Okay. Confession time – I have never like the Bronte Sisters or Austen. If I were to analyze it’s because of two reasons. 1. Slooooooooow pacing. I like books with a bit more get-up-and go. 2. As a former English major, I felt like I was “supposed to” like these books, particularly because I was a girl, and in my youth I was a contrarian and determined NOT to like what other people did and yes I was probably exhausting about it.
So, I wasn’t entirely sure whether I’d given Emma a fair shake so I decided to dive in, this time with audio. Plus, in my corner is the fact that Clueless (a modern adaptation of it) is my SECOND favorite movie of all time. More plus, during a mani/pedi a few months back I caught the bulk of the film adaptation of Emma with Gwyneth Paltrow. Over the years I would personally place Paltrow on a continuum of “fine” to “can we not?” but really enjoyed her portrayal in this movie. It may be because I find Paltrow to be petulant, entitled, and out of touch with reality, just as Emma was written.
So, I buckled up (metaphorically and literally, on my commute) and dealt with Emma. And it was, um, fine. Yes, Austen is talented, and yes this book was important but for me, reading it for me is a slog because it’s a lot of build up and navel-gazing and I guess I just don’t enjoy this style of writing. For me,nothing happens for a long time and then more nothing and more talking and nothing and then SOMETHING and then back to scenery and nothing.
Also, y’all, I can’t get over the 16 year age difference between her and Mr. Knightley, and the fact that he’d known her since she was like a toddler. Ewwwww. Ew Ew Ewwwww. That really sealed it for me.
So, I will once again channel the immortal Amy Poehler and say “Good for her, not for me” when it comes to Ms. Austen.