I am sincerely sorry for the missing Week 3 discussion and the delayed Week 4 discussion! While things were a little busy on my end a couple of weeks ago, and I was out of town the weekend before last, I shouldn't have taken this long to catch up, especially as the hostess of this read-along. :(
Thank you for being so kind and patient with me! I do look forward to exchanging thoughts on the last half of Emma. I hope you've enjoyed the book, even if the read-along wasn't as well-organized as it ought to have been!
A Humbled Hostess
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Welcome to the last discussion of the Emma read-along!
Today we're going to discuss Vol. II: ch. 11-18 and Vol. III. (If your copy isn't divided into volumes, then this should translate to ch. 29-55.) If you came prepared, go ahead and share your thoughts in the comments section or in your own post! (Feel free to use the image above, linking back to the Emma read-along tag.) If you still have to catch up on some reading (believe me, I know how that goes!), you're welcome to check in later this week or whenever you're ready. :)
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!
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Emma Volume II: Chapters 11-18 &
Discussion Format: Favorite quotes, some general impressions, and four questions.
- "Is Mrs. Stokes to be trusted? I doubt it." ~ Mr. Woodhouse
- "There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart." ~ Emma
- "It seemed as if there were an instantaneous impression in her favour, as if his eyes received the truth from her's, and all that had passed of good in her feelings were at once caught and honored."
- "What did she say?—Just what she ought, of course. A lady always does."
- "My Emma, does not every thing serve to prove more and more the beauty of truth and sincerity in all our dealings with each other?" ~ Mr. Knightley
- "I always deserve the best treatment, because I never put up with any other." ~ Emma
- "She was in dancing, singing, exclaiming spirits; and till she had moved about, and talked to herself, and laughed and reflected, she could be fit for nothing rational."
Goodness, so much happened in the story since the last discussion! We left off when Frank Churchill and Emma were planning a ball...
I won't share my thoughts on every event of the second half of the book (although, fellow bloggers, you're more than welcome to go into more detail than me!). I will simply start by saying Emma has quite the happy ending! Three couples end up together exactly as they should, every concern is dealt with or set aside, and the characters get to enjoy the freedom of the truth finally coming to light. :)
That seems to be a major theme, the idea that there is much relief in having no more secrets. Openness is praised (Mr. Knightley admits, "I love an open temper") - whether that be honesty and forthrightness in one's speech and manners, or the "truth and sincerity in all our dealings" that Mr. Knightley believes Emma has also learned to desire.
While we see Emma retains her sassy personality by the end of the story, and she still loves attention, there does seem to be a seed of humility planted inside her. She and Mr. Knightley both admit to having changed, to being willing to see another person's point of view and claim that they were wrong about certain things. I love that. :)
(As a side note, can I just say that Mr. Knightley's terms of endearment for Emma at the end of the book make my heart melt? I love how he continually calls her "my Emma." ♥)
And I will say this for the book above the two adaptations I've seen: The book gave me more reason to like Jane Fairfax and Frank Churchill. Was Frank Churchill childish and immature? Yes. Yes he was. And was Jane aloof and not always easy to get close to? Yes. Yes she was. Yet, I couldn't really help but like them as Emma and Mr. Knightley came to do so. Frank Churchill's obvious affection for Jane is pretty cute, and he is definitely a charmer. And the way Jane and Emma came to be friends as the truth was revealed was really quite sweet. I certainly couldn't help feeling bad for Jane! But hey, it all turned out all right. ;)
(That scene at the end where Frank Churchill teases Jane and makes her involuntarily smile from across the room? Precious!)
As for Harriet... Well, I don't really feel like I came to know much more about her in the latter half of the book. But I'm happy for her and Mr. Martin!
All in all, I don't think this is my favorite of Jane Austen's books that I've read... It's long; it goes into a lot of detail about circumstances and situations; the characters can be a bit frustrating; and everything seems to get tied up so neatly at the end. (It's probably silly for a romantic to complain about that last point, I suppose!)
But I will say that, in a way, I liked how flawed the characters were. I liked how truth and openness brought about much happiness. And I liked the cute and clever lines and scenes that made the story fun. I'm glad to have finally read this book! :)
Feel free to answer one, two, three, or all four of these questions in the comments section or in your own blog post!
1. What did you think of Mr. Elton's choice in a wife? And do you believe Mrs. Elton truly cared about Jane Fairfax?
2. Which scene of the story stood out to you the most? Perhaps one that made you chuckle...or one that melted your heart...or one that made you cringe with embarrassment.
3. Were you content with the matches that were made by the end of the story? Do you think everyone ended up in the right relationships?
4. Have you read any other Jane Austen novels? If so, which is your favorite, and how does Emma rank on your list?
Once again, I truly apologize for the way the read-along fell apart toward the end! Thank you for sticking with me and joining me in this read-along. :) It's always a treat to discuss Jane Austen's books with you all! *hugs*