Maree's Reviews > Persuasion

Persuasion by Jane Austen
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Jan 08, 2013

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bookshelves: ebooks, lit-exploration-challenge
Read from January 04 to 05, 2013

This book was...weird for my expectations. I mean, you kind of already know what's going to happen in the book because, well, it's a romance, and the summary kind of spells everything else out. But I guess I was thinking there would be a bit more back and forth, a bit more give and take than just exactly what the summary doles out.

I might normally consider spoilerizing this, but seeing as everyone should know how this book goes, I'm not going to bother.

We see this entire book from Anne's perspective, and I have to say that I agree with those who think this is Austen's most grown up character. She's nothing like Emma or Jane, our other heroines, though her older and younger sister can find things in common with them. Anne is smart, mature, and not silly. Despite this, when she's reading little signs into the character of Captain Wentworth, sensing that he's appreciating her from a look in his eye and such, I had difficulty believing her. But she was right, in the end! It was kind of amazing, seeing that the two barely talked to one another the entire novel, instead basing one another's characters on what they said to others, or their actions.

I guess I just didn't think that he would declare his love for her and then all would be solved and they would be married. I was certain after she got the note that said to stay if she loved him (and then she left the house) that he would return to find her gone and drama would ensue. But instead, he met her on the street and they happily straightened out things between them. I suppose in this century, declaring your love is the ultimate showstopper, so more drama after that only cheapens the gesture? I just didn't realize that the only difficulties of the story would be the simple back and forth of "is he thinking of me?" I can't say that it makes for a very exciting story, especially when there are so many possibilities for misunderstanding and problems (the letter bit and her cousin asking her to marry him).

I think it's mainly because Anne is so sensible that it leaves me doubting of her love for him, and therefore his flirting with the two younger girls didn't really bother me. When Wentworth is practically engaged to Louisa, Anne doesn't think any bad thoughts about the other girl or wish that she was in her stead, she just very sensibly notices his interest. That's not the traditional action of a love-struck girl, but Anne's so sensible that she feels that she already had her chance and lost it.

Wentworth's letter to her finally sparked me - it was terribly romantic, but then it was followed up with the most general of summaries about what happened after! There were no other serious declarations of love, just that when two people were such in love, they would obviously be married. What seemed to me like it should be the start of the climb to the climax of the novel was actually the climax, and the story just kind of wrapped everything up and ended shortly after. I was disappointed, thinking things were about to get good.

Aside from all that, I still enjoyed the language and the setting as usual. I seem to be on a more classical literature kick for the beginning of this year.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Jenny (Reading Envy) This is my favorite Austen because Anne is the opposite of silly. I do gather, from reading Austen biographies, that the ending was author wish-fulfillment in many ways.

Maree Oh really? Was the character of Anne perhaps a bit more based on the author than any of her others?

Jenny (Reading Envy) Maree ♫ Light's Shadow ♪ wrote: "Oh really? Was the character of Anne perhaps a bit more based on the author than any of her others?"
I got that impression. I highly recommend Becoming Jane Austen!

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