes herself always right which leads to several poor choices and assumptions.
I had such fun reading this. The characters are sassy, ignorant and funny. Now I never saw Emma as insufferable as some but it is obvious that she is not a perspective that can always be trusted. I saved my opinions on other characters until we actually saw them interacting with others, but Emma was correct on opinions of both Eltons and Harriet, for the most part. I found myself enjoying Knightley’s appearances because he possesses the experience Emma lacks but isn’t afraid to rash with people he dislikes. Overall, I loved this book and have added it to my favorite books. I highly recommend it if you enjoy high-jinx in matchmaking.