For the fans of "coming out" fiction everywhere, here is the one that started it all. Evelina is an orphan and raised by a pastor in the country. When Evelina comes of age, she leaves the country to have her first season out. This one decision leads Evelina into a kaleidoscope of characters and adventures that will make her eventual triumph all the more sweeter.
This is the first piece of literature that explored the heart of girlhood. It reveals the thoughts and inner yearning of Evelina as she matures and how she reasons her way out of and into situations. The heroine is insightful, intelligent and not only compassionate but empathetic. There is a great deal of setting and atmosphere to this story, much unlike modern day tales. The humor is dry and may be difficult for some to understand due to its distance from today’s slapstick, situational humor.
I have attempted Poe’s "Murder In the Rue Morgue" because it is the progenitor of modern detective fiction and I was drawn to Evelina for the same reason. I wanted to know what current writers and movie makers took from this book to make their own. What lasting qualities did Burney leave behind in literature for future girls to learn from? Read this book and find out, even if you don’t want to analyze anything, you’ll still enjoy it.