I have always loved this most surprising of Jane Austen's books and am reading it again. It really does read like a detective story. Emma, the heroine, has always had my sympathy! She's not perfect and she never will be despite the best efforts of her friend Mr. Knightley to reform her character. The romance in this book is surprising and it really did take the main characters by surprise too. It's an unusual romance with two people who you would never expect to well, actually BE in a romance together! Opposites attract and all that I suppose...The recent BBC production was just wonderful, which is pretty much the reason that I am writing this review. I absolutely loved it. I love both the book and the BBC production! :) It's wonderful when your favorite book is turned into a great movie or television series. Then you may just sit back and enjoy watching it come to life for you. I have nothing to add or to take away from that production. Everyone looked the way I pictured them, acted the way I thought the characters would, the scene at the ball was lively, and so was Emma. G. Paltrow's Emma was never as lively as the character was.Emma, I've been told by other Jane Austen fans, is a hard character to understand or to like. Well, that was sort of the point. Jane Austen set out to write a book about a character who no one would like but herself. Yet, I do like Emma. I think that she is full of faults but who isn't? She tries so hard to mend them that as a fictional character she wins my admiration. She helps me to bear with my own faults and gives me hope that one day I just might mend them as well. I never did like heros or heroines in books who were too good to be true or so lost that they might never find their way back. It's just not real. Most of us are somewhere in between and it is the trying to better yourself that makes a hero or a heroine out of anyone really. Emma surely falls into that category. This character is not as perfect as Lizzy Bennett who almost has no faults and is extremely wise at her age. Emma is not nearly as likable as Lizzy, but that makes me cheer for her all the more when she is able to understand what it was she did wrong and what it was in her life that was so very right. She held on tightly to that person who meant the most to her when she should have. How lucky to have wisdom come to you when you need it most, and to be wise when it's most important! Emma was written by the author at the prime of her genius and it's just a wonderful book.