Persuasion, by Jane Austen

Persuasion (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) by Jane Austen: Book CoverFinished 1-6-09, rating 4/5, fiction, pub. 1818

He had not forgiven Anne Elliot.  She had used him ill; deserted and disappointed him; and worse, she had shown a feebleness of character in doing so, which his own decided, confident temper could not endure.  She had given him up to oblige others.  It had been the effect of overpersuasion.  It had been weakness and timidity.

Chapter 7

Anne is a woman not appreciated by her family and past the prime age of marrying.  Her ‘bloom’ has worn off and she must come to terms that Captain Wentworth’s proposal of marriage eight years earlier had been her best chance at happiness.  But eight years ago he did not have rank or connections and Anne was too much influenced by Lady Russell, a woman like a mother to her and the only one to see her worth.  When Captain Wentworth comes back into her world she realizes that he is still angry, or maybe even worse, indifferent.

This is my third Austen novel and I like it less than Pride & Prejudice, but more than Sense & Sensibility.  Anne and Wentworth are mature characters with past mistakes to shape them individually and as a couple.  If they had married when he first asked they may have been happy, but the hurt and time apart gave their eventual coming together a depth they might not have had otherwise.  And Wentworth does write the best love letters (see below). 

At first I was inclined to not respect Anne so much, after all she turned down Wentworth’s proposal because people influenced her to believe that he was not good enough, instead of marrying him because she was in love with him.  But, she redeemed herself in my eyes and that may be why I found her such a great heroine.  And Wentworth, as the self-made man, was a perfect hero.  I thought that the end of this book was much more satisfying than the other two I’ve read.  Wentworth and Anne said the things that needed to be said and it was very romantic. 

This book was from my personal library and I want to thank Calico Critic, Melody, Nise’, Allesandra, Angie, and Sarah E for choosing it for me 🙂  Here’s what they said when they voted

“Captain Wentworth writes the best love letters.” (Allesandra)

“Can’t go wrong with Jane Austen.  Should be on any reader’s TBR list.” (Calico Critic)

“Not only are they classics but they’re good too!” (Nise’)

“Because I love Jane Austen and I always find it interesting to ‘see’ her through other people’s eyes.” (Angie)

“Anything Jane Austen is a must.” (Sarah E)