28 July 2009


I love Jane Austen's novels. I'm not too picky about writers: I love writers who tell great stories (even if their writing style doesn't raise pulses); I love writers who create amazing characters (even if their plots are a touch dull); I love writers who have distinctive styles (even if nothing happens in their books); I love writers who can transport me to another time and place (even if their plots and characters a bit predictable). What I love about Jane Austen is she is capable of doing all of the above. Her novels all tell great stories, feature amazing characters, display her distinctive style, and transport me to Regency-era England. Her final complete novel, Persuasion, is no exception.

Anne Elliot still rues the day she refused to marry the dashing Captain Wentworth. Her wealthy family deemed him "not good enough" for an Elliot. Eight years later, the Elliots are on the decline, Wentworth is a wealthy man, and Anne is still single, convinced that no man but Wentworth would satisfy her. But Wentworth has neither forgotten nor forgiven Anne. He's set his sights on her one of her sister's husband's sisters, and he barely even acknowledges Anne. Will Anne be able to win back Captain Wentworth? Will her family finally stop snubbing Wentworth? Will Wentworth see that Anne is far superior to that dreadful Louisa?

With Jane Austen novels, one always knows the books will end happily. The suspense and appeal comes from finding out how Austen's characters overcome the often insurmountable obstacles to their happiness. Persuasion features Austen's knack for weaving tangled webs for her characters. This novel also fully displays Austen's signature elegant, witty style, and her knack for lushly describing the social mores and manners of her day and time. One reason I enjoyed this book, though, is that Austen broke with her traditional stories in this one. Instead of describing the wooing of a teen-aged heiress to a man who is of greater or equal social position, Persuasion tells of the second romance between the nearly thirty year old Anne and a man who is most certainly her social inferior.

If you're a Jane Austen fan, you'll love how Jane tweaks with her own formula, but still manages to be, well, Jane Austen. If you're not a Jane Austen fan (is there such a thing?), try Persuasion. It's less typical than her other works, so you may enjoy it.


  1. That sounds like a great novel! Reading your synop, I want to read it myself, and I don't even like Jane Austen. :D You're quite good at synops, I've concluded.

  2. I don't blame guys for not liking Jane Austen novels.(They are kind of girly!)If you got put off with some of her more popular and predictable books, you might really like Persuasion.

    Thanks! :)