Emma is critically considered to be Jane Austen’s most flawless work. Published almost two centuries ago, the book presented a heroine who had no inclination to marry, a slight deviation from Jane Austen’s usual plots. The book does revolve around the topic of marriage. But unlike in Pride and Prejudice, it is not about the marriage prospects of the main character(s).
Emma Woodhouse lives with her slightly ailing father in a typical English village. Lacking financial concerns, she sees no need to tie herself to marriage. That doesn’t mean she is against finding suitable matches for people around her. Emma’s efforts blow out of proportion and she manages to hurt more than one person by her meddling. George Knightley is slightly older and wiser and cautions Emma against interfering in others’ lives. He grants that she is spoiled and bored and lacks purpose. Emma’s many efforts go awry and it takes a while for Emma and Mr. Knightley to realize that they are in love with each other.
The book provides a detailed account of day to day life in a small English village. Emma is intelligent but has nothing much to do. So she undertakes ‘projects’ pitching young men and women around her against each other. There have been several adaptations of Emma into movies and plays.
Whether you like Jane Austen or not, this is worth reading at least once. And it is available as a free download from Amazon being a public domain book.