Persuasion from The Complete Works of Jane Austen
By Jane Austen
Anne Elliot is a thoughtful, helpful, and all around likable person, unless of course you’re one of her family members. Her father thinks nothing of her, her oldest sister, Elizabeth, prefers to ignore her, and her sister Mary likes having her around so she can complain to her about how no one appreciates her. Her mother died when Anne was young and since her death, she has become close to her mother’s friend, Mrs. Russell, who loves her like a daughter.
Anne’s father, Sir Elliot, is a man with a title but not a man of great means. Due to his lack of being able to manage any money at all, the family is forced to rent their large home and move to live more within their small means. For Elizabeth, this means only finding a place that will be suitable to her and her father’s needs. Mary, who is married with young children, only finds their father’s problem an inconvenience to her. Anne, well, she only does as she’s told. Although unhappy with the move, she understands the reason and is willing to do what is necessary. When a long, lost love returns to the picture in the course of renting out the family’s home, Anne finds herself in a precarious situation. When the stars begin to align for Anne, things become even more complicated and one can only hope she will finally find the life she deserves.
Half way through reading Persuasion, I realized I had read this book before. That didn’t stop me from enjoying it though. Austen takes a family situation, adds a few oddball characters, some really annoying ones as well, and allows you the means to fall in love with her characters. You want Anne, who seems to be able to see the good in all, to find the love she fully deserves. Everyone around her is full of concern for how things will look and their place in society that they have no time for anything important. As for Elizabeth and Mary, you want to shake both of them. They’re two pompous nutcases but they do bring a slight case of amusement especially where Mary is concerned.
In the end, it’s a simple, straight forward love story and ends the same way as a few of her other books. It’s on the short side and not nearly as rich as Pride and Prejudice or Sense and Sensibility but still a wonderful read. I believe it may make it into my Austen reread stack.
I still have Emma and Lady Susan to get to in my collection and Lady Susan is the next Austen book I have to look forward to.
Update: I wrote this review several months ago and forgot I had written it. I found it this weekend while working on several other reviews and thought it was time to post it.