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Persuasion

Persuasion
Jane Austen
236 pages

I often find it difficult to review great classic literature -- what can I say that hasn't already been said? And so it is with Persuasion, one of Jane Austen's later works. This novel tells the story of Anne Elliot, an unmarried woman in her late 20s. Several years before, she was persuaded to break off a relationship with Captain Wentworth, and they went their separate ways. She now plays second fiddle to her sisters: Elizabeth, the eldest, has assumed the "lady of the house" role opposite their widowed father. Mary, the youngest, is happily married with young children. Anne moves between both worlds -- navigating the simple country pleasures of Mary's life, and tolerating her father's insufferable vanity and social climbing. Although it seems Anne is often taken advantage of, Austen makes it clear that she is the stronger character in all of her relationships.

The story progresses, in typical Austen fashion, on a course that eventually brings Captain Wentworth back into Anne's life. Yet the couple are constrained by the conventions of the day, which make it nearly impossible for two people to express feelings to one another. Much time is spent watching, and second-guessing, the actions and motives of others. How frustrating this must have been! Austen is masterful in describing the tiny movements and expressions that carry so much meaning. As Anne and the Captain slowly dance around each other, Austen uses Anne's family to serve up some delightful satire of society and vanity.

To date I have read all but one of Austen's six published novels, and consider Persuasion my favorite.  ( )

I read this book for the Celebrate the Author challenge: Jane Austen was born December 16, 1775.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Dec. 7th, 2008 03:25 am (UTC)
3m said:
Persuasion is my favorite of the four I've read. Love it! Love it! Love it!

1morechapter.com
literaryfeline
Dec. 7th, 2008 06:33 am (UTC)
I really liked Persuasion too, although it took me a bit to get into it. Once I did though, I thought it was an amazing story. I love Jane Austen's writing style, not to mention her imagination.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )