June 20th, 2007

Books

"Emma" by Jane Austen

I've had this on my "to read" list for quite a while, but funnily enough decided to read it now in preparation for the release of the final Harry Potter book. There's been so much talk about how much this book influenced Rowling, I thought it would be good to read it now. I started it hoping for some insight to what JKR might do in the final book, but once I got reading, Rowling and the young wizard both left my mind. (So, I can't say that it opened up any new speculations for that series).

"Emma" started off a bit slow, but once it got going, I found it quite a page-turner. Emma, even though she is still very young, is basically the head of her household, as her father is a fretful, ineffectual man who allows others to "handle" him easily. Fortunately, Emma is basically a good-hearted young woman who makes (mostly) good decisions, and (usually) behaves properly, and always with great consideration for her father. At the outset of the book, we learn that she thinks herself an excellent matchmaker and decides that she is going to help her newly cultivated friend, Harriet, find the perfect husband. Emma herself, however, intends never to marry and ruin what seems to her an already perfect life. Throughout the book, she pokes her nose into situations that would perhaps better be left alone, and behaves in ways which are destined to be misinterpreted by others (although she's unaware of this at the time). All this, of course, leads to what are supposed to be some interesting twists and turns in the plot.

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