As the last Austen novel I read, Mansfield Park
made me officially become Austen-literate (well, if you don't count her short, unfinished stories). As always I cannot applaud her more on the beautiful, exquisitely crafted language, but the plot and diverse characters are also exceptional. Fanny Price and Edmund Bertram is probably the cutest Austen couple ever. Although Edmund's change of feelings leave much to be desired, he is still one of Austen's most goodhearted, upstanding hero and does not leave me disappointed like, say, Sense and Sensibility
's wavering, dishonest Edward Ferrars. Fanny, on the other hand, draws my sympathy through her steady affections and strong principles – she is not Emma Woodhouse or Elizabeth Bennett in that she knows who her heart belongs to all along, only she is too afraid to admit it. There is also interesting character studies in the figures of Henry and Mary Crawford. I might need a re-read of all Austen novels as to more justly compare them, but for now Mansfield Park
holds the elusive title of my favorite among the novels.