Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Read-Along of Emma by Jane Austen: the rest of the book!

I finished the book.  Hurrah!  I couldn't help myself.  After Emma visited with the Bates' to view Jane's new pianoforte, I just had to keep reading.
  • I was right about the mystery behind the pianoforte.  It was Churchill!!  I knew he was smitten with Jane.  I just didn't know that they were secretly engaged!! Talk about keeping secrets! No wonder she was always so cold toward Emma - all Churchill ever did was flirt with her.  Cripes!  No wonder his bad behavior made her question his commitment and mad her sick with worry.  Poor Jane!  Of course, she should never have gone along with such secrecy.  I know love is blind, but c'mon! 
  • I thought it was sweet how worried the Weston's were about Emma's reaction to Churchill's engagement to Jane.  They really did want her to be their daughter-in-law.  Too sweet!  They certainly are dear friends to the Woodhouse family.  I was happy when they had a baby of their own to dote on.
  • Those dreadful Eltons - ugh!  How anyone can stand being around them is beyond me?  They were an insufferable pair.  I was glad to find out that Emma wasn't the only one who didn't care for them.  I'm assuming Jane must have tuned Mrs. E out whenever she visited her - how else could she deal with her on such a frequent basis?
  • Poor Harriet!  To be snubbed so publicly by Mr. E!  That awful man!  I'm so happy Knightley was there to rescue her - hurrah for Knightley!!  I was so happy when she burned her "Elton" reminders at Emma's.  Of course, I couldn't help but laugh a little when we found out what she kept from him.  Then again, she thought she was in love, so I can excuse her foolishness.  As for her new love interest - I can't believe how wrong Emma was (again!).  She is just never right about these things.  Imagining that Harriet was in love with Churchill, when it was pretty obvious she was crushing on Knightley.  How did Emma not see that?  I'm just happy that she didn't object to Harriet's marriage to Mr. Martin in the end; and that Harriet finally got the man she always loved.
  • Poor Miss Bates! Emma making fun of her in front of all their friends! I felt so badly for her.  I couldn't believe Emma would do such a thing!  I was glad when Knightley called her out for it.  
  • Knightley and Emma! I just knew there would be a wedding for those two.  No wonder he disliked Churchill so much!  I'm happy he was forthright with Emma in the end and told her how he felt.  She'd been feeling the same way toward him, so I just knew that she would be over the moon when he finally confessed his true feelings.  I loved when she finally realized why she abhorred the idea of Jane and Knightley as a couple - jealous, much!  It was wonderful to see how much he loved Emma - deciding to move in with her and her father, instead of her moving in with him at Donwell Abbey.  And I just love how well he seemed to know Emma and vice versa.  They were truly a perfect match!
I absolutely enjoyed reading Emma.  It was such a fun book to get lost in.  The dramas, the loves, the mysteries, and so much more.  Austen captured the time and place perfectly.  She made it easy to imagine these unforgettable characters going on their walks after dinner, visiting with one another, falling in and out of love, planning balls and outings, etc.  I found myself laughing out loud, shouting in frustration, and sighing in content all the while I read this book.  It was just such a great read.  And in the end, I found that I did like Emma after all.  Though she may have been a bit of a brat at times, her heart was always in the right place.  All she wanted was the best for her family and friends.

I'll definitely be reading more of Austen in the coming year.  I'm thinking Sense and Sensibility or Mansfield Park should be next.  What do you think?

Hope you are having a wonderful holiday!! Happy reading!!


JoAnn said...

I was nodding my head in agreement all the way through your post! The secret engagement especially shocked me, yet it should have been obvious... everything made SO much more sense in light of it. Sense and Sensibility gets my vote for your next Jane Austen :)

A Bookish Way of Life said...

JoAnn, I know what you mean! After learning about the secret engagement, it all begins to make more sense. I'm with you - it should have been obvious, but it wasn't - LOL! So glad you love the book, too :) And thanks for the tip - S&S it is! Cheers!!

Bellezza said...

You do such a brilliant job of summarizing a lengthy and complicated (mysterious in places?) book. Writing your thoughts in bullet points is an excellent way to highlight each character. While I'm not sure if I "like" Emma or not, I can give a resounding thump on the back to Mr. Knightley. What a wonderful character! Oh, that men like him were more abundant.

Unlike you, I am ready for a break from Austen. When I read something Victorian, I always pick up a thriller afterward for a fast paced action packed read. But, I'm so glad we read Emma this December. Xoxo

Frances said...

Definitely Sense and Sensibility! You seemed to have such fun with Austen's humor and heart here that S & S has to be next. And I do think that Austen makes Emma progressively more likable as she gains more self awareness. She has been humbled a bit by the end. :)

Laurie C said...

I loved reading Emma again! I had read it before so the plot didn't surprise me, but maybe that helped me enjoy the author's sense of humor even more! It was great reading your thoughts! At points, the book did start to seem a bit like a soap opera in the style of Downton Abbey, didn't it? ;)


Lisa said...

Aren't the characters and their relationships great in this book?!

A Bookish Way of Life said...

M, thanks! Bullet points helped me keep track of what I wanted to write about :) I know you didn't like Emma much, but I do think she became more self aware by the end and was able to acknowledge her mistakes (which made her relatable and more likable). Knightley is a terrific character - I loved him! I agree with you - where are the Knightleys in this world? I know what you mean about changing pace after reading Austen. Sometimes fast-paced is the perfect pick-me-up after a slow-going read.

Frances, thanks for the suggestion. S&S it will be! Seems like everyone thinks that one should be next up. I'm with you in regards to Emma - she is definitely more humbled by the end, which makes her more relatable and likable.

Laurie C, me too! I loved it! That's cool that this time round you were able to enjoy Austen's sense of humor more - I can definitely see that she has a keen eye and a smart sense of humor. I'm sure when I re-read Emma I will discover things I missed the first time round - I love when that happens! Thanks - I'm glad you read my posts :) And yes, the book did start to have that DA soap style (which I do love).

Lisa, yes they are! Loved getting to know them all. Emma turned out to be such a fun read.

The Bibliophile Belle said...

My unread book pile will continue to get larger this year - A new year's resolution I know I can keep! Looking forward to reading Year of Yes this year as well. 😄