Helynne's Reviews > Persuasion

Persuasion by Jane Austen
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Sep 08, 11

Read from July 27 to September 05, 2011

I can never give Jane Austen's books anything fewer than five stars because she is just so consistently wonderful. I am tempted to say that I am still more partial to Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Emma than I am to Persuasion,, Austen's sixth novel. However, I so thoroughly enjoyed this delightful story that I can hardly say it has less merit than the others. The title refers to how unfortunate it can be to let oneself be persuaded to make a decision against one's heart and better insticts. Fortunately, the novel also shows that even after a life-altering mistake, there can come a timely second chance to make it all right. Heroine Anne Elliot is almost too good to be true-kind, unselfish, smart, good with children, etc., etc., and although, at age 27, her looks aren't as fresh as they once were, she is still pretty. Unfortunately, Anne lacks good emotional support. Her family members are--to use a modern and accurate expression--a bunch of flakes, who treat Anne like a non-entity. "Her word had no weight; her convenience was always to give way; she was only Anne" (5). Her widowed father Sir Walter and elder sister Elizabeth are self-serving egotists who overspent the family fortune to the point that they must now let their ancestral home of Kellynch, and move to cheaper accommodations in Bath. Anne's younger, married sister Mary is an annoying, whiny hypochondriac. But it is Lady Russell, a trusted friend of Anne's late mother, who has done her the worst disservice by persuading her some eight years earlier to break her engagement to the the man she loved, Captain Frederick Wentworth, simply because he was not sufficiently rich. Naturally, as the years pass, Captain Wentworth does become rich in his respectable naval career, and he is now back on Anne's horizon. But, then, so are at least two other young women who have set their caps for him as well. So, does Anne stand a second chance --or even deserve one--after being so weak-willed and causing Captain Wentowrth so much emotional pain in the past? Austen's story unfolds with her usual eloquence and charm to its satisfying conclusion. But do not think the story is resolved easily. There are lots of interesting twists and turns!
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message 1: by Mandy (new)

Mandy Great review! Although Persuasion wasn't my FAVORITE Austen, I also enjoyed the story and the impeccable writing style. If you haven't seen the latest BBC adaptation, you really should. It is wonderful and Wentworth is delicious.


Helynne I agree completely about the always wonderful writing style. I saw the BBC production and concur that Wentworth was lucious. There are at least two other film versions out there on my Netflix list that I can't wait to see!
Thanks for the comment!


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