Thursday, December 31, 2009

Book Review -- Persuasion

Persuasion (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) Persuasion by Jane Austen


My rating: 4 of 5 stars








Anne Elliott, she’s been kicked out of her house (ok, her estate) because her Dad is bankrupt; she’s broken up with a boyfriend because of her friend’s “persuasion” (would someone explain to me who Lady Russell is, please?); she is burdened with two of the whiniest, most self absorbed, sisters EVER; she witnesses the head trauma of a dear friend (who takes, like, months to recover); she is courted by a cousin (isn’t that illegal?) who isn’t as he appears; and finally, she must do an 18th century, dialogue tango with her ex, who has now reappeared after 8 years. Whew! What’s a girl to do?!

Ah! The beauty of Jane Austen – somehow she can create all of the above dilemmas and make them all work.

Persuasion was the final book I picked for my Everything Austen Challenge. I loved Anne’s resolve, her level head and patience. At 28, she is for all practical purposes DEAD to society, but she still manages to get the guy in the end. Thank goodness! Take that Lady Russell!

Admittedly, I’m not an Austenphile – yes, I love her work (or at least the three books that I’ve read), but I’m not going to my grave with mummified copies. But what I liked most about this novel, compared to the others I’ve read, was the maturity of the characters. Anne is not on the verge of post adolescence, and not being sought after by a man 10 years (or more) her senior. She and Captain Wentworth are contemporaries – and that was very appealing.

I still think Pride and Prejudice is my favorite of her works, but I will take Anne Elliott over Elizabeth Bennett, any day.

Thus concludes my Everything Austen Challenge.

I read:
Austenland, by Shannon Hale
Jane and Her Lordship’s Legacy, by Stephanie Barron
Persuasion, by Jane Austen

I watched (but did not review):
Emma with Gwyneth Paltrow
Sense and Sensibility with Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet
Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightly (originally I was going to watch the entire BBC version with Colin Firth, but time was my enemy).

Thanks again to Stephanie’s Written Word for hosting the challenge.
Book source: private purchase


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