Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: Although her characters are far from perfect, Austen’s characterization is flawless. In an age of stringent social mores, she reveals the realities and deceptions of human relationships. She shows the prideful become humble or self-exalted. She reveals prejudice either dissolves with intimacy or increases ignorance. More than these, she developes a love story unmatched by the writers of her day and ours.
Silas Marner by George Eliot: Having set Middlemarch aside indefinitely, I had few hopes of liking any of Eliot’s book. Some books gain unfair reputations, and my perception of Silas Marner was steeped in ignorance. I thought it would be long and tedious. Instead, I enjoyed this slim, yet poignant story. Eliot aptly juxtaposes betrayal and loyalty, greed and benevolence, loathing and love. Her timeless characters remind readers of their own vices and victories. Forget what you may have heard about Silas Marner and give him the read he deserves!