When I began reading my first Jane Austen novel this summer (I wanted to read the book before I saw the movie) I was afraid the build up over so many years would lead to disappointment. What was I worried about?! No matter how much I’d heard Austen praised, nor how many countless versions of her work I’d seen on film, nothing could compare to the experience of reading her words.
This story of a matchmaking young woman is immensely entertaining to read and unbelievably contemporary in plot. Emma was a character I truly liked, not as shallow as she at first appeared and even more likable when she was thoughtless or careless in her actions or words, because it made her all the more real and identifiable. The romance between Emma and Mr. Knightley, of which she is so wonderfully unaware of throughout the story, is a real treat to observe, as she slowly comes to realize what the reader has known all along.