Emma, by Jane Austen

Cover ImageFinished audio 9-12-11, rating 3/5, fiction, pub. 1815

Unabridged audio. 15 1/2 hours. Read by Nadia May

Emma Woodehouse is a spoiled English lady who enjoys high prominence in Highbury.  She fills her time by trying to improve people’s lives, her current victim, young, impressionable Harriet believes Emma when she tells her to set her sights high.  Emma is spurned in her attempts to help Harriet and she also faces a good deal of criticism from her old friend, Mr. Knightley.

This is my fourth Austen novel and my least favorite so far.  I just couldn’t muster any sympathy for Emma.  She thought very highly of herself even if she did seem to realize her shortcomings by the end.  The end just couldn’t come fast enough for me.  There wasn’t much a story to keep my interest either.  It all seemed like an aimless walk through the park without much to look at.  Mr. Knightley as a hero was the saving grace since he seemed to call Emma on her self-importance, but there wasn’t enough of him to save the book for me.

I know Austen fans might tell me I missed the subtle humor, the subtext.  And they would be correct.

This is from my personal library and was chosen by Candice, Jennifer, MsMazzola, Alita, Kathrin, and Wendy.  Here’s what they had to say…

“Everyone should read Austen.”  MsMazzola

“One of my favourite books and Emma Woodhouse is a brilliant character and this book is begging to be read.”  Jennifer

19 thoughts on “Emma, by Jane Austen

  1. Emma is hard to like, being rich and spoiled and thinking she knows best about everything and everyone around her. However, my least liked Austen heroine is Fanny Price/the doormat.

  2. It’s been quite a few years since I’ve read Emma. So my memory only goes from the movies I’ve seen and I adore those! I’ll have to jump into it again soon and see how I like it now.

  3. I can see how it would be hard to feel sympathy for Emma. I started this one a few months ago and haven’t finished it yet. I had to put it aside to read other books, and part of me wants to just savor it because it’s the last Austen novel I haven’t read. So far, my least favorite is Mansfield Park, but we’ll see if that changes after I finish this one.

  4. I started reading Emma this summer for the Classic Bribe challenge but I just couldn’t get caught up in it. (I liked the movie.) Maybe audio is the answer. I’ll give it a try.

  5. I have been curious about Emma since I was a wee adolescent watching Clueless, which was supposed to be loosely based on Emma. Of course I have yet to read it although I have the movie version with Gwyneth Paltrow in my netflix queue.

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