Overall, I considered Emma to be a well written, engaging, and enjoyable read. There were only a few times I felt any sort of confusion during the book, one of which was during the introduction of the Bates women, but my questions were always answered in a progression of information that made sense and gave the novel smooth flow, without dumping too much on the reader at once. For me personally, the book was at just the right reading level, it was, in no way, too easy, and it was just challenging enough to keep me fully focused on the story, paying attention to any foreshadowing, and using context clues more so than in many stories I have read for school. The plot was believable in terms of what happened to characters and how situations came to be, I could honestly see them actually happening to someone, yet they were just predictable enough to give me the enjoyment of being able to “call” engagements or correctly guess where events were going, but without allowing me to see the whole book laid out from the start. For instance, I was able to predict that Emma and Mr. Knightley would become a couple due to their conversations and intimacy, as well as believe that Robert Martin and Harriet Smith would eventually be married, based off their sweet and deserving dispositions. Next, I found the resolution to be highly enjoyable. All the right people were married, I no longer had to worry about what would happen to poor Jane Fairfax, for despite Emma’s initial feelings towards her, I always liked her. Happiness was ensured all around, and Mrs. Elton got what she deserved, with no one paying any attention to her derogatory comments. In other words, it was the ideal “Happily Ever After” that I love to see in romance and society novels. One of my favorite parts of Emma was when I learned Emma’s very pathetic reasons for disliking Jane Fairfax before she actually saw her for the first time in two years, during which she decided Jane was not so bad (this opinion was revoked within a day), because it added humanity and vanity to Emma’s character making her even more realistic, set me up to love Jane, and gave some humor, in my mind. Those qualifications make Emma, in my mind, an excellent piece of writing.
I would recommend Emma to a certain type of student. At my age, I would not suggest this book to boys because they are at the age where this style of book would be considered gushy, romantic, unbearable, and “eww.” Also, I would make sure the reader did not dislike reading, not want to have to apply himself to comprehension, or hate layered plots. In conclusion, I would recommend this book to any female 13 or above who enjoys reading and is willing to spend a decent amount of time with a detailed book. Accordingly, I would give this novel a five star rating. I considered Emma so enjoyable and well written that I could not pick a favorite part, there were too many events that I greatly prized. One of which partly occurs in this quote, “How long had Mr. Knightly been so dear to her, as every feeling declared him now to be? When had his influence, such influence begun? When had he succeeded to that place in her affection, which Frank Churchill had once, for a short period, occupied?” (374) It demonstrates such talent in confirming previous foreshadowing in a way that confirms readers suspicions to the point of where the character's’ subconscious is, without them consciously being there, in order to make the true revelation all the more anticipated in a situation that any reader would be thrilled to see made concrete. Additionally, the author’s talent, which earned them their full bar rating, is also shown in the lines, “To speak, she was sure would betray a most unreasonable degree of happiness. She must wait a moment, or he would think her mad. Her silence disturbed him; after observing her a little while he added,-... ‘You need not be at any pains to reconcile me to the match. I think Harriet is doing extremely well. Her connections may be worse than his: in respectability of character, there can be no doubt that they are. I have been silent from surprise merely, excessive surprise. You cannot imagine how suddenly it has come on me! how peculiarly unprepared I was!...” (427) The talent needed to be able to so clearly express a character's feelings and motives through their spoken word and inner thoughts, as well as actions and responses, is incredible and adds a whole other layer of complexity and detail to the story, as seen above. It is for those reasons that I believe Jane Austen’s Emma deserves such a rating.