Monday, August 18, 2008

Persuasion by Jane Austen

Persuasion by Jane Austen fits into the Juvenile Fiction genre. It was written between August 1815 and August 1816 and first published in 1817 after the death of Jane Austen. It is recommended for ages 16 and up.

I've had this book on my shelf for a while and I didn't realize that I hadn't read it until last month. I really enjoyed it because I get lost in the language. It is more difficult to read than some of the other things I've read lately because I have to think about what I'm reading instead of just plugging along and turning the pages. However because of this amount of concentration it feels more rewarding to read something like this than a quick read. I feel smarter too for reading a classic that everyone has heard of at least the author if not the title. The plot was interesting enough, Anne Elliot is the second of three girls born to a Baron who cares only about himself and his title. She is generally ignored and while cared for she is not pampered like the eldest. When she was in her late teens she met and got engaged to a man that her family did not approve of and she was persuaded by a good family friend, Lady Russell, to break off the engagement. They were both brokenhearted and Captain Wentworth left to go find his fortune. Eight years later they meet again through Wentworth's sister who was renting the family house which was rented out to save the Elliot family from growing debt. The rest of the book follows their meetings with each other as each of them tries to figure out what the other is thinking and feeling. It ends happily as they decided to forget the persuasion of others and make their own choices.

This book would be great for a discussion group because there is so much to think about. Lady Russell tells Anne not to marry Wentworth. She wasn't trying to be vindictive or to hurt Anne she just thinks that she knows what is best for Anne and her family. At the time Wentworth was a poor man with no position. He was convinced that he could make his fortune but there was a chance that it wouldn't happen. Anne trusted Lady Russell and puts aside the love that she feels but ends up being miserable. If she would have trusted her heart she would have married him earlier but she wouldn't be the same person so which is better? There are more topics of discussion but this is the one that stuck out most to me.

Other reviews available:

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

1 comment:

  1. I have not read this one yet, but I have loved all of Jane Austen's stuff that I have read. I will have to give it a try!