I just finished Lady Susan, Jane Austen's first novel. It is written in the form of letters. A cool style until the end and it's almost as if she writes herself into a corner. At which point she just concludes the story with a conclusion. The main character Lady Susan reminded me of the leading lady in Vanity Fair. Not entirely likeable. Certainly no Elizabeth Bennett!
I also recently read Casual Vacancy by JK Rawling. She is immensely talented. It was like a condensed modern day version of Les Miserables. It dealt with the mixing of the classes and the reasons people take desperate measures. It was good and disturbing. In some places it felt a bit abridged. I for one would have enjoyed the depth in the characters and a longer timeline had the author taken a Victor Hugo approach.