I listened to both Austen novels as audiobooks in German and I really enjoyed listening to them. So, here is a short (very short) post with my thoughts. I feel it’s not really a review.
Jane Austen – Emma
Emma Woodhouse is the daughter of Mr. Woodhouse who cannot stand changes and does not want his daughters to ever leave him. His oldest daughter marries and moves away so he clings to his daughter Emma who loves nothing more than to stay with her father. She likes to meddle in other people’s business and love life in order to improve those and because she believes to be such a selfless person. That meddling, however, complicate the lives of those around her and her own.
Emma is the most unlikable character of the Jane Austen novels I have read so far. She seems so self-involved and so judgmental and a little mean sometimes, and she is a little annoying. I don’t think she intends to be all that, she just happens to be. She is not vicious or anything just sometimes completely unaware.
Jane Austen – Sense and Sensibility
After Mr. Dashwood passes away and his son from a previous marriage inherits the Dashwood fortune, he dismisses his sisters and their mother. They move into a small cottage. The two older sisters couldn’t be more contrasting in their demeanor and their temperament. Both loose the loves of their life and deal with a similar experience in very different ways.
Unlike Emma I liked the two Dashwood girls. One had what the other lacked and they seemed to be polar opposites. I certainly liked their sisterly bond. Yet I almost preferred Margaret – the youngest sister.
General Thoughts on Both:
Not a lot of things happen in an Austen novel. I like reading them. They end somewhat happy for the female main protagonists, the nasty people get their share of nastiness back or just can’t destroy the intended couple’s happiness, the wrong learn their lesson or not, but at the end I don’t really care about that…as long as the main protagonist is happy, I am content. That might not be what Jane Austen intended or others feel when reading these books, but I somehow do. I am lulled into a content and happy place while reading and sometimes that is all I care for.
Since I listened to the German audiobooks I cannot say a lot about the writing of these specific books. But its an Austen so it is witty and full of irony.