Stacy's Books

books, movies, and boy

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

September 21, 2011 - Posted by | 3 Star Books |


  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.

    Comment by StephanieD | September 21, 2011 | Reply

    • I liked Masfield Park, the movie, but haven’t read the book yet.

      Comment by stacybuckeye | September 23, 2011 | Reply

  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.

    Comment by Heather | September 21, 2011 | Reply

  3. I’m sorry you didn’t like this one as much. However, I do think it’s a great idea to listen to the classics on audio. I need to give that a try!

    Comment by Amused | September 21, 2011 | Reply

  4. I’ve never read this book and, to be honest, it doesn’t sound like I’ve missed much.

    Comment by BermudaOnion | September 21, 2011 | Reply

  5. I’ve never read Emma but I will plan to even if I find it somewhat mediocre. I’d like to read all of Austen’s work.

    Comment by Kathleen | September 21, 2011 | Reply

    • I plan on reading the last two 🙂

      Comment by stacybuckeye | September 23, 2011 | Reply

  6. 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.

    Comment by Anna (Diary of an Eccentric) | September 22, 2011 | Reply

    • You are the second commenter to warn me of Mansfield Park! We’ll see what happens when read it.

      Comment by stacybuckeye | September 23, 2011 | Reply

  7. I agree, I was never a fan of Emma the character and think she is a bit of a brat 🙂

    Comment by jennygirl | September 22, 2011 | Reply

  8. I think my least favorite is Mansfields Park. I enjoy Emma, but it is not my favorite Austen novel. Emma is a hard character to like.

    Comment by Laura's Reviews | September 22, 2011 | Reply

    • Lots of negative vibes for Mansfield Park!

      Comment by stacybuckeye | September 23, 2011 | Reply

  9. I think I read Emma a while ago, but don’t remember much about it. It doesn’t sound like I should bother with a re-read though.

    Comment by Carol | September 22, 2011 | Reply

  10. 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.

    Comment by Margot | September 22, 2011 | Reply

    • I was hoping to finish it for the challenge and didn’t make it 🙂

      Comment by stacybuckeye | September 23, 2011 | Reply

  11. 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.

    Comment by quirky girls read-jehara | September 24, 2011 | Reply

  12. Believe it or not I have not read much Jane Austen. I need to change that. Maybe the audio wouldn’t be a good choice for this one?? Have a great weekend Stacy!

    Comment by Diane@BibliophileBytheSea | September 25, 2011 | Reply

  13. […] 11. Emma by Jane Austen – 6 votes (Candice, Jennifer, Ms. Mazzola, Alita Reads, Kathrin, Literary … […]

    Pingback by Challenging Year « Stacy's Books | December 31, 2011 | Reply

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