Book Review · Books

Emma by Jane Austen [BOOK REVIEW]


“Emma” by Jane Austen is one of those books that is both old and new at the same time. When reading it, you can clearly see time has passed. From the society, to fashion and language. However, certain situations still remain true even today, especially people’s characters and their reactions, and Jane Austen managed to include this all packaged in a wonderful story.


The books starts as we hear that Emma Woodhouse’s friend and former governess, Miss Taylor, has married Mr. Weston. And because Emma introduced them to each other, she takes credit for her matchmaking, and decides that she will try and make another match. She attempts to match her new friend Harriet to Mr. Elton, but things don’t go exactly to plan. Harriet is interested in the farmer, Robert Martin, who even proposes to her. But Emma makes Harriet refuse the proposal and continue to seek Mr. Elton’s attention.

“And have you never known the pleasure and triumph of a lucky guess? I pity you. I thought you cleverer; for, depend upon it, a lucky guess is never merely luck. There is always some talent in it.”

When it comes to Emma, I have so many conflicting thoughts and opinions. I really adore how gentle of a soul she is. And how much she cares about the people around her. But I also didn’t like how nosey she is, and her fascination to be a matchmaker. She needs to learn to mind her own business. However, considering this is a book written in a certain time, I have to remember that it wasn’t just Emma, but the whole female society behaves in the same way, as annoying as that thought may be. Through the book, however, we do see a change in Emma, and a slight development in her personality, especially around her relationship with Harriet.

A Classic

To be able to truly appreciate “Emma” for the classic trait it is, you firstly have to be ready to adjust to a time in history where society is simply different. I have seen way too many people criticize this book for this sole reason. But people, you have to understand, that’s how things used to work back then. That is how it was, and if Jane Austin wrote anything different, she wouldn’t have been telling the truth.

I have realised that I read classic books much slower than contemporary ones. In fact, “Emma” took me a month. I couldn’t read it in one day, or binge 100 pages in a sitting. I could only manage a few chapters at a time. But I really enjoyed it! I devoured the writing, the difference in how people walked, talked, dressed. The difference in mannerisms, the difference in how parties used to be like. Even the difference in how certain situations were handled. The gossip especially. It was always there, as it is today, but it felt to me as if the gossip in the past was a bit more thoughtful. People talked about other people, because they cared. Today we all tend to gossip about people we don’t even know.

“A man would always wish to give a woman a better home than the one he takes her from; and he who can do it, where there is no doubt of her regard, must, I think, be the happiest of mortals.

I loved Knightley and his ability to tell Emma off. There is something really charming about him, that kept intriguing me throughout the whole book. And I also really liked Harriet, even though she couldn’t form her own opinion to save her life. I should have drank a shot every time I thought: “Dear girl, don’t you have your own brain to think with?”

I found Mr. Woodhouse very soppy and annoying. Quite selfish too. And quite franckly, he was lucky to have a daughter like Emma, that was always running around him, to attend to his needs. I could even see the book ending with Emma never being married, only to attend to her father. Even her actual marriage in the end had a certain compromise around her father’s happiness.

“That is the case with us all, papa. One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other.”

My favorite part of the book was Emma’s rant about Mrs. Elton. And not because of the rant itself. In fact, I think that Emma’s outburst was probably a bit over the top. I just loved how different it looks from today’s language, and that intrigues me. If you ever wish to enjoy that part, just head to the end of Chapter 32. It starts with “Insufferable woman.”

I really enjoyed “Emma” and I will now have to read the rest of Jane Austen’s work! I think it’s a true masterpiece that perfectly portrays a certain society in a certain moment of time. And even though written so many years ago, it still touches on points that affect us in the current world we live on. We are still matchmakers, we still gossip and party, we are greedy and we all long for happiness and love, and friends alongside us.

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Blog Tour · Book Review · Books

A Beautiful Spy by Rachel Hore [BOOK REVIEW]


A Beautiful Spy is a wonderful story about Minnie, a girl who becomes a spy for the British Government. Refusing to just settle down and marry, as she is expected to, Minnie wants excitement. Little does she know, with excitement, comes danger…

About The Author:

Rachel Hore worked in London publishing for many years before moving with her family to Norwich, where she taught publishing and creative writing at the University of East Anglia before becoming a full-time writer. She is married to the writer D. J. Taylor and they have three sons. Her last novel, The Love Child, was a Sunday Times bestseller.



The year is 1928, and Minnie is supposed to find a nice man, get married and have children. The problem is it doesn’t appeal to her at all. She is working as a secretary, but longs to make a difference.
Then, one day, she gets her chance. She is recruited by the British government as a spy. Under strict instructions not to tell anyone, not even her family, she moves to London and begins her mission – to infiltrate the Communist movement.
She soon gains the trust of important leaders. But as she grows more and more entangled in the workings of the movement, her job becomes increasingly dangerous. Leading a double life is starting to take its toll on her relationships and, feeling more isolated than ever, she starts to wonder how this is all going to end. The Russians are notorious for ruthlessly disposing of people given the slightest suspicion.

My Thoughts:

I have always loved stories about women that were spies in the time before and around the Second World War. There is something I always admire about these women. Their determination to make a difference, their bravery and their dedication, despite the big risks. The willingness to serve a cause, knowing well what the repercussions are.

Through Minnie’s life, we got to see the highs and lows of being a spy in a much emotional environment. It was refreshing to see all the emotions Minnie was going through. Being a spy and living a double life impacted her greatly, and we could see her struggling to keep up. This closeness to the character made Minnie much more loveable and relatable person to me as a reader.

I felt that at times, the story would go into one direction for a few pages, but with no apparent goal. Sometimes, this would keep me off track and confuse me. Most of the chapters told a story that achieved a certain goal by the end of a chapter, and in times when this didn’t happen, it really threw me off. It was as if I was waiting for something to happen, and when it didn’t, it left a bitter-sweet taste in my mouth.

However, I truly enjoyed the story, and I devoured it incredibly fast. I only received it a few days ago, and I was wondering if I’ll made it in time to finish it for my book tour stop, but reading it was not an issue. I am so glad that I saw a part of Minnie and her life story, and the fact that this book is inspired by an actual true story is even more fascinating to me.

If you love historical fiction, especially books about women spies, please pick up “A Beautiful Spy” by Rachel Hore. It’s a powerful and emotional adventure about a woman living two lives and wanting to make a difference in the world.

Purchase Links:
 Amazon UK | Amazon US

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