One of my favorites parts about Emma is the mystery. Reading the story, I didn’t know if Emma would marry or not, and if so, who. I didn’t know what Frank Churchill was up to. This novel is often considered a precursor to the mystery novel. While this book is very different from a whodunit, the mystery element is there. If you don’t normally like romance or Jane Austen, I’d say you should still give Emma a go.
The story features a cast of colorful characters: brutally honest but caring Mr. Knightley, poor naive Harriet, chatty Miss Bates, the mischievous Frank Churchill, elusive Jane Fairfax, and Mr. Woodhouse, the hypochondriac who takes a stance against wedding cake. Then there is Emma herself. Sure, she is snobbish and annoying and makes a mess of things. But I can’t help liking her.
As with all Austen’s novels, this book is well written and the pacing is good – probably her best pacing after Pride and Prejudice.
The edition in the picture above is from Story Cartel (http://storycartel.com) and includes a number of essays about Emma. The format is tidy and easy to read. If you’re so inclined, you can pop over to Story Cartel and grab a review copy of Emma while it’s available.