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Book Review: Emma by Jane Austen

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I am not generally the type of guy that reads ‘girl’ books – that would include such titles as Emma, by Jane Austen. I have had, however, quite a few recommendations to read some Jane Austen (and a few were even by guys), so I decided to pick up Emma. Now, I’m mostly glad I did. Read on to see my full thoughts about the book.

Emma is a well-written book, I grant Austen that. The beginning is definitely slow, but I was determined to give this book a chance. The plot gradually picks up, becoming more involved and complex as it goes along. As a fiction writer myself, I found particular interest in the author’s dialog. The dialog throughout the entire story reads clearly and naturally (as naturally as can be assumed in an older book) and flows well. I was also impressed by the nice character arc which Emma shows.

The beginning of the book introduces us to Emma, a vain, moderately wealthy, and confident young woman who lives in a small town: Highbury, England. She cares for her father, who is a worried but friendly old man, and plans matches for her friends and acquaintances. She meets Harriet Smith, and promptly begins planning matches for her. When these end in disaster, Emma begins to realize that her matchmaking has caused more grief than she had imagined, and perhaps she was not such a nice person as she had imagined. And despite her vow to never marry, the book ends with Emma’s marriage, but to a very unexpected person.

Reading this book was a gradual process; it took me a few months while I was reading others at the same time. Such a gradual time frame really allowed me to sink into the characters (although I will admit, by the end I was reading much quicker because I wanted to know the ending). Jane Austen’s Emma is a good, solid read, and I would highly recommend downloading an e-book version or buying a cheap paperback version. Now I need to decide whether or not to read Pride and Prejudice or another of her books.

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About A. Andrew Joyce