I managed to finally finish Emma by Jane Austen tonight. I hope the die-hard Austen fans don't string me up for saying this, but I really didn't like it. It started out fine and I was interested for the first 100+ pages but then it just started to drag on, by the end it was all I could do to finish it. Nothing but parties and dinner and visiting the neighbors. There is no drama or excitement at all. I suppose all the Frank Churchill/Jane Fairfax secrecy could be construed as drama but by then I just didn't care. I realize that Pride and Prejudice was heavy on the neighbor visits as well but at least there was the Lydia/Wickham scandal to peak my interest. That's much more interesting drama than some stupid secret engagement. Yawn. Plus Elizabeth Bennett was much more likable.
Not to mention, I really couldn't stand Emma herself. The girl is a complete and total snot. I found her to be almost completely unlikeable. By the end I didn't care who she ended up with so long as she quit screwing up everyone else's lives. She just sort of forces Harriet to like whomever she thinks is appropriate and completely ignores Harriet's own feelings. Matchmaking is one thing but trying to force two people together for your own amusement is just plain selfish.
Then the way she acts towards Jane Fairfax and her family is deplorable. She goes on about how she can't stand her and gets irritated when her aunt wants to show Emma her letters and it makes me beg the question. Why go visit these people you don't like? I guess it's the "proper" thing to do but I think it's better to go against propriety than to continue to be friends with people and then talk smack about them behind their back. I won't lie, I have been guilty of talking crap behind peoples backs (I am a woman afterall), but I didn't go around pretending to be their friend either. If these women are so irritating, just make excuses so as not to see them. Eventually they'll get the hint.
Honestly I thought Emma and Mr. Churchill were actually perfect for each other and should have ended up together so that no one else would be stuck with them.Churchill is a total jerk. Sure, he has to keep his engagement a secret, fine, but don't go around making fun of your fiance and flirting with other women. Seriously? Emma is perfect for Churchill. Mr. Knightley is far too good for her and would have been better off with anyone else.
As it was, the one thing I liked about Emma was that she was a total daddy's girl. As a proud daddy's girl myself I can respect that. However my dad taught me to keep my nose out of other people's business and to not meddle in their affairs. Maybe Emma could come and hang out with my dad for awhile and learn some manners.
Now Jane Austen is 1-1 in my book. I was planning on reading Sense and Sensibility next but I'm a little apprehensive now. I think I'll sleep on it before decided on my next book. I am also taking part in the Moby Dick challenge hosted by Book Snob, so at least I have that to occupy my time until I can decide on the next book.