Thursday, February 16, 2012

Book Review: Persuasion

Persuasion
By: Jane Austen
Buy it at Amazon or IndieBound
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Audience: Classic 

I do love a good Jane Austen. There's something very satisfying about having finished it. I think that it might be I survived all those commas!! I had forgotten quite how much Miss Austen enjoyed making little 'aside' comments during her sentences. 

I particularly like this story because it is about a girl who wasn't very savvy about love when she found it, messed it up, and then thought she would live her lifetime regretting what happened; then she gets her second chance. I also find the romance so much more romantic in this sort of novel than the modern day romance literature because for me, less IS more. It's all about subtle glances, caught breaths and quiet flusterings here, which is absolutely how I operate when I like someone! I can identify with this. 

Captain Wentworth is a much overlooked character of Austen's... he is just as dashing as Fitzwilliam Darcy, but he has had to build up his (considerable) wealth through his duties in the navy. Darcy is very swoonsome, but I have a soft spot for the guy who wasn't good enough for the girl's haughty family the first time around. It is satisfying to see how they react to him when his circumstances change. 

Seeing as this is one of my all time favorites, you would think I'd give it 5 birdies... the story itself I would, but the writing I wouldn't. Although I got used to the style, it was off putting at first; it involves a lot more brain power than normal reading, but even this didn't convince me to knock it down to 4 birdies... what did it was when Anne and Frederick finally declared themselves there was no dialogue!! It must have been a long time since I read this, as I felt a little outraged - I didn't remember how this was glossed over at all. The movie versions have spoiled me over the years. I want teary-eyed proclamations of devotion... not a paragraph of descriptive prose of how they talked for a long while, rehashing all their issues. I want to know what they said. Details!!! *sigh* 

At any rate, I still love this story, and I think I always will. 



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 Austin 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.




3 comments:

  1. It's nice to see that someone is willing to talk about classics not just new realeases.

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  2. I freaking love Jane Austen. Every book and everything about them.

    I just finished rereading Pride and Prejudice last night, and I realized there's no dialogue when Darcy and Lizzy get engaged either! It's like "he confirmed that his desires and wishes were the same as they had been last April, and if she wished, he would never speak a word of them again. Elizabeth told him how very much her feelings had changed..." so you basically have to imagine it all happening. Which I like, too, but it would have been interesting to hear exactly what they said!

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  3. You know, I haven't read Persuasion! I believe I've read all her other books. How did I not read this one? Well, that's what summer break is for -- reading! lol

    The language is a challenge to get through, but by the middle of one of her books I'm used to it! I love these old classic that tell of a time when romance was subtle and feelings were deep. I'd have loved to live in that time -- IF I had money (at least $2000 a year) and a manor to live in!

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