Emma Wodehouse has led a simple life, but during the course of this, she at last reaps her share of the world's vexations. In this comedy of manners, the heroine learns to come to terms with the reality of other people, and with her own erring nature.
Emma is about young people trying to find suitable partners and learning to get on with each other. Emotional and sexual attractions are present throughout, though vividly implied or suggested rather than ploddingly gone into. The novel is also very moral: Emma doesn't physically harm her friends, but she does behave selfishly and thoughtlessly and hurts them - and us - quite painfully; she then feels remorse and learns to be more considerate: experiences which - being fairly general - are extremely interesting to read about. No character, no sentence could be cut out without reducing the whole. Funny, acute, and touching, Emma is the best of Jane Austen's novels. (Kirkus UK)