I usually despise epistolary novels. But Jane Austen's praise of this particular novel made me overlook that fact. And as always, Jane Austen had perfect judgement. I do think she is the best person to take book recommendations from. It only took me 50 pages and then I was completely hooked - I had
to read on and devour the book.
"Evelina" by Frances Burney is such a complex and intricate study of the dangers and falsehoods a young and inexperienced girl living in the 18th century could encounter. Several distrustful characters portray the common faults within the society, and as Evelina travels through different layers of social classes, every possible aspect of the culture is cleverly illustrated.
One could argue that the characters seem very one-dimensional, but I do think it was Burney's intention to begin with, as she needed to showcase every extremity.
I enjoyed every bit of this book, and I will always regard it as a true work of art. As a huge Jane Austen fan I also delighted in finding the source of her inspiration for "Northanger Abbey", which is evidently derived from Burney's storytelling.