Plotwise, Austen's books are a blend of marriage novels and coming-of-age stories.
As with all true literary talents, it's her writing style that sets her apart from her less talented contemporaries.
Plus, at Austen's best, there is also social criticism to her work. And when she puts her mind to it, she is fiercer than any modern-day unionist you could think of. (Not sure what she had against the clergy, for instance, but if Mr Collins and Ben Elton are anything to go by, it must have been a major thorn in her side. I should probably Google this.)
'Emma' brilliantly combines all three; the marriage plot, the bildungsroman and the views on early 19th century England. Not quite as brilliantly as 'Pride and Prejudice' perhaps, but still very pleasurably!
Excellent www.librivox.org reading by Elizabeth Klett!