December 16, 2010

Emma Watson- A Book Review

The book, "Emma Watson" by Joan Aiken, is based on an unfinished novel by Jane Austen called "The Watsons." Being a Jane Austen "copycat book" it was dissappointing because you could tell that it just wasn't Jane Austen's writing or true to her style. The characters are similar to those of Jane's other books, but definitely not hers. I could definitely tell where Jane's finished portion of the story ended and was taken up by Aiken...

However, origins aside, the book is a fairly good one for light reading. It could be a good book, in and of itself, so long as you don't hold it to the expectations of a Jane Austen novel. The book is fairly well-written, I think. There are more broken or incomplete conversations than I would prefer. The characters are not well developed, and there is not very much good description of the characters, scenery, etc. But the general story seems okay.

It is about a parishioner's daughter, who, having come home from being raised by her Aunt, is now living with her Dad and un-married older sister, Elizabeth. There are many family quarrels because of their proud, complaining, and disgustingly haughty brother and sisters- none of whom love the little country parish or the dwellers thereof. So when Emma's poor gentleman-preacher father dies, all that the married members of the family are concerned about is what they will get for themselves as far as money and valuables goes. They are little concerned about Emma or Elizabeth except to think of how the young women can best be used to serve themselves better...

The book goes on to tell of what happens to the sisters after the death of their father, describes the return of Emma's Aunt who is sick with Rheumatic Fever, mentions the scandalous theft and elopement of one sister and her lover...

In short, there was just enough excitement and description to keep my interest- mostly just wanting to know how things turn out- but little more. All of the main characters are happily married or situated in the end. Emma meets the Prince of Wales at the horse-races because he likes the book of sermons her father wrote. She soon marries a Captain in the British Navy. Elizabeth marries her childhood love. Both have many children. And all live "happily ever after," or so the epilogue says.

I guess the bottom line is, I don't think that I will ever read the book again- it just didn't leave a significant impression on me. The book has potential for a reader with a good sense of imagination... I don't think that I can really say, "Forget it, it's a waste of time," -there are many character lessons which could be taken from the characters' behavior (pun unintended)- but I think that I can say it is borderline-close to being so.

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