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Book Review: Persuasion by Jane Austen

Persuasion by Jane Austen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars 

“I am half agony half hope… I have loved none but you.”

“Her affection would be his for ever.”

I haven’t read Jane Austen in a while. I’m glad I read this one as a means to get back into her works. 

Persuasion tells the story of Anne Elliot. When she was nineteen she was persuaded to reject the proposal of the man that she loved because he had no net worth. Eight years later he reappears in her social circle as a rich captain. He treats her as if they’re strangers and seems to be interested in someone else. When someone else shows an interest in Anne will his true feelings come out? This book deals with love, loss, self-worth, and jealousy.

I think that Anne Elliot is the most mature Austen heroine. She has become one of my favourite literary characters ever written. She’s an over-thinker. She needs time alone to get her thoughts in order. She like spending time with people but she also needs to spend some time alone. When she was young she let the influence of others, particularly Lady Russell determine her decision to reject the man that she loved, but as she matured she didn’t blame anyone but herself for it. She accepted the fact that it was her decision and didn’t regret it even though it brought her great suffering. There were parts of the book where she thought about how her life would have been different if she would have accepted the proposal. She never stopped loving him. Anne spent most of the book watching the love her life interacting with someone else not knowing that he was still in love with her. She would have married him the second he popped back into her life.

I strongly disliked Anne’s family. Her father doesn’t see much worth in her as she didn’t marry when she was young. I felt indifferent towards her sister Elizabeth. Her sister Mary is selfish and acts as if she's the center of everything that goes on. At the start of the novel I completely disliked Lady Russell, but I grew to tolerate her.

While I do think Captain Wentworth should have been clear about his feelings from the beginning but, I think that he’s a good person. He understood why Anne rejected his proposal when she was young. It’s understandable that he was angry at first. Even in the times that he’s ignoring her he still speaks highly of her. He spent eight years away from her but his love for her remained constant in all that time. He was ready to accept rejection a second time, but he just had to let his feelings be heard.  He gave her the choice of whether or not she wanted to be with him.

If I would have read this when I was younger I wouldn’t have been able to appreciate it as much as I do now. I’m pleased with the ending. This was Austen’s last novel and it’s her most mature.

Who's your favourite Austen heroine?

Sincerely, JoJo.♥

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