Erin's Reviews > Persuasion

Persuasion by Jane Austen
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's review
Jan 16, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: classics

Recently I had the chance to do a group read of Jane Austen's classic novel with some friends. What a delight that was! We discussed the personalities of the characters and the themes of the plot in deep ways, each one adding her own unique perspective to the conversation.

Austen brings us the story of Anne Elliot, a 27-year-old young woman with a quiet, sweet nature. Eight years ago she had fallen in love with an aspiring naval officer, but Anne had been persuaded to break their engagement because neither his fortune nor future were certain. As the years have passed Anne has found a useful life in being a devoted neighbor, sister, and aunt. When her vain father's spiraling finances force them to rent out their home, her former suitor's sister and husband become their tenants, and Anne realizes it is only a matter of time before her path once again crosses with Captain Wentworth.

The gregarious and self-assured captain sweeps into the neighborhood and soon becomes the center of every discussion and activity. While his manner towards Anne is cool, he seems to welcome the attention of two teenage sisters who both fancy themselves to be in love with him. The novel takes a dramatic turn when an accident leaves one of the sisters in critical condition and the whole family circle in chaos.

At this point Anne must leave the neighborhood and join her immediate family in Bath, where they have taken lodgings. There a long-estranged cousin, her father's heir, is renewing his relationship with the family. Even though he is highly solicitous towards herself, Anne can't help but be suspicious of his motives after so long an apparent disinterest and even disdain. When surprising news reaches her ear and Captain Wentworth suddenly appears in Bath, Anne begins hoping that just maybe it's not too late for her to get her happy ending after all.

Many of the reasons that Jane Austen is a genius author were on display in this story. Even though it had only been three years since I last read the book, it seemed fresh and intriguing while yet feeling like an old friend. Her works stand the test of time and will never go out of style.

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