Emma is the spoiled youngest daughter of a indulgent father. A headstrong girl, she has much to learn of the world she thinks she knows so well.
Mr. Knightley is a neighbor who has known Emma and her family for at least as long as she has been alive. Sixteen years older than her, he's one of the only friends she has who can see her faults.
The characters in this Jane Austin classic show up in true style. Harriet, the daughter of no-one-knows-who; Mrs. Weston, the true friend, and one-time governess for Emma; Miss Bates, the fast talking, lovable, annoying friend who loves with all her heart, and is the friend of all; Mr. Elton, the village parson...
Emma is a girl who thinks she has a gift for match-making. In a fit of generosity, she makes Harriet Smith, a Parlour Boarder at the school in Highbury, her special friend, and protege. Thinking that Mr. Elton is lonely, she decides that Harriet would be much better off married to him, than to the simple farmer she would have loved without any qualms.
Through a hilarious turn of events, Emma learns of her mistake on a snowy carriage ride with Mr. Elton himself. In hopes of turning Harriet's thoughts away from that dismal failure, Emma starts plotting to help Harriet fall in love with Mrs. Weston's step-son.
When this too falls through, Emma finally finds the truth about herself, and Harriet. About true love, and her real feelings considering certain people in her life. Just when she feels her last chance of happiness has disappeared; the one who can make her dreams come true, appears and shows her the truth about himself as well.
Oh, and if you're wondering how Harriet came out of this disastrous relationship, she had a happy ending as well.
Jane Austen is well known as a talented author and a young woman who could read people very well. She has shown this skill in this book. Emma is often called "Jane Austen's finest masterpiece" And with her startling observations into human nature, Austin shows that anyone can grow, and achieve success. If you've never read this book, I suggest that you do. If nothing else, it will make you laugh at the scrapes Emma get's herself and all her friends into.