Emma by Jane Austen.
Emma Woodhouse is a fascinating and vivid character in Jane Austen’s novels. Emma organises the lives of the residents of her sleepy little village and plays matchmaker with terrible effect. She is beautiful, pampered, vain, and irrepressibly clever.
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.
The March sisters, Jo, a bright tomboy and aspiring author, Beth, who is terribly frail, Meg, who is lovely, and romantic, spoilt Amy, are bonded in their love for one another and their battles to survive in New England during the Civil War.
It’s no secret that Little Women was inspired by Alcott’s own childhood. While her father, the freethinking reformer and abolitionist Bronson Alcott, mingled with the likes of Emerson, Thoreau, and Hawthorne, Louisa supported herself and her sisters with her own writing “Sewing, doing laundry, and serving as a household servant are examples of “women’s work.” She soon learned, however, that she could earn more money by writing. Little Women brought her fame and fortune for the rest of her life, and it wasn’t just because she was a woman “It explores such timeless themes as love and death, war and peace, the conflict between personal ambition and family responsibilities, and the clash of cultures between Europe and America, as requested by her publisher.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
Pride and Prejudice has been one of the most popular novels in the English language since its early success in 1813. This great masterpiece was dubbed “her own beloved child” by Jane Austen, and its vivacious protagonist, Elizabeth Bennet, was described as “as charming a creature as ever appeared in literature.” The romantic conflict between Elizabeth and her pompous beau, Mr. Darcy, is a brilliant display of civilised sparring. Jane Austen’s dazzling wit gleams as her characters dance a delicate quadrille of flirting and intrigue, making this the finest comedy of manners in Regency England.
Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery.
Green Gables, an old-fashioned farm outside of Avonlea, has enticed generations of readers into the wonderful world of Green Gables. Anne Shirley, an eleven-year-old orphan, arrives in this lush corner of Prince Edward Island only to learn that the Cuthberts—elderly Matthew and his severe sister, Marilla—wish to adopt a boy rather than a fiery redhead girl. But, before they can send her back, Anne, who needs more room for her ideas and a genuine home, fully converts them. Anne of Green Gables is a beloved classic that examines all of a child’s fragility, expectations, and hopes as they grow up. It’s also a magnificent portrayal of a time, a location, and a family… and, above all, love
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s third book, The Great Gatsby, is often regarded as his greatest achievement. This classic Jazz Age novel has been praised by generations of readers. It’s a wonderfully constructed narrative of America in the 1920s about the fantastically affluent Jay Gatsby and his new love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of opulent parties on Long Island at a time when “gin was the national drink and sex was the national obsession,” according to The New York Times.
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen.
Marianne Dashwood wears her heart on her sleeve, and she rejects her sister Elinor’s warning that her rash behaviour exposes her to gossip and innuendo when she falls in love with the handsome but unsuitable John Willoughby. Meanwhile, Elinor, who is usually conscious of social convention, is fighting to hide her amorous disappointment even from her closest friends. The sisters learn that sense must combine with sensibility if they are to discover genuine pleasure in a culture where rank and money dominate the rules of love through their simultaneous experiences of love—and its potential loss.
To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf.
On the Isle of Skye, the tranquil and maternal Mrs. Ramsay, the tragic yet absurd Mr. Ramsay, their children, and many guests are on vacation. Woolf creates a magnificent, emotional analysis of the complicated tensions and allegiances of family life, as well as the battle between men and women, from the seemingly little postponement of a visit to a local lighthouse.
As time passes, the Ramsays face the greatest of human obstacles as well as its greatest triumph—the human ability for change—alone and simultaneously.