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Book of the Week #64 "Emma"

by Jane Austen

Emma Woodhouse is a very beautiful, smart young woman. Her mother died when she was young, and as the story begins, her governess, Miss Taylor, has just married Mr. Weston, leaving Emma and her father Mr. Woodhouse to themselves. Both are quite sad to see Miss Taylor go, knowing they will greatly miss her company. Yet Emma soon finds a new companion in Harriet Smith. Harriet is a beautiful young woman, though a bit naïve. Emma is determined to set Harriet up with her future husband, yet her match making could have disastrous results.

Emma probably isn't my favorite Austen novel, though it isn't my least favorite, either. I don't dislike any of the ones I've read, there are just some that I enjoyed more than others. Emma wasn't my favorite heroine, but I didn't dislike her either. I didn't like the way she treated Harriet, and I thought she seemed pretty spoiled; as though she felt entitled to treat anyone as badly as she wished. Yet despite all that, throughout the book I was hoping to see her change her ways. By the end of the story, I saw that happen, and I was very glad.

As for the other characters in the book, I liked some, and some I just felt "meh" about. I liked Mr. Woodhouse and thought he seemed like a comforting sort of person, even though he was a bit eccentric and seemingly over concerned over everyone's health. I don't have an opinion on Isabella, Emma's sister, because I don't remember reading a ton about her. For most of the book I kept wondering how things would come together with Mr. Knightley, because it seemed like he was sort of lurking in the shadows. He was mentioned, but he wasn't a very prominent character until the last volume of the book. I like Mr. Knightley and I think he's a good balance for Emma. He's sensible and helps keep her grounded. I felt sorry for Harriet and all that Emma put her through, but I'm glad she got a happy ending.

All in all, Emma was good book. Not my absolute favorite, but definitely worth reading.

I give this book a 4 out of 5.

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