Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Review of 'Persuasion' by Jane Austen

Review of 'Persuasion' by Jane Austen

This is the third Jane Austen novel that I've attempted in my life, and the second that I've completed. Before reading Persuasion I really did hate her works. Pride and Prejudice is one of only a handful of books that I've started reading and not completed because I simple couldn't stand it, and Mansfield Park didn't win the author any favours with me either. But I think we've finally had a little breakthrough: Persuasion was tolerable, in fact it was even enjoyable. I'm kinda starting to see what the Austen hype is all about.

Anne Elliot, the novel's heroine is someone I can relate to. She's an Austen heroine who doesn't accept the first man that toodles along, and acts with a reasonable level of maturity. Anne's family are sinking financially, and her father needs to take some rapid action to save them from plunging into debt. Since the death of her mother, Anne has been a little isolated from the heart of the family - her sister Elizabeth and her father are eternally in cahoots, and they look down on her. But, she knows that a friend of the family, Lady Russell, holds sway with the pair, and between them they persuade the rest of the Eliots to downsize their home.

This isn't the biggest change for Anne however, as she soon goes to visit her sister whilst the remainder of her family move to Bath (a place she doesn't particularly enjoy). There she learns that a man she once loved as a young girl has returned from overseas. She listened to the advice from her family and Lady Russell, went against her heart's desire, and broke off her engagement from him. He was deemed to be beneath marrying an Elliot. Now, seven years on, he's made his way up in life, and Anne is more mortified than ever at her past actions.

Will she see if they can repair a seven year rift? Or will she succumb to other men's persuasions?

Have you read it? What did you think?

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