I am an unashamed lover of Jane Austen and all her books, but none of them gets me as much as Persuasion. It's the story of Anne Elliot, a woman who lost her love Captain Wentworth at 19 because she was persuaded it was in both their best interests and his return 9 years later. The plot is so well crafted I can't imagine anything better, and parts of it are amongst the best I've ever read. The letter from Captain Wentworth to Anne when he redeclares his love for her is second to none. And I've just been lucky enough to finish a group read of this amazing book over the last four weeks.
People almost universally seem to fall into two camps with Jane Austen: they either love her or dismiss her as a contemporary romance writer, and point the finger at her for writing only about the cares of her class. I can't see her just in these terms because what she does better than anybody else is craft exquisite plots full of amazing three dimensional people. And what else is a writer supposed to do if not that?
I go to the Republic of Pemberley at www.pemberley.com for my daily dose of JA. It's a fantastic site to discuss Jane Austen's books and to hear the views and angles of others who share the same passion. And it's always nice to be in the same space as people who get you.