22 July, 2016


Title: Persuasion
Author: Jane Austen
Series: -
Genres: Classics, Historical Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Penguin English Library 
Source: Paperback 
Pages: 249

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Twenty-seven-year old Anne Elliot is Austen's most adult heroine. Eight years before the story proper begins, she is happily betrothed to a naval officer, Frederick Wentworth, but she precipitously breaks off the engagement when persuaded by her friend Lady Russell that such a match is unworthy. The breakup produces in Anne a deep and long-lasting regret. When later Wentworth returns from sea a rich and successful captain, he finds Anne's family on the brink of financial ruin and his own sister a tenant in Kellynch Hall, the Elliot estate. All the tension of the novel revolves around one question: Will Anne and Wentworth be reunited in their love?

Jane Austen once compared her writing to painting on a little bit of ivory, 2 inches square. Readers of Persuasion will discover that neither her skill for delicate, ironic observations on social custom, love, and marriage nor her ability to apply a sharp focus lens to English manners and morals has deserted her in her final finished work.

As you might know Jane Austen is one of my favorite authors of all time. The beautiful novels and stories she wrote suits perfectly with my romantic heart and I always feel full after I finish reading any of them. I first became aware of this particular book after getting an illustrated edition of only 8 pages as a gift when I bought another book, so since I adore Pride & Prejudice and I also enjoyed the short illustrated version I eventually bought the full book.

THE WORLD:  The world in this book is just as in any other Jane Austen books, 19th century England. I have to say I do enjoy the culture and society in this book, all the curtsies, pretty dresses, long walks in the nature, dinner parties and so and so forth. The wooing of a woman, I dunno it sounds nice. 

CHARACTERS: We have a main character in this book - Anne Elliot. When the novel stars she is a 27- year old woman, who is put in the middle of her family's financial trouble, because her father cares of nothing more then keeping his family name high and marrying a young girl. I have to say I had mixed feeling about Anne. The whole premise of the book is that seven or eight years ago she fell in love with a navy soldier and when he made her an offer of marrying him she was persuaded by other people to turn him down, so when we meet her she is actually living in regret that she listened to other people because she is still unmarried. Now, Anne is a very different character than Elizabeth Bennett. While Lizzie is charismatic and witty, Anne on the other hand is super shy and quite.What I disliked in  Anne was her humbleness, I think she took the being shy way too far, and at times she was quite boring. However, at the same time I did feel the pain Anne felt, the regret, the shame and the way her heart is broken. From first pages of the book you can understand that she truly regrets not saying yes to love and allowing herself being persuaded that way. Moreover, as the novel goes on she does not let the history repeat itself.

Captain Frederick Wentworth is the man whose heart Anne broke, by rejecting him. To form an opinion about him just imagine Mr. Darcy but in the navy! I actually really liked him. Now he might have started humble but he made his name in the navy and war and when we meet him he is best known for his courage and honor. He was a very pleasant character to read, he was honorable, he didn't talk down to people and you could feel how heartbroken he was that Anne turned him down. Even when they meet again he doesn't ignore her, he keeps his distance but I believe that is just to keep himself safe, because he still loves her.

There aren't really too many characters in the book but let me mention just a few more. So here are few characters I did enjoy:

Charles Musgrove - Anne's brother in law and married to her sister Mary. He was cheerful and just so cute with his love for hunting. I also liked the two friends of Captain Wentworth: Captain Harville and Captain Benwick. Herville took the role of let's say the know-it-all he gave advised on how to do things, how things looked and so on, and I have a little crush on Benwick - because when we meet him he is consumed by his loss, because when he returned from sea he found his fiancee had passed away. So Anne takes it upon herself to talk to him, listen to him and he was just so cute, because you saw how sad he was and how little by little he opened up to life again.

Of course there were characters I disliked quite a bit and I just couldn't deal with it. One of them was Lady Russell. Oh God, she was so annoying, always giving her opinion about everything, sticking her nose to where it didn't belong. She was the one who persuaded Anne to reject Wentworth and she continued to do so throughout the novel until Anne just had enough. I also hated the Elliot family, the father and two sisters - Elizabeth and Mary - no wonder Anne was the way she was, with a family like hers, Jesus! Arrogant, self-centered people! But the main villain in the story is Mr. William Elliot, Anne's distant relative, who makes it clear he is interested in marrying her because he want to inherit the Elliot fortune.

LOVE: So as mentioned before, the main love plot in this book is between Anne and Wentworth. I liked it. I think it was something new. A painful, tragic love story, filled with regrets and heartache. I actually enjoyed reading the way Anne and Wentwroth behaved around each other, the way they looked at each other and would drop their eyes when the other one noticed, or how Anne would fell or something and Wentworh would be there after a split second to pick her up, or even like just saying something about each other like 'I thought you didn't like this or that'. I don't even know why it attracted me so much, but believe me it was nice to see this awkwardness of two people who love each other but are too afraid to just sit down and talk it over.

PLUS: The theme of persuasion. I really liked how in this book you can clearly see what impact other people opinion can have on you. It can ruin your life and take away something really great. It was sad and I felt so invested in the characters I actually was sad myself, and thought about every person I had a crush on and was too shy to go for it, or how I got persuaded by other people to do something I didn't want to do. I enjoyed the idea that you are your life's blacksmith and no one should tell you to do anything.

MINUS: I can't really think of any right now.

OVERALL: This is my second most loved book written by Jane Austen after Pride & Prejudice. It's just so different, so filled with deep emotions. I recommend this book to anyone who wants a good love story!


What did you think of PERSUASION?