Apparently several of my Facebook fans enjoyed last week’s list post, so today, I thought I’d make a list of some of my favorite novels and why I love them. Be advised, I am an English professor, so this could take a while.
- Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen. Austen is my weakness (obviously), and this is my favorite of hers. It’s Regency satire at its best, and it contains one of the most romantic love letters of all time, written to Elizabeth from Darcy.
- Persuasion by Jane Austen. This book contains the second most romantic love letters of all time, written from Frederick to Anne. This one would actually top the list, if not for Fitzwillaim Darcy.
- Mansfield Park by Jane Austen. I love this book because Fanny Price has been in love with the same man since childhood, having grown up beside him, and actually marries him in the end, thereby defying the almost-certain law of nature which dooms relationships involving girls and boys-next-door to failure.
- Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. This one makes the list because of the Gothic, mysterious quality of Henry Tilney and the way Catherine Morland sees herself as “in training for a heroine.” After all, I do want to be the heroine of my own life’s story.
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. I’m head-over-heels for Edward Rochester, despite his not-so-handsome face and that time he dressed as a gypsy to trick Jane.
- Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. Heathcliff is another of my beaux, and I do imagine his swarthy complexion and mysterious wealth and refinement make an appealing package indeed, I still can’t forgive Cathy for treating him so badly.
- Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. This book has to make my list because Anne Shirley and I have the same kind of creative imagination, and she’s a writer, just like me. . . and I suppose “Making the Mark” is probably just as sentimental as the story she got published in the Rollings Reliable Baking Powder Company of Montreal story writing contest. But if Anne and I are so much alike, I have to wonder: Where on Earth is my Gilbert Blythe?
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. The characters–all of them–Jem, Scout, Atticus, Calpurnia, Dill, Tom Robinson, and my favorite, Boo Radley, always seemed so real to me. I’ve been carrying them around in my head with me since I first read the novel when I was about twelve.
- Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. It’s the setting, pure and simple that makes me love this book. I’ve always wanted to wear a hoop-skirt to a cotillion and dance with the dashing Captain Rhett Butler. . . on second thought, maybe I like a few of the characters in the story too.
- Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I AM Jo March, except, again, I didn’t grow up during the Civil War, and I definitely would have accepted Laurie’s proposal. But I am a writer and a teacher, and I do love playing pretend!